Soul dance

If ever I make a list of things that I wished I could do better, dancing will figure right up there in that list. The stillest of still mannequins can reek eloquence on the dance floor compared to what I can ever accomplish. Awe consumes me when I see people break into a dance. Swing arms. Shake legs and other parts of the body with such striking coherence, rhythm and synchrony that just being a fly on the wall shakes me up, stiffens my body to the bone and like I got a intravenous injection of stiff glue.

Blessed are the nice people amongst them, God bless them all, who make it a point, to tell me that its not really about getting the steps and synchrony right, but more about ‘having a good time’. So as is wont to happen, I get goaded onto the dance floor. I am reasonably sure that the nice souls that goaded me to dance were really looking to have some belly ripping laughter of seeing a human being with glue in the veins attempt dancing! I once had a nightmare that someone uploaded a strikingly eloquent video of me dancing : arms, legs, head, hips and whatever else going in such asymmetrical silly splendour that it would be hard for anyone to imagine that all of that belonged to one man! Sleep played truant for a few hours after that.

Thankfully I do not watch TV. Sometimes though, the missus points me to dance shows were purportedly normal people and kids (who barely reach my knee) do such insanely incredible dance moves with amazing synchrony, rhythm and other acrobatics in the name of dance, like some cirque du soleil show. It leaves me gaping in awe, shaking my head and retreating to my world of blogs, books and bemused looks.

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Cut to a year ago. In Berlin. On a Sunday, I was hurtling to see the Berlin wall. Struggling with the language, the chill, and a little raw from a few cold shoulders, I alighted from the metro as it swept into a station with a hurried precision.
Right inside the station, there was a performance that was underway. A dance. This wasn’t abstract acrobatics. This was a community in action. Their moves were such a joy to watch. And they were perfectly normal people. Young, old and middle aged. Or so it seemed. It was seamless motion, in a metro station.

They made slick moves with such seamless ease. They turned and paired with another with a clap. Another clap in a few seconds, another turn. A new partner. A quick elegant step and then a clap. A new partner. The background hugged a music that I didn’t understand, which didn’t matter. The inanimate pillars seemed to let go of a leap of joy, every time they clapped and turned. A trance enveloped me and kept me frozen for a while. Forgetting all about the hurried flurry of wanting to see the great Berlin wall. This dance left me soothed, refreshed and as though a sudden wave of a wand was upon me, a ton of a good mood rained on me.

It was odd that I had set out to see the broken Berlin Wall and several other walls broke, even before I saw the wall. Dance has such incredible power. Artistic expression always carries with it a little bit of soul and makes moves that aren’t so visible, or so I believe. In this case, it had pronouncedly tangible moves as well. There is no joy like the one when you witness a soul dance.

The missus was discussing a ‘Bollywood Dance’ class that is the flavour of the season in the apartment we live in. This post started there. As I write, there is a constant throb of garba music and my window pane catches a zillion lights, perhaps from tiny shiny glass pieces sewn on to dupattas that adorn swiveling bodies that hug mellifluous tunes.

Go dance people. Make your moves. Whatever they are. Pass a bit of your soul. Its good for you too.

The Market Dance

Not far from where we live is a market. Market… as in market. No. Not the stock market. And of course, me talking about the stock market, would be as neat as George Bush talking of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq !
This market seamless merges with the main road ! There are no barricades etc. So, one wrong swerve of a steering wheel would mean a bus ploughs into this market. Standing at the beginning of this market, this is the picture of the traffic on the other side.

A walk down this road introduces you to innovations and ways of life where nothing is taken for granted. Where there is a elbow room created from nowhere, that would put the best magicians in the world to shame !

And the different variety of things that you can set your sights on can have the best supermarkets in the world scooting for cover. And of course, lets not talk prices.

For getting the best prices however, there is a little ‘dance of an exchange’ that’s done with the seller.

Step 1: Ask for a price
Step 2 : Express surprise at whatever price quoted
Step 3 : Quote a fraction of what was quoted as buying price ( in confident tone )
Step 4 : ( Upon being refused ) walk away or make pretense of walking away
Step 5 : ( Upon being called back ) come back and start at step 2 !
( If not called back ) Go back and start confidently at Step 2.

Like many other things in life, the fine nuance this dance, is something that i sorely lack. Of when to start / stop. Expressing of genuine surprise etc occur like an aspiring untalented stage actor.

Many other times, i turn to the wife and express surprise at the price she closed the deal ! Inviting much dismay and irritation. And of course, a suggestion to walk around independently. To not understand that would mean an IQ quotient in the negative i think.

So. An aimless open mouth gaping at all the sights of the market results in a few pictures. And of course, this post.

Mountains of clothes. And every market day, there is a new sky scrapper that comes up. And disappears at the end of day. Again, at prices that would make you look for a atom bomb to drop on the branded stores just across the store ! ( ‘DIESEL’ says a T-Shirt. He sells it for Rs. 100/-. He looks at me, and says, ‘Use and throw sir’) !

Pic 6

And there are numerous other markets within this market. The exchange that’s happening here (pic 6) is that of tea ! Where a ‘vendor of toothbrushes & other oral equipment’ picks up his morning tea from a ‘vendor of Tea’ ! The tea vendor moves about with his flask in hand. As the corporate types would call him, he is a Business to Business B2B marketer !

And so you get fruits, ropes, baskets all within the same stretch. All beautiful to look at. All wonderfully made. And all being shouted about. There is so much of din that you wonder if anyone is selling ear plugs ! And then realise that it is music to the ears of all those who are serious about purchase !

And then you spot a flute vendor. Flutes ? In this market ? You wonder. But he has walked on. Flutes ! You think. That’s some music !

Its all happening here. Bangles. Trinkets. Hairbands. Food. Ties. Socks. Shoes. Belts. Handkerchiefs. Flutes. Toothbrushes. Caps. Washing powder. Groceries. Ropes. Fruits. Vegetables. Mosquito repellents. Nets. And sooooo on. And of course, tea.

And as the beads of sweat form on your forehead, you realise that there is just no limit to human enterprise. And that the lessons to learn are immense. And the first one the list of things to learn, is that dance !!

PS : This post was inspired by the Market Day meme at Strange Pilgram

Triple C Dawn !

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.

In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence.

The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And To-morrow is only a Vision;

But To-day well lived makes
Every Yesterday a Dream of Happiness,
And every Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.

Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn!

The snap is mine. Clicked on Eastern Express Highway, Mumbai. The content is written by Kalidasa. Copied and posted shamelessly.

Well, each line made me relive a peaceful and serene dawn on a drive. And my very thinking of that sereneness made a difference to my today ! And prompted me to post.

Horses For The Courses

They talk of studs. Stud farms. Jockeys. Race Courses. Fancy names. And so on. And yet, when i see a horse gallop, i always stop. Immaterial of whether it is pulling a gluttonous gent seated with imperial majesty on a ramshackle cart, or a ‘Polo” t-shirt wearing gent playing..polo !

Or for that matter, those boys who ply these majestic animals for prosaic tasks. Like a ride across a litter laden beach. Or a worse litter laden hill station. The setting hasn’t mattered. A horse always catches my attention.

I guess it started with an English lesson, i think it was in Class II, called ‘Black Beauty’. A tale of a black horse with a white patch on his forehead. I know i can never come to owning one. Nor would i want to.

But that doesn’t stop me from staring and looking at how majestic they are. This team intrigued me. They stood in all colour. Steady. And still. At a family deity’s temple close to Madurai. They stood in majestic style ooze. Even though one among them was headless. A hopeless vandal or a mischievous child would have done his or her bit to shape the landscape (sic) ! T

he steady white and the riot of colour on them, seem to give them a character. A character that,i thought gave these lifeless forms a strange double life ! After all, these were celestial horses. Meant for the Gods !

This was clicked outside a mall in Bangalore. The ‘false legged horse’ (Poi Kal Kudhirai) is a dance form that amazes me no end. An inanimate horse brought to life by a human being, who animatedly rides the inanimate horse, to synchronised music and a colour riot !

How better can it get ?

Well, for starters this can still continue to be a ‘performance’ and not compete with a marketing ‘offer’ or a sales promotion effort ! This demeans a dance form.

And oh, yes, demeans horses too !