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Dancing had been Madhavi’s life. She has been taking barathanatyam, an Indian classical dance since she was five years old. Her dance teacher was the famous dancer Mrs Sheila Devi. It has been thirteen years since then. She was in her school’s dancing team and had already represented the school in about eighty-nine national competitions.

Her parents wanted to send her to India to further study the art of classical dance because that was where barathanatyam came from but Madhavi wanted to complete her studies in Singapore. Her mother Mrs Leshmi, forty-four years of age, was an excellent dancer at her schooling years so Madhavi is followed her mother’s footstep.

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The national Asian dancing competition was coming soon and Madhavi was extremely well prepared for it. The competition was just three months away. All her schoolteachers were very proud that their student was representing their country. She would always stay up late in the school dance studios to practise her dance, which was called “COME MY LOVELY BIRDS”. All her classmates thought that she was just stressing herself as to them, her dance item for the competition seemed very perfect.

There was a whole stretch of mirrors in the dance studio that could total up to about ten. She would dance and dance until she has felt the rhythm and how she expressed herself to her hearts content.

Madhavi would only leave the studio at about nine o’ clock at the night which was quite usual for her. The school would be very lonely and dingy at that time and there would not be many people around but that did not bother Madhavi as she did not believe in ghosts.

There was a time when she came back during the June school holidays to rehearse her famous dance and something horrid and scary happened that made her never wanting to stay back late in that school in her life ever again.

As usual she was practising her dance and looking into the mirror to see if she was making any silly mistakes. It was then that something scary caught her eye. She was able to see something at the very end of her pretty eye. Fatigue can make a person hallucinate. She thought that she was imagining things, as she was extremely tired that night. She shut her eyes and opened them slowly again fearing that the image was still standing there. But the image was still standing there gazing.

She was too scared to look up into the mirror to see what it was. “What could it be or who could it be?” she asked herself. Plucking up her courage she looked up very slowly.

All she saw was another spitting image of her dancing the same way she did, not one bit different. It was she. She was dancing in the mirror. “But how could it be?” not knowing what to do she then turned around for the second time but GUESS WHAT? There was no one standing there anymore. “What a surprise” she thought to herself.

The room felt cold and eerie. She felt numb because she could not even open her mouth to scream or move her dainty pair of legs. No one was in the room, but the image of her was dancing beautifully in the large shiny mirror.

“Can someone come to my rescue please?” she thought to herself.

She did not know as to how she did it, but she just dashed out of the scary place as fast as lightning. She was able to move and ran screaming. The night security guard who heard her ‘loud’ screams came running to help her. After listening to her story, he advised her not to stay up late in school ever again. He told her about some sightings he had seen recently in the school. He after a while said’ “I do not want to frighten you, but this school was built on dirty swamps and a girl your age got her head crushed in an accident ten years ago!” Madhavi felt her spine chilling but she wondered how to go back to her home sweet home.

The night security guard introduced himself as Muthu and went in to the studio and took her and gave it back to her.

“Thank you Mr Muthu,” said Madhavi and rushed out without even turning back.

“Do not tell anyone, they might try to ridicule you. Finish the National Asian dancing competition and then maybe tell.”

“Thanks Mr Muthu,” Madhavi rushed home

Henceforth, whenever she had to practise her dance she would ask three of her friends to accompany her. Nothing ‘scary’ happened after that incident. But that was enough to keep her on her tipsy toes. Anyway she got the first prize which was a ballerina mounted on a silver plated stand in the dancing competition. All her hard gruelling work paid off even with the surprise visit from her ‘twin’.

Only one single thing bothered her. Her friends did not believe her story even though they followed her to her practise sessions at the school dance studio. She searched for Mr Muthu, the night security guard but she was given a sad news- the school does not have an Indian security guard, now or ever. Every single of her friends had no idea who she was talking about. Was it her imagination? She did not know.

All she wanted to do was get out of the school. A few months later she was transferred to Pamela’s Methodist College.

As for her occupation, she became a very good dancer, a very good dancer indeed. She was recognised worldwide for her dancing talents, especially for classical Indian dancing. When she got married she had a baby son. She made her son Master Jay become an excellent dancer. She proved that dancing was not only meant for women, men could also be dancers. Her son master Jay won more trophies than his mom that made her very proud. Her generation just seemed to be the Indian Classical dancing family. If you drop by Madhavi’s house you may see a trophy that says nineteen eighty-eight dancing competition which I gave to her.

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Kylie Garcia

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