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    Mar 2008

    Arrow My worst nightmare come true on stage

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    My worst nightmare come true on stage
    By Subhash K Jha

    Though every attempt was made to keep the near-calamity a secret, Harman Baweja had a serious accident just hours before his first stage performance last week.

    While rehearsing back stage in Bangkok Harman's worst nightmare came true. He slipped and fell. Harman's entire right leg got stuck in an awkward and twisted position.

    Recalling the incident with a shudder Harman says, "This was my worst nightmare come true. I had always imagined what it would be like if I got injured just before a performance. But my first performance?! Come on, have mercy."

    Harman's first reaction was panic. "I felt something had definitely broken. My instant reaction was, 'Oh God, I won't be able to go on stage. What would people say? They'd think I chickened out.' There was no way I was going to pull out. That was my thought as I pulled my leg out."

    On seeing the leg black bruised and swollen Harman knew his worst fears had come true. "I sat staring at my leg and so did everyone else. What now?

    That was everyone's thoughts as para-medics rushed in with bags full of medicine. I was in acute pain. The first thing I did was to have the painkiller which I had brought from Mumbai. I never travel without those. I don't trust the medicines in foreigh countries. But that wasn't enough."

    At this point in the behind-the-scene action magic happened. "A para-medic took out a spray and before I could protest, sprayed my leg profusely. The pain was gone!!

    My next question to the medicos was, if I dance would it injure my knee permanently? No way was I going on stage if I was going to have a troubled knee for the rest of my life.

    I was told that if I don't dance my leg would heal in two weeks and if I do dance it'd heal in a month. So I went on stage per schedule with a plain-clothed para-medic standing out of stage range, just in case."

    Fortunately for Harman his performance went like a dream. "But after the accident my woes were not over. Minutes before I went on stage the button on my trousers broke.

    I quickly asked Priyanka's designer Gavin to sew it back. But it didn't hold. So I grabbed someone's belt and just stuck it on. By then I was determined to dance, no matter what."

    Did the bad leg force the newcomer to change/slow his rehearsed steps?

    "Only once, just once I stopped for a second when I wasn't supposed to. No one noticed. I danced to the best of my abilities. The response was overwhelming. But I'll never forget my first stage performance. Hopefully the ones to follow will be be smoother."

    At the moment Harman is limping around with a leg-aid for his injured knee and thigh. "Not quite feeling like a war hero. But not feeling sorry for myself either."



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