Shiamak Davar is a hugely successful and spiritual person. And he attributes it all to the wisdom he received through the book, The Laws of The Spirit World, which is an account of the communication Khorsheed Bhavnagari had with her deceased sons Vispi and Ratoo through automatic writing…
When did you first realise that dance is what you want to do?
I never knew. I was always a signer-actor. I used to live out whole movie scripts in the living room of my house. I would open the curtains, play the piano and sing to entertain my family. All my life I knew would be a singer-actor, because that’s what I did. I never danced, really; I was never interested. In school, I used to do theatre and win all the singing competitions. Then Alyque Padamsee picked me up for Evita after he saw me in a musical called Greece. Then I did a cabaret, worked with Karla Singh. I was doing a lot of theatre at the time.
So when did dance happen?
I went to London for my acting and singing workshops. Once when I was passing by the Pineapple Dance studio in London, what I saw through the glass walls interested me. So I enrolled. In my first class itself, the teacher said to me that I was very talented. She said that I danced like I was trained and that I should develop this art. So I decided to try it for fun. Over the course of my training, I realised that dance was coming to me naturally. But, I still wanted to go abroad and become a singer and actor.
How did you finally make the decision?
During this whole process, my spiritual guides Khorsheed aunty and her son, Vispi were always there by me. I used to tell them that I didn’t want to dance or become a “dance master” as they are called in Hindi films. They explained to me that everything happens at the right time and that I needed to go step-by-step. Finally, at the age of 24, I acted on their advice. I started my dance classes with just seven students.
Were your parents supportive?
They were fantastic. They just said, “Finish your education and then do whatever you want.”
How was it back then, to become a dance trainer?
It was a humiliating experience because everyone made fun of me. They used to say things like ‘dancing is effeminate’ and ‘only pansies dance, boys don’t’. They called me all sorts of names. Even girls hesitated to join my class as dancing wasn’t considered “nice” 25 years ago.
During your difficult times, what made you stick to your decision?
The knowledge I received from The Laws of the Spirit World and the love that Khorsheed aunty and her son Vispi gave me all the time in their messages to me through automatic writing. It was a horrible time but through the pain, I realised that there was a strong hand over my head that always pulled me up when I was low. Some voice would whisper to me saying, ‘Stop being stupid, don’t be insecure. Go ahead, do what you’re doing.’ Because, I was doing the right thing!
A lesson that you learnt from this experience that you’d like to share…
Have faith in yourself and let the world say what it wants; you are doing the right thing. If it’s good for you, and you know you are good at it, you should go ahead provided you are not hurting anybody in the process. But if you know that you are not great at something, don’t push it, because you’re being stupid. You should know your limitations and go with your strengths.
Would you say that dance is spiritual?
Of course, dance is spiritual because you don’t dance with your body alone. You dance with your spirit too. And if your spirit is dead, your body usually follows. There has to be a connection between dance and spirituality. Both dance and spirituality are about energy in motion.
Where do you find true fulfilment—in singing, acting or dancing?
I am a singer-actor first and then a dancer-choreographer, a fact only I know. That’s the only discontentment in life. But my guides have proved to me that everything happens in its own time. Because, if I get something before time, it would probably be at the cost of falling down spiritually—something I would never want.
So you are prepared to wait for it?
I don’t care. I will always wait for it. I don’t want to do anything that is wrong because I know here [on Earth] is a very temporary phase, and there [the other world] it is more eternal happiness. I don’t want to mess it up here.
What are your strongest beliefs?
Patience and faith are most important. I believe that whatever you do—even the smallest bad—will come back to you. My philosophy is ‘balance’. You can have or do everything, as long as it’s in moderation. If you overdo it, you’ll be unhappy. Take the middle path. Also, I can’t stand injustice.
I like to work hard and party hard. And for me, partying is not about pubs, discos or nightclubs—it’s about going out with close friends.
What’s most important to you in life?
Contentment. Our job in life is to learn to be content with who we are, what you are and what we have. Because if you are not content, you’ll be always searching, always wanting… your greed becomes even worse. Human beings are greedy; we always want more. But that’s not the only thing we’re here for.
So, what are ‘you’ here for?
My work is to spread knowledge about the book, spread awareness about God’s laws and help people with small acts of kindness. It’s not always doing the big things—small acts of kindness also matter equally. Giving time for someone, being there for someone, caring for someone is good karma. Doing simple things like these is true spirituality.
Is there one particular spiritual entity you believe in?
Shirdi Saibaba is someone I believe in crazily. Actually, I’m in love with all—Jesus, Mary, Ganpati. I feel they are all spokes of a wheel that come to one centre. All roads eventually lead to one God.
What do you do to lift yourself when you’re feeling down?
I pray. That cleans my aura, it gives me strength. Prayer is food for your soul. It gives you a positive mind. I feel low often because of the industry I work in and the kind of people I deal with. Prayer and automatic writing are like my spiritual cleansers.
Yes. Dance is physical, spiritual, mental, emotional—it is everything. Our lives are also like that. We are made up of energy. Our body, our thoughts… everything is energy. Thoughts have power and if they are negative, they affect you. For instance, some people have the best diets, the best fitness regime, but end up with cancer, why? Because their thoughts are negative. Cancer is really cancer of the soul; it has nothing to do with the physical body. Observe carefully and you’ll see that if you’re angry, immediately you get a headache. If you are unable to deal with some problem, your digestion suffers. If you’re under pressure of responsibility, you experience shoulder pain. Everything physical has a spiritual connotation too and vice versa.
What role does dance play in our pursuit of complete wellbeing?
Dance is not something you do just with your body; it’s a manifestation of something spiritual. When you dance, something beautiful happens within you. Also, in dancing, you use physical energy—you move, you jump, you sweat and you feel good. And sweating cleanses you of toxins. In fact, dancing cleanses you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Can you give an example of the positive effect of dance on the mind?
A few students who had been failing in their academics started doing so well that they scored first class after learning dance!
How did that happen?
Well, I reckon it’s because of the intense physical activity they are subject to. They come here, practice, participate in competitions and so on. The blood supply to their brain improves, their overall blood circulation improves, and they feel confident performing on stage.
What is your advice to our readers?
If you really want freedom, learn to be completely content as you are. I’m not saying don’t be ambitious. All I’m saying is stop complaining.
There’s always someone better than you. So quit wanting to be the best. Be you. Don’t try and change for the world, because nobody cares. Change for somebody up there and for yourself. That way you can live a life of complete fulfilment. And yes, don’t forget to look after your body.
Everything. You can have everything in the world—success, fame, fortune but if you don’t have good health, you’re done in.
Undiscovered science. He is a great mathematician, and a great scientist. Only we never discovered. We look for him everywhere, but inside, where he resides.
Your relationship with God…
I think of him as my friend. I just have love for Him. I am like a spoilt brat with Him. I want everything from Him. I am not God-fearing, I am God -loving. I don’t believe in God-fearers. Why should you fear God? He is not a crazy, he is so beautiful. I don’t believe in blaming God for anything.
When things don’t go your way, you blame…
Myself, because we are responsible for everything that happens to us. You got karma coming for you. You hurt someone, you are going to pay.
You find solace in…
Dance. More than dancing, singing or listening to good music. But the main thing is automatic writing. I used to get courage/solace from that and still do.
Automatic writing is…
Similar to channelling. I’m just the telephone instrument, the caller and the receiver—the person who is asking and the person who is talking are different.
You are closest to…
My family—mom, dad, grandmother—Hunterwali Nadia and a few friends. The Bhavnagaris, who are my gurus. They became like my grandparents. I would talk to them for hours. I love them.
My father; he was a good man.
You get your energy from…
My spiritual guides and God. Without Him there is nothing and with Him there’s everything. I attribute every breath to Him.
If you go through your tests and training properly and through your destiny smiling, something happens that gives you strength. Hard work will help you better your karma.
A philosophy that drives you...
Whatever you do you, do it with selfless intention, otherwise it’s of no use; don’t do it. Humility is very important to me. I can’t stand people who are proud.
This was first published in the September 2009 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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