Sunday, October 21, 2007



It’s over! Phew! The veritable orgy, the assault of the eardrums, the swirl of colors, swirling dervishes, the imitation of Bollywood’s dance moves, the pulsating beats of the drums, the off-key singing of cinema hits, the sweating housewives enjoying their once-yearly opportunity to shake their legs and derrieres.

The nine days of navratri leading to Dussehra (which is today) is over, and so is the dancing that goes for garba these days. Garba as seen in my childhood in Chembur was a lot different. It was danced by women in a circle around a ceremonial pot, the women performing the dance steps with a gentle and graceful movement of their bodies, singing, “Rang tali rang, tali rang, tali re rang ma, rang tali,” (at, least that’s what I remember) quite a treat to watch. But these days it’s more of break- and disco-dancing than anything else.

Times were when I used to take Ronnie in my hands to give him a better view of the dancers in Sector 6 of CBD Belapur. But now, he is a big boy and is in the crowd somewhere, dancing, having fun, I think, as I wait on the outskirts with wifey. We are not able to see anything in the sea of bobbing heads and sticks held aloft. The music is too loud, the lights too strong, so we decide to leave. The concept of having fun, too, has changed. It’s all loudness in music, in dress, and talk, I think as we walk back to our flat.

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