Thursday, 11 February 2016

Dancing Away The Blues




Attending an Indian Hindu wedding is like being a part of cast of a fully fledged Bollywood blockbuster. The show begins with thumping sound of loud music and ends with baraatis burning the dance floor hot. Who cares for the half bald men with fat tummies doing a belly move on a Katrina Kaif number or the overly dressed aunties (sometimes even more decked up than the bride herself) shaking their booties to a Daler Mehndi Bhangra rap. As long as songs keep playing one after the other, the entire floor…err…. roadside follows the musical command of the band, baja and baraat.

However, when you have a life partner who is not only coy about dancing publicly but is also unfortunately blessed with two left feet, all you are left is to either keep cheering the already half-crazy crowd with your claps or join them all alone while your poor ol’ man stares you from a distance returning unpromising smiles.

Well, by now you may have guessed that the discreditable dancing couple would be ‘us’. And this how our dancing-saga started some fourteen years ago.

While dating each other as fresh and young love-birds, soon to get married, we were offered to participate in a couple dancing contest at the district level. I haven’t still been able to figure out whether it was out of sheer excitement or out of sheer mockery of our inabilities to dance together that few of our seriously- thoughtful friends got our names registered without seeking our prior permission. When the idea was brought before us, we had but two choices. Either quit fearing a face-loss or face ignoring hoots and eggs!!

Attending an Indian Hindu wedding is like being a part of cast of a fully fledged Bollywood blockbuster. The show begins with thumping sound of loud music and ends with baraatis burning the dance floor hot. Who cares for the half bald men with fat tummies doing a belly move on a Katrina Kaif number or the overly dressed aunties (sometimes even more decked up than the bride herself) shaking their booties to a Daler Mehndi Bhangra rap. As long as songs keep playing one after the other, the entire floor…err…. roadside follows the musical command of the band, baja and baraat.

However, when you have a life partner who is not only coy about dancing publicly but is also unfortunately blessed with two left feet, all you are left is to either keep cheering the already half-crazy crowd with your claps or join them all alone while your poor ol’ man stares you from a distance returning unpromising smiles.

Well, by now you may have guessed that the discreditable dancing couple would be ‘us’. And this how our dancing-saga started some fourteen years ago.

While dating each other as fresh and young love-birds, soon to get married, we were offered to participate in a couple dancing contest at the district level. I haven’t still been able to figure out whether it was out of sheer excitement or out of sheer mockery of our inabilities to dance together that few of our seriously- thoughtful friends got our names registered without seeking our prior permission. When the idea was brought before us, we had but two choices. Either quit fearing a face-loss or face ignoring hoots and eggs!!

Without much mulling over, it was obviously was a big ‘No’ from my side until my partner, strangely the weaker of the two dancers, insisted that we take up the challenge. Not just the challenge of dancing but also the challenge to begin doing difficult and funny tasks together. After what he said with a charming smile, one and one was no longer two but eleven!!

As least that is what I’d thought until the time we began rehearsing. Despite meticulous planning, help from a trained jive performer and step-by-step demonstration like kindergartners on the song was “Itna na mujhse tu pyaar badha…” what seemed to turn out was anything but a perfect ballroom happy and boppy dance. Right in the first move trying to swing across, we bumped our heads into each other and in no seconds, he managed to knock me off giving me a swollen lump on my forehead. 

Love-birds don’t quit! Gathering my broken hopes and wearing the madly-in-love gleeful smile back, we continued rehearsing subsequent steps, only to end it up even more grouse. With every heroic knee lift that my man did, he ended up passionately stomping with all his might on my tender feet. The lyrics of the romantic number kept getting punctuated with moans, grumbles and oops-and-ouches!

By now, all my patient nerves were giving away and I couldn’t bear it continuing even few hours longer. Nevertheless, before we would start rehearsing the finale steps, I like a cautious wise girl, forewarned him about the “really serious” implications on our relationship that could follow, thus, dropping a hint for him to catch!

As the music rolled-on, there he moved towards me, in a poised and gentlemanly gait, neatly lifting me up in both his arms, looking right into my eyes, rocking me from one side to other on the beautiful, romantic lyrics of the old world and just when I was ready to tuck myself closer to him, suddenly his grip weakened, he stumbled and dropped me on the floor with a loud thud!!! In a flash of a nanosecond, there I was, the heroine of the show, lying flat on the ground and half-wet having dashed myself on a water jug kept nearby.

Before I could even gather up my lost embarrassment, I saw my partner dropping himself on ground next to me to give company and pouring the remaining water from the jug on himself to match my wet looks. He looked silly but funnily cute trying to make up for the heinous mistake he’d committed.

Our neatly planned out dance act had turned into a crazy fiasco, albeit a delightful one.  All my anger vanished with whoosh and we sat on floor laughing out loud for many cosy minutes, holding hand-in-hand and cracking-up at what had happened. Those few hours of happy moments were worth living a thousand years.

What followed for the next few days were rigorous rehearsals, sequential bumping, stomping and repeated falling down but laughing away our follies in each other’s joyous company. By the end of the week, we had prepared before us an imperfect but effortless ballroom dance. It may be called nothing if compared to the skills of dancing but an amazing experience of a free-spirited and doppy couple ready to take the world in their jumping shoes.

Unfortunately, the dancing contest was called off by the Organizers at the eleventh hour, thus, bringing our short stint to dancing at an abrupt end.

However, life had something even more beautiful in store for us. We got married soon after and for fourteen consecutive years down the line, we would jump in to be a part of dance in any and every of the cultural functions in our family or friend circle. Our close few know about the ‘few’ amateur steps that we’d together picked years ago and would not leave a stone unturned to rope us in.

Last night, when we were impromptu dragged on to a Wedding Sangeet stage by a distant relative, we unhesitatingly donned the floor with our half-forgotten jive moves, sometimes bumping and sometimes stomping but all in good taste. Burning the floor hot with dance is now just a matter of little laughter and of lots of love!

Difficult times, TV jokes, magazine clippings, social gossips or even routine arguments, it’s comforting to know that we can stay unpretentiously silly and happily maladjusted to each other’s weakness.

We learnt to dance like nobody’s watching and laugh like nobody’s holding!



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[This post is a part of #LoveAndLaughter activity at BlogAdda in association with Caratlane.]

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