Ah the month of Valentine is here. It also happens to be husband’s birthday in few weeks. So, today’s post shall be in his honor. You are welcome dear *wink*
People say art imitates life. Creative medium is often a reflection of our society and the times we live in. Sometimes that theory takes a deviation from reality, like in few of our Bollywood movies. Few weeks back we were watching a Bollywood movie from the 90s, which had some bizarre twists, inappropriate humor, implausible plot line and signature song and dance. Your typical masala movie. The kind that we loved in our younger days.
However, with adulthood comes maturity and logical reasoning, that makes us question our prior cinematic taste. And so, I remarked at the scene in which two men tried to win a girl over, through dance. Now don’t be confused, this was no ordinary dance off. No sir! We go beyond that. We have two older gentlemen gyrating, with background dancers, lip-syncing clever lyrics, to display their superiority over each other and doing their dashing best to impress the heroine they met 5 minutes back. All it takes is a foot thumping choreographed dance item for the lady to pick the most eligible man for her, for life. Now you see why the elders in the family preferred not to let youngsters take major life decisions themselves.
“These movies are so far fetched. Who dances like this to impress girls?“
“Well, you never know… maybe young boys do..” replied husband.
“Hmm… what do you mean?“
“When I was in school, I remember my friend suggesting something on those lines and we danced…“
Wait what??? I didn’t hear the rest of the sentence.
*I was shocked*
My reaction may seem as an exaggeration. But we are talking about a man, who refused to dance on our first visit to a club ever (on our first holiday). I remember him standing in the middle of the dance floor with a drink in his hand while I danced around him.. just like a planet revolves around the sun (If you think that’s lame, wait till you read further). So imagine my bewilderment, as I reminisce about this comical footloose – solar system situation and try to process the latest information he reveals.
My husband and his friend Vai had a crush on a sweet, pretty girl in school and wanted to impress her. The problem was there were many suitors and they needed to do something extra and make a lasting impression. Vai being slightly more flamboyant, suggested they exhibit their talent and do something which took everybody by surprise. Husband eagerly agreed. He thought to himself, it was about time he stepped outside his comfort zone and took risks. Vai thought for sometime and came up with the ingenious idea of dancing. He even decided on two themes, so that there was no overlap of steps. Vai picked break dance for himself and assigned robot dance to husband. Husband rethought his risk taking strategy from earlier. He suggested a slightly less exciting route. But Vai was convinced, that a well choreographed dance would appeal to all senses and demonstrate their skills, confidence and natural aptitude. Being a good friend that he was, Vai also choreographed the steps for my husband (who has two left feet).
The next day, the two boys went to school with an air of confidence. They had probably practiced all night. During lunch break, they requested the object of their desire to meet them to witness their talent. She came; along with her friends, who got along many more friends. Our young heroes broke into their dance routines. They danced with such sincerity, oblivious to laughter all around or the poor girl’s embarrassment. In fact my husband was scared, if he stopped, Vai would thrash him for not following though with the plan, especially after he spent so much time and effort on choreography.
This mental image is going to stay with me for a long time. By the time husband finished narrating this story, I was in splits.
It also made me realize dance and drama is a big part of our lives. Even those who don’t have a penchant for it, seem to have a story to share from their past. Movies played a significant role in our young lives. The larger than life picture, escape from everyday reality to a different dream world with the ability to get lost in the make believe fantasy, fueled our imagination and led us on many exciting journeys. Where else can you find a song for every possible occasion you can think of? Weddings, heartbreaks, eve-teasing, baby shower, prayer meet, annual day, patriotism, crop harvest… you name it, and we have got you covered.
Our lives may have been simpler back then, without gadgets, gizmos, free internet and other tools easily available in the modern world. Yet, there was plenty to keep us entertained and enjoy our little lives. Friendship, cinema, dreams would be my top picks for fun and escape. These may continually evolve, but I’m glad the memories still make me smile.
P.S. Oh, in case someone is wondering what happened at the end of the breakdance/robot performance and who did the girl pick? The answer is nobody! She was mortified. The boys had the audacity to ask her to name the “winner”, and she shouted NOBODY and walked away in anger. The boys were sad, but they got over it soon. I think they may have said something filmy on the lines, “Picture abhi baaki hai mere dost!” (The movie is not over yet, my friend! – life goes on).