Let's Dance is a tale of a dancer and choreographer played by newcomer Gayatri Patel, struggling to get her one big break. When she finally taste success, it feels too good to be true. And it is - until she gets a new dream fuelled by the exuberant energy of a group of street kids who bring her back to the sheer joy of letting it all out on the dance floor. The movie consists of six songs in different moods composed by music director Bipin Mishra, with majority of songs being complete dance numbers. Since dance is a vital element in the movie, dances are by choreographed Saroj Khan, Pappu- Malu and Rajiv Goswami.That story doesn't mean much to most people, but it means a lot to me.
Because "newcomer Gayatri Patel" is a longtime friend of mine!!! I've known her since I was in elementary school. I think we're related in some convoluted manner that may cross bloodlines at some point (such that she ends up being...my aunt, somehow?), but our families have been good friends for years. We would visit them in Opelika, Alabama, frequently, and they visited us in Texas as well. We had so much fun growing up, playing all sorts of games. She was about my age, her sister was about my brother's age, and her brother was about my sister's age. So we had a lot of good times together. I wish I had written them down at the time so the memories would have been preserved.
Throughout her life, she said her goal was to become a Bollywood film star. Her parents supported her dream, and I saw her perform many dances at her house, at wedding receptions, at functions, wherever. I think she took acting classes. She went to India for a year or so to become fluent in Hindi. The last I had heard, she was trying to snag or had snagged some gigs as a background dancer.
But now she's the star of a Bollywood film! After all these years, her dream is becoming a reality! I'm pretty certain her dad is producing the film (I told you they supported her), but everyone needs an in somehow. However the movie gets made, it's getting made, and the fact that she's being referred to as "newcomer" makes it sound like she's poised for stardom, on the verge of breaking out, ready to take home the MTV India Best Newcomer Award.
The last time I saw her was New Year's Eve 2002, the first time I spent NYE away from my family (she took me to a New Year's Eve party held by friends of hers at Emory). At that time, we hadn't seen each other in a while since we'd gone off to college (I was a senior; she was a sophomore). Now, it's been five whole years; it's sad how we lose track of people so easily. But I just found her on Facebook, which is kind of scary awesome for finding people from your past, and I sent her a congratulatory message.
In all those years, I never doubted this moment would come. She was so determined, and she had the talent to back it up. How many kids say they want to be a movie star when they grow up? Gayatri went out and made it happen.