The 55 year old man, who looked like 30!

For the uninitiated, I work on the fringes of the entertainment industry and I often get those occasional brushes with people from the "industry". Today, while working on a presentation for a client, I met this 55 year old man who looked not a day older than 30. He had skin as taut as a bow loaded with arrow ready to fire, back at a perfect 90 degree angle to floor and a head full of hair as black as a swan coal. He started talking about what all could we do for a client and he recommended Bhangra amongst other things. He did push for Bhangra as an option because apparently he has been practicing and teaching it for over 30 years (this is when I asked him about his age!). Anyway, at that time I dismissed it as yet another suggestion and got busy with yet another gossip session in office.

Later in the evening while I was writing the actual presentation, I was looking for videos from his recommendations. And I stumbled on to this.

And I was swept off my feet chair. I mean I have seen men perform Bhangra and people dance away in those wedding processions on the road but this is nothing like I have ever seen. I mean this comes close but the Bhangra Empire vid blew me away. I could not, in my wildest dream, imagine that Bhangra could be an art form and could be performed on the stage.

For me Bhangra was limited to throwing your legs and arms out, with as much fervor as you could and and as far as you could and then keep flinging em over and over again, till you either hit someone or you get tired. At least thats what my limited experience with it tells me. I think I'd throw in some disclaimers here. Dancing and I are like two poles. Each knows that the other exists and publicly acknowledges the presence of other and yet maintain the distance. I do trip on music all the time but dance and me are like enemies. I cant dance to save my life. But on rare occasions when I do am forced to dance, I look like a chicken with both legs tied, to the neck!

Of course I have known quite a few awesome dancers over the course of this long life that I have spent wasted but dont think any of em knew Bhangra. And like I do with most things, stereotyping tells me that since I havent had a lot of Sikh friends, I dont know any great Bhangra dancers. Oh btw, now that I am talking of Sikhs, I have this secret whim that if I was the kinds to adopt a religion, it would be Sikhism. Love their ethos, culture and history. There's more but I dont think I am qualified to talk about religion and philosophy and thus I shall put a break on this bit. But let me talk about Bhangra and my new found obsession with it.

So Bhangra is like a free flow movement of the entire body, synced with really peppy and upbeat music, mostly from percussion and wind instruments. When done well, there is this rhythm to the movements and you can see that the dancer is in sync with music. The dancer must feel one with it. It looks like a karmic dance where movements, body, the music, the beats, the musicians, the dancers all become one. It is where the world converges. The feet probably move on their own with the music. The dancer wont even be controlling the movements and yet it falls at the right place at the right time with the right beat! Its probably the fastest way to get in the zone. The dancers look as if they're in trance. The kinds induced when you are happy and you're living in the moment with no worries of the past or the present! Oh, and it looks like a fun way to lose weight.

Wait a minute. Did I say, lose weight? This is interesting. May be, just may be, Bhangra is the answer to my weight loss drama. I have tried a wide assortment of things and it would not harm to throw in some Bhangra in it. And I think Mumbai, being such a big hub for Sikhs, is bound to have some dance schools that teach Bhangra. However, I want to understand that if I can actually make a serious attempt at it, at my age. I mean this is when the bones start disintegrating and the fiber and muscles start losing their volume. Will it be safe? There are no definite answers but I think dance is one of those things that are worth risking everything you have.

Need to add this to my todo list for the year. As soon as Evernote resets my upload limit for the month. Its the worst thing that can happen to an ardent Evernote user. In the meanwhile I shall start hunting for some Bhangra schools in Mumbai. You know some? Please let me know. Or may be I can try and ask the 55 year old man, who looked like 30!

P.S.: Like I said yesterday, I have changed the look and feel of the blog. The basic structure remains the same but the new theme has lot more white space and smaller fonts for readability. It also has a larger text area for text. The menus are small. I dont like the header and the descriptor. I want to work on it. Wish I could design and blogger allowed n00bs like me to adapt a new design.

But I shall live with this for a few days. If I feel good, I'd keep it. If I dont, I would probably port to a tumblr or a wordpress. I'd feel bad about it - I have been writing on blogger for almost ten years now. And wondering, how long you've been reading my blog?

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