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   Nov 04

Bollywood Dancing for Dummies

I had the opportunity to attend the wedding reception of one of my good friends this evening. The reception was an Indian wedding reception (in no small part due to the fact that the groom was of Indian descent).

I seems that the reception was a somewhat lavish affair with decorations that made me feel as though I had wandered onto the set of a Bollywood film. The bride wore a dress that looked like it weighed 20 kilos (and apparently felt like 20kg according to the much bemused bride who had to resort to Nurofen among other things to endure the extra body weight).

The weight was in no small part due to the countless beads sparkling in every colour of the rainbow stitched to every last piece of fabric real-estate. It was an impressive creation. I didn’t envy the bride not only having to wear it all night, but dance in it (made all the more precarious because the length of the dress would surely have contravened occupational health and safety length requirements).

An entree was served….that was practically the size of a main course – complete with tandoori chicken, samosas and some mystery deep fried substance that I think might well have been tofu. We were all wondering how on earth we’d fit in main course until it was announced that there was to be dancing between entree and main course.

I was initially alarmed at the thought of having to venture forth onto the dance floor. Like any self respecting Aussie bloke who wasn’t already two or three stubbies to the wind I stayed and minded the handbags with the other blokes at the table. I’ve never quite understood why it is that at the mere hint of a dance, the ladies are clambering for the dance floor.

Before long the Bollywood DJ (wearing a track suit top that said “Mutha Funkin Punjabi”) was pumping out tunes that were definitely not out of place with the surroundings. There was no stopping the tsunami of saris that flowed out onto the dance floor. Very soon the clashes of very bright and beaded colours were gyrating in time to the rather addictive beats.

One-by-one the stoic gents firmly seated, arms crossed at the table, were summonsed to the dance floor by a beckoning finger and a stern “if you don’t get your arse out here now there will be no booty call later” look from their respective partners.

There comes a critical mass where when there are only one or two blokes left at the table that it starts to become awkward and you’re looking like either a Nigel No-Friends or a stick in the mud spoil-sport.

Weighing up the options, I caved. I stood up and waved farewell to the remaining stragglers at the table (who lifted their stubbies in solidarity for another comrade who’d fallen prisoner to the cacophony of sound and colour that would have put Lloyd Webber to shame) and moved towards the hypnotically gyrating throng that could easily pass for an acid trip.

Arriving on the dance floor and mingling, I was immediately aghast. Not only do I not know how to dance (aside from the stock standard “lawn mower”, “walk the dog”, “do-the-shopping” and the infamous “sprinkler”), but I have not the foggiest how to Bollywood dance.

Suddenly I simultaneously felt like a deer in the headlights and that I was experiencing that dream where you stand up to present to your class only to discover you’re naked (cue the violins from the Psycho shower scene). Luckily, whilst it felt like it was an eternity, a few seconds later my attention was caught by a friend who was madly gesticulating to me.

I explained my consternation about not being able to dance let alone Bollywood dance to her. She smiled and gestured for me to lean in….

“It’s easy”, she said. “All you’ve got to know to be able to Bollywood dance is how to screw in a light bulb whilst patting a dog and then act surprised”.

I looked at her as though someone had slipped her something in her entree samosa.

“Let me explain”, she went on. “First of all, put one of your arms up in the air and pretend you’re screwing in a light bulb. While you are doing that, imagine you have a dog by your side who you are patting. That’s the first move you need to master. Secondly, after you’ve done that for a bit, throw your arms up in the air in an ‘oh wow’ kind of appearance and gyrate like that for a bit…and that’s it, that’s Bollywood dancing!”

I was dubious at her explanation until she did a quick demonstration. I looked around at the people nearby. Lo and behold she was right. I immediately saw a mass of multicoloured people screwing in light bulbs and patting their dogs, and then doing a camp cabaret interpretation of Edvard Munch’s ‘The Scream’.

It was hysterical. After a few side splitting minutes of raucous laughter, I felt no qualms at joining in. I actually felt I wasn’t a complete idiot….at least not more of an idiot than any of the people around me.

In the end I think I might actually have enjoyed it (but I’ll deny it to anyone who asks). So the next time you hear that Bollywood beat strike up (rinka tinka tinka tink tinka, rinka tinka tinka tinka tinka) remember these three easy actions….screw in the light bulb, pat the dog, act surprised. Bollywood is your oyster you mutha funkin Punjabi!.

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One Comment

  1. Flutterby says:

    Ha ha ha. Amazingly apt description. Glad to see you had a good time and enjoyed the epileptic fit that is bollywood dance! Hope to catch up soon.

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