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.