For this program especially, I had put in more effort than in recent years - it was a point I had to prove to myself. And when my performance flowed smoothly, when I looked slimmer than last year, when I was able to sustain my energy throughout... I felt vindicated. This award was like a crowning glory - though it is a small and probably routine affair for the sabha, it was unexpected and the first time for me. And that is what made this moment sweeter.
But strangely, what brought tears to my eyes was when I stepped off the stage after a group photo, my father who had accompanied me, asked me affectionately, "Why were you hidden behind and not in the front for the photo?" I felt like a child again. It was hard to respond to my children like a mother on reaching home.
But I must add here another honour I had received last year. A leading sabha has a wing that brings dancers together for them to take the art form to the poor. After a performance for that wing in the regular forum, I was called. I was flattered at being identified as one of the potential dancers who could be trusted to do this. Though my group of four have not done anything since then, I am hoping that we will soon resume our endeavour to do this - yet another excuse to dance, what else!