Re-discovering The Joy

So I discovered this lane near my house (It takes me a bus to go there) where I can do Garba. A series of low cost row houses dot either side of the lane. The Garba is not done in a circle, but in a straight line and then you turn over and dance in a straight line again.

They have blocked both the entrances of the road and then do Garba on the road in the lane. No fancy stuff. They have chairs on either side to maintain the line. No live orchestra or DJ. Just a music player playing traditional garba and at times some old bollywood music remixed with garba beats.

No one, except really small girls wear chaniya choli. Its jeans, t shirts, kurtas, sarees, and frocks with adorn the dancing people. There are boys, there are old uncles, there are old aunties, there are young girls, there are tweens, there are teens, there are college people, there are young mothers like me, there are really young kids like R. All dance the same traditional step, in line. Some teenagers experiment, variation to keep the same beat, but a flick of hand there, or the thumka of a hip here. But the basic four step remains.

Then there are guys, young fellows, college students, I am sure, who maintain the line. Ensure no one comes from one side to another, ensure that there is a straight line maintained. Look after young kids and keep an eye for trouble, since its not a paid event. Yesterday, I saw this group of guys (young folks) ogling at the girls and then one of them moved really near to a group.

Immediately two volunteers came and said ‘back off’ in firm but polite marathi. The message was subtle but effective. No one bated an eyelid. The dancers continued. The boys moved back and it was fine.I loved the way it was handled without drama.

And then there are young kids who dance to their own tunes and own steps, the brat included. Just clapping, and walking but soaking in the atmosphere. There is a kind of spirituality I have always associated with dancing. I just feel connected to the superior being when I dance. And it can be any dance, whether bollywood, bharatnatyam or tradition. It feels me a feeling of happiness which I cant describe.

No matter, how exhausted I am with the travel, the work, the house work, and everything, going there gives me a feeling of happiness.

And when you see loads of people, dancing to the same song with the same bhakti bhav on their faces, enjoying themselves, smiling, laughing, singing, it gives such a wonderful feeling that I am finding it hard to get the right words to describe the atmosphere.

The atmosphere there is spiritual, its fun, its lively, its bhakti filled, its enthusiastic, its simply difficult to describe.

Some stuff over the past three days

1. I have become pied piper for two days. I join in, and then R dances (walks) behind me, clapping her hands and then there is this bunch of kids who join along. Day before yesterday, I realised they were imitating me. I stop, they stop. I dance they dance. It was fun 🙂

2. The older generation. I swear, I swear, they are the most graceful dancers ever. They enjoy, they have fun and they dance like a dream. no fancy steps like the young. Just doing the same step over and over again, but oh God,what grace!

3.RD picked R and me up on Tuesday. (We usually dance between 9 and 9.30 since its school night and I dont want R to get too tired, we take about 3 rounds its good enough!)

In the car he asked me

RM, whom were you smiling at, while dancing?

RM: smiling, no, no one, I dont know anyone there rey

RD: But you were smiling all the time you were dancing

RM: Of course not, kuch bhi eh?

R said No Amma, you always are smiling doing Garba, I saw it, and even I thought why you smiling 🙂

So there folks, I am so happy to be doing Garba, that I just keep smiling all the time 🙂

Hope the rest of the days, I can go as well.


About R's Mom

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38 Responses to Re-discovering The Joy

  1. Shweta says:

    I love garba too…. I have a great deal of public fear and crowd makes me claustrophobic and paranoid, both! But garba simply makes me forget other people around and I am on my own world!!! Dog tired after office, house work and local travelling, reaching the venue just an hour before shut down and dancing without warming up… yet Pure Pleasure!!!

    These 9 days..the world is forgotten!

    BTW, I also got the point of things being handled without drama. Just commented on the garba part because got carried off! LOL…

  2. Zephyr says:

    That is spirituality, RM — sans the commercialism, the showbaazi, the loud music and fancy steps. That is the way garba was designed to be danced, and has been danced for ages. Loved this post. Hugs to you.

  3. Tharani says:

    This is such a beautiful post RM. I Just wish to see you dancing with that smile on your face. So happy for you!

  4. Ramya says:

    Its a oh so nice feeling reading about dance and the inner happiness it gives 🙂 Though I havent danced garba and dont even know it, having learnt Bharatnatyam I can relate to the thirst. Wish I too get some chance to continue dancing 🙂 Have great garba nights RM 🙂 and do post pics of kutti R dancing

  5. Smitha says:

    RM, it sounds wonderful, just wonderful. Just the way it should be. People coming regularly dressed, and dancing for the enjoyment of it. I can understand why you were smiling the whole time! Hugs! And here’s to many more garbas of this sort.

  6. This is one of the warmest post I’ve read in the recent times! 🙂 Made my morning!

  7. chattywren says:

    Cute post – the smiling bit! Even I like traditional garba, done the way you’ve written about, no film songs absolutely.

  8. ashreyamom says:

    hey super.. same pinch.. i feel like i am in a different world when i am dancing.. my in-laws side just know that i can dance, but have never seen me dance.. in my three years of marriage, i thought at lease once my hubby will ask me to dance, but it has nt happened.. its only me and bunty who dance at home.. my mom tried teaching little of bharathanatyam namskaram to bunty.
    actually more than me, my mom and bunty love dancing together.. though its just jumping, they love and giggle together every now and then.. 🙂

  9. Such a cute conversation between you, R and RD. 😀 Loved it. Loved the whole post, in fact. 🙂
    Yes, garba always seems like such a spiritual affair to me. Come to think of it, there are so many mundane activities that become spiritual activities with the right mindset – even folding clothes or gazing out of the balcony. I was thinking I would do a post about it on my blog, too.

    • R's Mom says:

      yes yes the way you write..

      Errr…folding clothes..sorry I dont do it..its RD’s job 🙂 I doubt whether he finds THAT spiritual heheheheheh

  10. Ashwathy says:

    Ah!! 🙂 How I wish I lived closer to you! Would have definitely joined you!

    So what do you wear when you go for this? Just normal clothes?

  11. What fun time RM, now how can I see you doing Garba.

  12. Amit says:

    It is an amazing feeling when you see something happening just the way it is supposed to happen.

  13. I love this post 🙂 Wishing you lot many such garba dances 🙂

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