Jul 31 2018. view 214
In that first devastation of Imran's passing, one of his closest friends said, if there was one thing she had learnt in the years she had been a part of ImzyS, was that the dance loft wasn't one particular place.
In the gathering at Independence Square, on the 24th, if there was one thing we all witnessed, it was that MB Imran wasn't just one particular person either.
Imran had an incredible ability to build connections with each and every individual, group, child and adult that happened to come his way. It made him an exceptional teacher, instructor, motivator and guru. He knew his students, inside out, as indeed, he seemed to know everyone. And in that knowledge lies the reason that so many danced on a lawn, in front of all and sundry, on a perfect July evening.
The songs were well chosen: a new and upbeat song that testified to a legacy that would continue; an old favourite, well-worn and well-known; and a finale that epitomised the fact that to many, he was their 'hero'.
It was a display of dedication. For many had turned up for practices in the preceding weeks. And those who could not, practiced to a video so that they could take part. This was apart from the very many who turned up in support and those who provided assistance with logistics. One student even flew down from Singapore, just to be there for 7 minutes and 31 seconds.
For that was how important and how central dance, the loft and Imran was and is to this motley and illustrious crew's life. Motley because only in that unique class could one hope to find, in one place, people from such varied backgrounds, professions, communities and indeed, from all walks of life. Illustrious because, well, in that anonymity of unity, there were names known as well as unknown.
If Bollywood is international, so is ImzyS, for the students are from many different countries, although their rhythm is the same; and if dance is universal, so is ImzyS, for whatever corner of the earth we may have come from, the spirit is the same.
The tribute was a fusion in so many ways. Not just of dance, but of friends and family; of love and grief; of support and acceptance. Like the coloured balloons that blended so well with the evening sky; this performance brought everyone together - united in tribute.
Why this date? Because it is Imran's birthday. A day to celebrate for all who gathered there; and a fitting day to remember an individual who had made a difference in a thousand and one lives. Through dance, through charity, through friendship and through his genuine joy in his fellow human beings; Imran was indeed the instigator of a thousand journeys.
A traveler himself, a #touristintransit, as his Instagram was called, Imran not only explored the many wonders of the world; he was also in the business of enabling others to travel. His Travel Tales by Imz, fused music with destinations; and his ability as a photographer captured all the nuances of life in faraway places.
But more than those physical journeys, 24th Tuesday was a celebration of the internal journey he had guided the dancers on that lawn on. Journeys of self-discovery; journeys of self-acceptance; and journeys that culminated in the celebration of who we are as individuals and what we are too, whatever that may be.
In the loss of inhibition that was part of dance, for most of his students, there was also a new found self-confidence in the ability to move in new, unexpected and quite entertaining ways. A legacy that will remain with us through life.
On the 10th of June, an important light in our lives may have dimmed, but the flash mob on the 24th of July is testimony to the truth that the light will not die out. Indeed, it will not be allowed to die out. Imran's young and dedicated team of dancers and his dedicated and (perhaps not so young!) students will ensure that the glow remains and spreads to new lives in new places. And that there will be many more journeys that first began with the beat of that loving and indomitable heart.
By: M. Tennekoon