Jalsa , Mumbai Jan 14, 2012 Sat 11 : 46 PM
Try to compose a few words listening to music .. impossible ! Listen to the music or write, those are the options. So off with the music ! Ah !! Thats much better. Mind works better, thoughts keep pouring out, literature flows, philosophy at its best … rubbish ! Not a word that makes any sense gets punched. But .. lovely to be talking about it, don’t you think ? Yes ! I think its right .. funny that I should ask the question and give the reply too .. but really, that is what we do in our daily lives do we not ? Of course we do – we speak to ourselves often enough and give the answers too. Mostly that which we want to hear and not the ones suggested by others. A fair assessment and one that requires no great detail in understanding … so let it be let it be .. a la Beatles … now why on earth did they come into this. Ok .. now that they have, we shall indulge !!
This generation may not value them as much as we did, but they were and still are the ultimate !! And what a craze and following and madness about them – the hair, the music, the songs, their lives, their LP’s – LP’s were the modern day CD’s of Mp3′s or whatever other format exists on music listening today, everything about them was nothing short of being godly !!
In those early days of Kolkata, when they were emerging the giants that they were, the rush to get the LP’s of their latest, a rarity because they were not as freely available as music is now. You waited for that odd chance of a friend travelling to London, a rarity by itself, and then after a long and tedious gap to acquire the sound that has been heard perhaps on radio, or at a frequently travelled friends place.
The changes in the dance form on the floor or at that club, where the traditional ball room or at the very most the cha cha were predominant, an invasion of a movement where there was no body contact, no control on how the body ‘shook’, so long as it shook, or was it the ‘shake’ that was popular, you were considered with it. When a few of those England returns performed it first time, we all laughed and ridiculed this 440 volt affected human. But soon it lent weight and company and momentum, so that even after some 50 years, there is still no body contact, no idea where your partner is, or whether you did have one. Independence ! That would describe this art form somewhat acutely. Independent in its execution. Independent in its movement. Independent from all the written books and the learning of steps for the fox trot, the waltz, tango and Charlton … nothing required now … simply feel it and give in to the involuntary movement of the limbs. In todays club world dancing you could well be in the confines of a gymnasium and it would not matter ..
But the romance and the effect of the touch and feel of ball room dancing has vanished. There was a certain decorum in it. The getting up and asking the lady for the dance, the position of statured elegance as you stretched your hands to gently allow the lady to rest hers on yours. The firm yet gentle guidance that one conducted by the other hand on her waist, moving and controlling her composure as it were. Those piercing looks as you held her and talked of the weather and everything else under the sun, as you avoided stamping her elegant dress by your out of rhythm feet, her hand gently resting on your shoulder – a picture of support to the woman in your arms. A gesture of care and protection !! All gone now !! Your protection these days is from the waving and pumping of the hands and feet of your neighbor on the floor. Not your partner whom you had initially asked, but your neighbor !!It is rather ridiculous but such fun .. do you not think ?? Thank you for confirming my ideology !!
And as I press ‘return’ to change lanes, I find myself drifting away towards the bed, waltz like and into slumber !
Good night dear ones .. dancing tonight in your dreams … !!
ps: Barun and family of the Ef meeting up .. a joy to be acquainted with his daughter Megna and son Rion !!