So We Danced!!

All alone she gets up early in the morning for the day to begin. With a void in her heart, she takes the shower and prepares her breakfast. With a chaotic heart and an organized mind, she had a pinch of sadness and a curiosity to see what this day has in stock for her. While she was busy with her feelings the real world knocks at her door. She opens the door and a shrill jolts all the sense and non-sense in her body. “Maaa!! Move!! I need to clean your filthy house. Have to go to temple after this. You don’t even increase my salary. My family and I are going to die of inflation. There is no value of poor people in India. Blah! Blah! Blah!  Entry of Shanti Maa (Notation added to almost all women to give respect, since its South India), the only household help she had. She was loud and all over but she was there. With her, feeling of being alone subdued a little.

All set she leaves for the day for her office. Well armored with a jacket to protect from sunburns, a convertible scarf (scarf and mask) to protect hair and face from dust and pollution, sunglasses to protect eyes from bright sunlight, headphones to protect ears from noise pollution. Phew!! Was that all? Yeah! Something was missing! She forgot socks for the open area of her feet. But she was fine without them for the time being. Hope the world doesn’t attack her there with some dreadful nuclear weapons.

“Riding scooter is like living life. You have to choose your path and ride on it even if it’s wrong since you cannot go back. But wait you can take a U-turn. So this is stupid. Think about something else or just stop thinking. Oh!! Oh!! Music!”

Playing it as loud as possible, she started her journey to work. It’s strange how Bollywood music takes you to the world where you feel people around you are dancing or responding to it with you. You feel like dancing at each stop and you imagine dream sequences with Shahrukh Khan (Famous Bollywood actor)on road, on your favorite number. All the stardom is possible with your ears bombarded with Bollywood songs. Your mind knows that nobody else can hear it but if you dance or move with the music you might be laughed or stared at as if you are a stripper. The music made her do small movements with her feet, hands and sometimes with her head. She knew she was looking funny with those weird steps and her warfare costume but it brought a peaceful smile to her face.

In this new world of hers, she could feel the lyrics and blush with the romantic words. She sings and dances at every possible halt. Once in a while, she would dance even while riding her scooter. She forgets about everything. She is not a loner. She sings out loud, only when she is riding since nobody could hear her. She is happy! She is free! She is a star!!She likes the way to the destination and doesn’t wish to reach this destination.

Life is cruel! There stands a signal which has no intention of turning green from past 10 minutes. Earth has stopped and people can start building their houses. Accepting the harshness of the real world, she increases the volume and starts doing small steps while swinging her scooter. The world still doesn’t move but her jive doesn’t stop there. People stare but who cares!  She is all by herself, isolated but she doesn’t feel so.

With all this emotional drama in her brain, one of the outsiders wants to contact her from a nearby auto. Sonia, her childhood classmate recognizes her. She wanted to ignore her but couldn’t because of her groovy moves in the middle of the road. She screams and waves but of no use. She was in her own tunes. Being a journalist by profession Sonia knows how to make others hear her. She leaves her bag in the auto assuring the auto guy of her return and steps out to meet her long gone friend. She reaches to the back of her scooter and does what!! Guess what!!She starts her Barati Dance (An informal dance form done in Indian marriages). On that crowded road, she danced like a maniac. She could have just gone in front of her and greeted her, but dance seemed like a good language. Sonia danced and danced taking a circle of the swinging scooter.

At first, she ignored Sonia reasoning it’s not possible. A girl dancing in front of her is probably her imagination. But when the second round started she saw all the eyes around staring at her and this odd bird dancing in front of her. It took a good ten seconds for her to recognize that’s it’s her childhood friend Sonia. But it was too late. Sonia manages to put the stand on her scooter, pulls her and commands her to dance along. “Is this really happening!” she thought. Traffic is still stuck, she looked like a rocketeer, this Sonia is doing god knows what, she was getting late for office etc ,etc rushed in her brain. But one thing made her join Sonia within friction of seconds – She is not alone- not in her head but in reality, all the eyes are on them and the best part is her get up makes it almost impossible for the audience around to recognize her.

So they danced. Sonia without music and her with music. They both danced right in the center of the road with no other emotions but a sense of belonging. This sense was real and not just a thought.  Irritated people hooted, shouted, ogled, laughed but thankfully nobody threw anything, but they didn’t care, they just danced. And then the signal turned green.

Honking and panic started. Everybody forgot about the show and started their engines to leave. Girls realized it and shared their numbers. Further, Sonia ran to her auto. They parted with huge smiles on their faces and a thought “So we danced!”

Picture Credits: Aaron Ar.
Written By: Shalvi Govil

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