HT Image
HT Image

Suddenly, one night...

Today is the grand rehearsal..that was her first waking thought. That evening, she would be performing for the opening of the Olympic Games. Roshmila Bhattacharya on a dream...
By Roshmila Bhattacharya | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAY 06, 2009 05:15 PM IST

Today is the grand rehearsal.. that was her first waking thought. That evening, she would be performing at the National Stadium, before an audience of 10,000. She’d had the spotlight turned on her several times in the last 26 years but this six-minute act, she knew, was special.

Silk Road

tracing China’s rich heritage through one of its earliest trade routes, was the only solo performance in the four-hour extravaganza planned for the opening night of the Olympic Games. It was her moment.. and this time the whole world would be watching.

The day passed in a blur of activity and heightened excitement. And finally, it was show time. Peeking from the wings, she could see the expectant faces of her parents in the audience. Her father.. the retired judge. Her mother.. the doctor. And she a classical dancer. Destiny sure played some strange tricks. Yet, they had always been there for her.

Her father had driven her on his motorcycle to dance classes through torrential downpours. Her mother had taken the train into the city every other weekend to keep her company when she enrolled in middle school. In two weeks, when the curtains went up on the Games, she’d make them prouder still, she told herself with a smile.

Showtime


Hey, they were playing her tune. It was time to take a bow. Gracefully, she glided on stage. And as the audience watched, wide-eyed and wonder-struck, she twirled.. she swirled.. she flitted through the air in a flurry of slender limbs.


Every move was perfectly choreographed and executed, including a flying leap towards a moving stage. There was no room for human error after four years of relentless practice. What no one had anticipated was a mechanical malfunction. The stage that was to have cushioned her fall moved away. And she pitched into darkness.

She slid down a shaft, crashed into a steel rod and splintered her vertebrae. The audience watched in mute horror as their golden girl was lifted from emptiness and rushed to a military hospital, ambulance sirens screaming.

That’s a switch


Two weeks later, the Games were flagged off in a riot of colours and culture.. without her. Her place was taken by another dancer. Few outside the country knew about the switch.

She spent the next six months in hospital battling darkness and despair. Then, returned home in a wheelchair.. paralysed from the waist down. The doctors had not held out any hope. Her injuries, she’d been told, were too severe. She would never dance again.

Her dream had shattered that balmy, July evening under the arclights.. or had it? Even contemplating a career in TV broadcast, she continues to believe in the impossible. Miracles happen.. may be one day.

PS: This is the true story of Liu Yan, a celebrated Chinese classical dancer, whose act was to have been the
highlight of the Beijing Olympics Games last year.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

Gender equality has improved in India, says new study

PTI, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON MAR 02, 2021 02:17 PM IST
Reduced and flexible schedules, more sabbaticals, and new opportunities to upskill and learn are critical offerings that can help organisations attract, hire, and retain more female talent.
Close
Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan(Instagram/minimathur)
Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan(Instagram/minimathur)

Mini Mathur reveals secret of happy marriage on 23rd anniversary with Kabir Khan

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 28, 2021 02:26 PM IST
  • Mini Mathur shares romantic mushy ‘wild candid’ pictures on 23rd wedding anniversary with Kabir Khan, spills the beans on a long and happy marriage and we are taking notes to amp up our romance game this Sunday
Close
Details of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West's divorce revealed(Instagram/ kimkardashian)
Details of Kim Kardashian, Kanye West's divorce revealed(Instagram/ kimkardashian)

Kim Kardashian sites irreconcilable differences as reason for divorce from Kanye

ANI, Washington
PUBLISHED ON FEB 28, 2021 09:01 AM IST
New details from the divorce of American reality TV star Kim Kardashian and renowned rapper Kanye West have surfaced. The two stars who have been married for almost seven years have a prenup, which will help them avoid a hairy dispute over their massive fortune.
Close
Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar celebrate 7 years of togetherness(Instagram/ankita_earthy)
Milind Soman and Ankita Konwar celebrate 7 years of togetherness(Instagram/ankita_earthy)

Milind Soman and Ankita celebrate seven year anniversary with beautiful pics

By Nishtha Grover, Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2021 02:34 PM IST
  • Ankita Konwar wished husband Milind Soman on their seven year anniversary by sharing beautiful pictures of them together along with a loved-up note.
Close
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)
For those struggling to make peace with a seemingly downgraded version of life, counsellors say it helps to view happiness differently to begin with. See it as an achievable goal you deserve and can work on every day. (HT illustration: Jayachandran)

How pandemic redefined happiness

PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 09:39 PM IST
If you are happy and you know it…it’s probably because the past months have made you re-examine what really brings joy, and what was just superfluous noise
Close
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)
The vote closely followed party lines, with only three Republican lawmakers supporting the bill.(Unsplash)

LGBT+ Americans inch closer to 'freedom' as House passes Equality Act

Reuters, New York
PUBLISHED ON FEB 26, 2021 04:47 PM IST
LGBT+ Americans moved a step closer to winning legal protection from discrimination on Thursday as the U.S. House of Representatives passed a key civil rights bill backed by President Joe Biden.
Close
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)
The Delhi government in response to a similar petition filed earlier has said that there is no provision in the SMA under which two women can be married, and it would be willing to abide by the court's direction.(Pixabay)

Another plea in HC for recognition of same sex marriages

PTI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:16 PM IST
Four more people belonging to the gay and lesbian community urged the Delhi High Court on Thursday to declare that marriages between any two persons irrespective of their sex be solemnised under the Special Marriage Act.
Close
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.
The pawri meme is slowly finding its way to many pawri invites in the Capital.

Pawri Dilli me ho rai hai: Viral meme reference makes it to wedding invites!

By Aprajita Sharad, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 25, 2021 11:52 PM IST
Youngsters in Delhi-NCR are choosing to use viral memes and pandemic references to create informal, fun wedding invites.
Close
Representational Image(Unsplash)
Representational Image(Unsplash)

With LGBT members trapped home, homophobia soared in Israel amid Covid lockdowns

Reuters, London
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 02:02 PM IST
Hatred ruins the lives of thousands of LGBTQs who are asking to live their life with dignity and safety.
Close
Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights(Twitter/G3nderE)
Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights(Twitter/G3nderE)

Pandemic reinforces gender inequality, women have just 76% of men’s legal rights

Bloomberg
UPDATED ON FEB 24, 2021 09:13 AM IST
In its annual report, the World Bank warns of Covid-19 pandemic reinforcing gender inequality in many countries, with women on average having just 76% of men’s legal rights in their economic opportunities like travel, disadvantages in parenting and retirement
Close
Abhinav Shukla and Rubina Dilaik(Instagram)
Abhinav Shukla and Rubina Dilaik(Instagram)

Post Bigg Boss, winner Rubina Dilaik and Abhinav Shukla to renew marriage vows

PTI, Mumbai
PUBLISHED ON FEB 23, 2021 05:16 PM IST
Rubina Dilaik admitted that she and husband Abhinav Shukla were having marital problems, but doing the reality show helped them, saying, "We are going to renew our marriage vows."
Close
Be cautious when entering into a relationship
Be cautious when entering into a relationship

Be cautious when entering into a relationship

By Swati Chaturvedi
PUBLISHED ON FEB 22, 2021 10:48 PM IST
When we go out to meet a partner for a date, the eternal question that goes on in our mind is whether he is into us or not? Age old wisdom believes that one’s behavior is the telltale sign of someone’s true nature and words are fleeting. Actions always speak louder than words.
Close
Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads(Twitter/Complex)
Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads(Twitter/Complex)

Here's what Kourtney Kardashian's love note to boyfriend Travis Barker reads

ANI
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 07:25 PM IST
Less than a week after making their romance official on Instagram, American musician Travis Barker shares a love note he received from girlfriend and reality star Kourtney Kardashian
Close
Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one(Instagram/arjunkapoor)
Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one(Instagram/arjunkapoor)

Arjun Kapoor shares heartwarming takeaways on grieving the loss of a loved one

By Zarafshan Shiraz
UPDATED ON FEB 21, 2021 02:09 PM IST
  • Even after 10 years of losing his mother Mona Shourie Kapoor, Bollywood actor Arjun Kapoor continues to grieve her death like a fresh wound and recently shared a relatable post by a fan page that offers a heartwarming truth of grieving a loved one irrespective of the time. Read on
Close
According to the People magazine, the 'Graveyard' singer, who is expecting her first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, took to her Instagram handle and posted several snapshots which included a sunny bikini baby bump picture.(Instagram )
According to the People magazine, the 'Graveyard' singer, who is expecting her first child with boyfriend Alev Aydin, took to her Instagram handle and posted several snapshots which included a sunny bikini baby bump picture.(Instagram )

Halsey reveals pregnancy has entirely leveled her gender perception

ANI, Washington [us]
PUBLISHED ON FEB 21, 2021 01:35 PM IST
American singer and songwriter, Halsey, who is currently expecting her first child, recently got candid and revealed how pregnancy makes her feel.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP