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How Dance Changed My Life

Here is Something i wrote 2 Years ago. I have pasted it verbatim without correcting the grammar just to maintain authenticity 🙂

Read on :



My friend rani once told me, “Every 5 years, your life will change. The friends, the routine, the way u think, everything.”Honestly, i had observed my life changing every year. But now i know what she meant by 5 years.


5 years ago, my life changed for the best. I started dancing. DANCING.


Let me just give u a brief of Dhaval Shah Pre-dancing.


A very obese kid with not even an inkling of self-confidence. Someone who could blame everyone else for everything happening in his life. someone who could find a reason to frown even on the happiest day of his life. someone who was so influenced by everyone else, his father in particular, that he dinno who he was. When he would read phrases like “be yourself.. “… he would suffocate … Coz he dinno who he was.He dinno happiness. He dinno maturity. He knew fear. He knew doubt. He knew tears. He knew extremity. He knew failure. He knew jealousy.


And then 5 years ago … he started dancing. Coz he loved dancing. And a friend whom he looked up to (sajeel parakh) used to dance.


Dancing gave him a high. the level of happiness that he had never experienced. The sheer madness to lose oneself to music… to be one with the dance.. one with the group … 35 people dancing as one whole body … yes .. he had gone through it … And there was nothing that gave him that level of happiness, peace satisfaction …


the lessons he learnt while dancing … he started using them in day to day life … To pray b4 starting something new … to persevere … to work so hard that the impossible would refrain from looking back at you in the eye … To focus so hard that distraction would lose its focus !… To prepare … To know when to stop … to know when to rest … To give ur 100% to the task at hand … jus the way he used to dance like no ones watching … To take care of ur body … to be nice to the people around … to be patient … not everybody is a good dancer … people take their own time to learn … not everybody is worth your time … people change … You should help everybody … but shud know when to let-go … YES … DANCING TAUGHT ME ALL THIS .


I’ve seen hardwork payoff … I used to dance in the last line … i’ve been promoted to the third .. to the second to the first line … and then to the dream position … split center … i get goosebumps when i write this.


I’ve seen rise and fall. I’ve been clouded by pride and pinned to the ground with failure. The last time i danced on stage i screwed up bigtime … I’ve been taught balance … I’ve been taught consistency …


I’ve learnt that if you have a strong will power, no amount of excuses and ‘genuine reasons’ can deter u from achieving what u want. I’ve also learnt that sometimes, no matter how ambitious you are, or how much hardwork you put in …. In the end u have to leave it to god. And if u dont get what you desired, it was meant for the better.


Dancing the in first or last- line doesnt matter !… DANCING MATTERS … Dont compare yourself to others …. EVERYBODY has a role to play … Look within .. change yourself… upgrade yourself … Others will either change or move out of your path !


Its been more than year since i danced last .. My last class was beautiful … I actually remember getting lost in the dance … IT happened after a really long time … Little did i know it’ll be the last time i’ll be dancing fr a long time …


I suffocate without dancing … Just writing so much about it has given me a high … which no wine or a 15 year old whiskey can give !…


Dancing made me fall in love with me … It gave me 2 really beautiful friends – Akash and Hitesh.I love them to death and only they can understand the madness i am talking about. We’ve woken up at 5:30 AM in the morning on a SUNDAY just to pratice dance coz our busy schedules dint allow us to practice otherwise.


Dance has broadened the horizon of my thoughts … The thoughts that attracted even more beautiful people in my life. Dance has given me opportunities … It has given me .. ME …


The very first SHIAMAK t-shirt i rcd had this written on it “BE YOURSELF NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY”… i still dont completely know what that means … But dancing has set me off on a journey in search of the same …


I complete 5 years dancing this month … the date i am not very sure about … But heres a toast to something i owe everything to.





God Resides in the real people !


Here is a Blogpost i wrote a a few years back, when i was yet learning photography and how my day-to-day interactions while
shooting on the street, gave me experiences, learnings and a lot of smiles !

Date: 24th October 2010

You know god constantly gives you proof of his presence when you don’t ask for it ?

I got mine today. This morning I sent across a message to my loved ones saying that :

“ there are so many people in my life who make me want to be a better person.. they are like god sent benchmarks .. and the best part is that they are too normal too simple to know it.. Notice such people in your life … They are too special; to be taken for granted…. “

Later during the day something happened which gave me a sign that god completely agreed with what I had sent…

I was shooting at Crawford market… An amazing place to notice people and observe their characteristics… And I came across this young boy of not more than 14 … You know those kids who smear their body and head with colours and hit themselves with a hunter dancing on drumbeats asking for alms ?…

I asked him whether he would allow me to capture him on my Camera… In return he asked for money .. which I refused but offered to buy him food instead… After arguing for a while he reluctantly agreed… and I got some of my best shots.. later as promised I took him and his 2 sisters to a sandwich wala for a nice lovely meal.

I love talking to people .. and hence tried to strike a conversation with him .. asking him about the pain he had to live with … To which he replied by gesturing towards his stomach… I asked him why not work instead.. he was just a young boy… To which he just smiled…

I asked him his name.. he replied solemnly, “Chandra shetty”

Then to my amazement… he asked me, ” aap college jaate the na… udhar… Churchigate mein ? ” .. Taken a back… I just nodded .. with a very low , “haan “…

He twitched his eyebrows and smiled… “ mein aapko jaanta hoon … Udhar mein bachpan se hoon… Aap udhar bhi mujhe khana khilate the… Jab bhi mein paise maangne aata tha… ”

I simply replied, “ mujhe yaad nahi hai !” to which he retorted rather wittily, “ mein apne doston ko yaad rakhta hoon !”… bringing his hand towards me… gesturing me to shake it…

I cant really describe how I was feeling.. whether it was gratefulness… joy… surprise… but I felt a weird peaceful excitement in my heart… Dunno how excitement can be peaceful but.. ya… felt something like that…

We again shook hands when we parted.. like old friends are parting… he put his hand on his heart and surprisingly … I did the same… He said , “ all the best… chalo thank you…” …

I felt good… felt big … not in a proud sense… but big because I felt I was one with god… one with Chandra Shetty… we are creations of the same almighty …I felt god was operating in me… making me want to be good… feel good… Telling me that, “dhaval… this is the acknowledgement from me… for trying to be a better person… Continue doing so… Lots of love, Be good… GOD !”