Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A dance, bollywood and something more

Till yesterday, any unsuspecting guest walking into our house would have witnessed a somewhat bizarre scene:
1) A once popular bollywood number "Maiya Yashoda, yeh tera kanhaiya" from an insufferably saccharine-infested movie called "Hum Saath Saath Hai" is being played on a laptop. 
2) A 7 year old kid is dancing to this song, with each of her dance movements dripping with overwhelming emotions. And in-between these heart-wrenched expressions, she is also stealing a surreptitious glance at her mother.
3) The mother sitting at a remote corner with pursed lips and knitted brows and looking into another laptop with a utmost concentration. Arjun, the legendary warrior from Mahabharata, had managed such immense concentration only twice - once, as an apprentice to Drona, he shot a wooden bird and second when he shot through a wheel into a fish to win a bride (Draupadi). Later, of course, he had to share this bride with four brothers - but that is a different story. 
4) The father sitting at another corner with a stoic face and a mortified "why-o-why" or "what-have-I-done" expression. 
The overall atmosphere is turbo-charged with subtle (or not so subtle) undercurrents and supreme tension - the kind one sees in the last 15 minutes of any spaghetti western (a la "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly"). 
What led to this situation ?  
The whole thing started with our daughter joining a dance school in our neighbourhood to learn Kathak. This was not an easy choice for my wife, who agreed to let her learn dancing provided it is a classical dance. 
For people who do not know my wife, the missus is a thoroughbred pure blood "convent educated" person with a strong sense of what is "appropriate" and what is not. Her attitude towards dance is somewhat similar to Hitler's attitude towards the Jews or  Anna Hazare's attitude towards alcohol. Dance, if it is to be learnt at all, has to be in its purest form - i.e either Indian Classical dance forms or Western ballets. Tango or foxtrot or any other such dances are a strict no-no and the absolute lowest on my missus's scale stands the "Bollywood" dance. Thus, any dance that is allowed in our house is always having a liberal dose of "Ta"s and "Tat"s and 'Dighda digha digha thai"s thrown in. 
Since the daughter was learning Kathak, a classical Indian dance form and never practicing her  dance at home in any case, the home front was in a state of equilibrium. Unfortunately this delicate balance of peace got rudely shattered when the dance school decided to host a small dance program. My daughter got selected in one of the dances. And the song to which they dance got it - the aforementioned song from HSSH. We were duly called by the dance teacher and instructed that we must push our daughter to practice dancing to this song at home. 
The sense of "appropriateness" of my wife was severely challenged. Missus, being a contentious mother, had to agree that the daughter would practice "bollywood dance" at our home ("oh tempora, oh mores") as the same has been demanded by a figure of authority - namely the dance teacher. At the same time, she was tormented by her deep rooted apathy and revulsion for the bollywood dances - which led to occasional outbursts about the conduct of the dance school, the lack of culture of the dance teacher and the lack of judgement of the father. But more often, it was just a silent pursed-lip moment of forbearance. 
The D-day arrived - and we, a threesome family of an overdressed daughter, a knitted-brow-i-am-ready-to-kill mother and a resigned-to-fate father trotted to the dance school to witness this dance show. The videos of this dance is available as it had been recorded by us. I, however, dare not upload this on youtube as this could be the last straw which breaks the camels back.  I do not fancy opening the morning news paper to discover that there is a news article on about a mysterious serial killer woman  who murders dance teachers in Gurgaon with a blunt instrument every second saturday.  
I did the next best thing. I wrote a blog about this!!

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