The idea for this topic came to me while reading Ekoshapu’s post. I am informed by my co Friday 2 on 1 blogger Shackman that, he cannot dance and so, I am very keen to see what he writes about the subject. Please do go over to his blog to see what he has to say.
India has many forms of folk dances and I suppose dancing to the rhythms of our various types of music comes more or less naturally to us. I grew up seeing older women in our families dancing at weddings and other occasions. My mother was particularly good at it and very popular among her friends who inevitably invited her to functions to lead them.
My first personal exposure to dancing was the traditional Tamil folk dancing called Dappaan Koothu. This was in all the schools that I went to including one where our classical dance Bharatanatyam was taught too.
And trust me, I was pretty good at Dappaan Koothu.
I never developed a taste for any of our classical forms of dances despite being posted in all the major cities of India on various occasions. During my mid teen years however, I learnt ball room dancing as it was called here then. I learnt the fox trot, waltz and cha cha cha. Later on I also learnt to jive and life was good. I however could not find partners to dance with me.
That changed in 1963 when I did find a partner who could dance and did we light up some dos in Chennai!
1965 saw me going off to Business School and I did find some places to go dancing though not as often as I would have liked. 1967 took me to Bombay where I found partners again and more opportunities to indulge. 1968 saw me getting back in the life of my friend who subsequently became my wife in Hyderabad and the dancing resumed. We did not stop till I was more or less forced to stop dances other than a gentle slow fox trot or a two-step, due to problems with my hips. My wife also would tell anyone willing to listen that I danced with her so that I could look over her head at other women on the dance floor and flirt with them. There were occasions when during dances in our local club, young ladies would come over to ask me to teach them to jive after obtaining permission from her. I perhaps lost the opportunity to start a school for dancing!
There is a blogger lady in the UK hoping that one of these days, I will land up there and sweep her off her feet and dance on the roads there while it rains. I hope that she is reading this. While I hope that I can too, considering my age and health issues, it seems more and more unlikely. I hope that she is the praying type as may be that would work!
“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”
This photograph is of Swami Dandapani. No, I am not a Sales Agent for him but am posting this here to illustrate something else. If you were to ever meet me in the mornings when I am at Pune, you will see me with the same kind of Vibhuti horizontal stripes on my forehead as well as the tilak just above the nose and between the two eyebrows.
These two applications indicate that I follow Shaivism. The horizontal lines are symbolic of inevitable destruction of the body as the material used is ash from our sacred fires. Ash is symbolic of the human body becoming ash after cremation. When one applies the ash on his body, one remembers that he is subject to becoming ashes.
The tilak is more important for this post. The spot where it is applied is called the Ajna Chakra in yoga. The material used is either sandalwood paste or kumkum powder or both. I use both. Applying this on one’s forehead during morning prayers is to invoke the earnest request to open the third eye of the individual, which would enable him to differentiate between the real and the unreal, or the permanent and the impermanent.
I am delighted that my favourite Comics character wants to become a Shaivite!
I had an interesting telephone call earlier today, with a friend who called me after almost ten years for a long chat. Both of us exchange WhatsApp messages, mostly forwards but, have not really been catching up with news on our families. During the call, he enquired about Ranjan and any grand children in my life. I joked that my grand child is our dog Chutki and changed the subject knowing that once he starts talking about his three grandchildren the conversation will prolong to at least another fifteen minutes.
That conversation however reminded me of two recent news items that I came across which leads me to believe that there is something going on about demographics that is not perhaps receiving as much attention as it should.
The first one is this article in our Economic Times. It makes for interesting reading coming as it does from India.
The next one is from China where the problem is vastly different and while I find the whole report amusing, it points to some disturbing facts coming out of the country with the largest population in the world.
And finally to add some spice to this topic, here is a news item that should tickle the funny bones of all my readers.