Inside of Me

Inside of me, I think there are lots of people Jumping up and down, having a party in my heart My lungs seem like my grandmother's driveway My blood is a pool My brain is a road my father works on. I think inside me, my eyes seem like a sink that is leaking. My neck is a tall building my brother works in. My mouth is a water station nobody can go inside My nose is a junkyard. - By Letron Calistro


In the first year of my marriage I discovered my husband, the dancer. It was an arranged marriage; hastily hatched over cups of tea and samosas in a family friend's drawing room—so we were still discovering facets of each other hitherto unknown.

My in-laws lived with us—they had moved bag and baggage some-8000 miles to be close to their only son and heir and that was a whole different adjustment, but more on that some other time.

To have something to do together in the evenings, we signed up for a ballroom dancing class through the City of Danville where we'd made our adopted home.  I was excited, nervous and tense with anticipation.  It was an hour every week that we were going to be alone without the hovering and smothering presence of my mother-in-law who saved the anecdotes of her day to regale her only son with, as soon as he walked into the house and settled in with his evening cuppa tea.

I never gave a thought to the training or movements it may require because dancing was something I assumed came naturally to all girls.  I was slim. I was pretty.  I had been known to shake a leg at Ashoka Hotel's famous nightclub floor.

How difficult could it be?  Aaah, how wrong I was.

At the very first session, my husband waltzed, while I fumbled.  He glided on the dance floor while I stumbled.  Very soon he was cutting a rug with the dance instructor. Twirl, twirl.  While I struggled to keep up.

"How come you dance so well?" I asked suspiciously at the end of class.

"Oh, you know.  It's nothing." He was modest and sheepish.

The whole and full story was that his mother had hired a Kathak instructor to come home and school his sister in the nuances of the classical dance.  My husband hid behind the curtains in the living room and secretly watched until he was allowed to join in.

"Once a dancer, always a dancer," my mother used to say.  How prophetic.

Suddenly I was the one with two left feet while my husband was the star and heartthrob of the vastly female-outnumbered class. Needless to say, we gave up on ballroom dance classes three weeks into the course.

I occasionally run into the octogenarian ladies from the dance class at the supermarket.

"How's TJ doing?  Is he still dancing?"  They never fail to ask.

"Yup.  He's dancing. Dancing to my tune, now."  I'm able to quip after twenty-five years together.

Spring. . .

Spring. . .

All roads lead to the 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards. . .

All roads lead to the 61st Britannia Filmfare Awards. . .