Her lips quivered. She was having a hard time controlling the laughter that threatened to burst forth. She wanted to dance in glee, right there on the street where she stood just six feet from the main entrance of the building, but knew people would think she was mad. How often do you see a fifty-nine-year-old with her salt and pepper hair tied in a lose bun, wearing a matching track-suit in deep rust red, doing that anyway? What was that saying, let people think you are an idiot rather than open your mouth and confirm it.
At that, a giggle escaped her pursed lips and horrified she covered her mouth with her hands as she quickly checked left and right to see if anyone had noticed it.
‘Finally,’ she thought, even as the corners of her lips turned upwards. She had waited so long for this moment. A desire that had been buried in her heart for nearly forty-five years. She had been a wife, a mother and a grand-mother for so long that she had forgotten what it was like to be a newbie at anything. The thought of eventually pursuing her desire sounded exciting and thrilling and terrifying all at the same time.
‘Age is just a number, right?’ she murmured trying to convince herself, ‘Yeah! That’s why you haven’t told anybody where you are going,’ she smiled at the irony of her thoughts.
This part of her life was supposed to hers. All her responsibilities were over. The kids were married and settled; the grandkids were doing well. They had their own lives. Her Piyush, bless him, was in God’s abode. So, what was she to do, stay at home and be melancholic and pine for her kids to grace her with their presence or worse just send her gifts to make up for their absence? No! She was not going to be like her mother, or so many of her friends, who didn’t have a life beyond their families. Now that their kids were busy and some had lost their husbands, they didn’t seem to have a purpose in life and were slowly slipping into depression.
She had promised herself that she would live her life to the fullest once her duties were done. Now her duty was towards herself. With her heart thudding she had taken the first step. She had called the studio and enquired about the program. Yes sir! She was not going to let life pass her by, she was going to live it to the fullest and shake things up.
So, here she was, quivering with excitement and fear but with determination writ large on her face. She couldn’t wait to be a newbie.
She pushed open the door and stepped inside.
The pretty receptionist, looked up from her desktop, smiled and said, ‘Ah! You must be Mrs. Rao…’
She nodded her head.
‘…Welcome to Happy Hour Studio of Belly Dancing.’
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