I think along with everything else in the world, even perfection is a state of mind. I went to a dance graduation last night. It was an Indian dance graduation – where the student has to perform a series of numbers – solo with a live orchestra. It usually ends up being a 3 to 4 hour event. Of course getting to this point takes years and years of practise and at the end of it all – it boils down to what happens on stage.

So, the dancer is practising, the teacher is practising, the singers are practising and all the other people come together to put a phenomenal show together. But a lot is happening back stage – the lights and sound coordination, the sound for the instruments, the makeup,the costume change, managing the show so that one item flows to the next and the coordination between the singers, the dancer and the drums and cymbals.

Now, a good student is one who has learnt all that the teacher has taught and is able to connect to the audience and take it to the next level and a good teacher is one who has imparted all the knowledge and taught her student how to handle the knowledge that is given. In the program yesterday I think both the teacher and the student met the mark of being good student and teacher because of how the dance was perceived. Perfection in dance is not just doing what you have been taught but when you go beyond that and transport the whole audience into another realm. In my humble opinion – the dancer was able to do that.

There were hitches, like in every program – but handling crisis in spite of everything is what makes the show go on. In the dancer’s mind – it was not perfect, in the teachers mind – it did not come out the way it was planned – but at the end of the day – you look at – was it complete, did you connect to the audience, did you learn from the experience?

It is a hard pill to swallow when you have worked so hard and it does not come out the way you want it – but you learn that not everything is in your control – it teaches you humility. This experience may have far reaching effects to both the student and all the others around her.

There is a reason why everything happened the way it happened but we will never know, at least not now.

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