The "lifestyle" dictates that all festivals and celebrations be observed on weekends, and so I found myself at a "dandiya night" at a local high school this past weekend. A lady (Gujarati) singer (accompanied by a band, of course) was at the mic who could easily put Robert Plant or Ian Gillian to shame. Her epic 30-minute jams would be interrupted by a screeching "HELLO!!!" to work up the crowd. This was the dandiya equivalent of "putchyerhandsupintheaiiir" or "IIICANTHEARYOU!". Whatever it was, it was working. The only unfortunate bit was that this rousing battle-cry was followed each time by a massive stab of feedback, making the whole affair very punk. Post-modern dandiya, I guess.
Here's something I learned: some kids will always be too cool for school and they WILL not dance. Instead, they sit in the sidelines, playing with their Gameboys or iPods, eyeing everyone in the crowd with contempt and pity. I bravely fought the urge to give them a poetic, poignant talk on one of life's great lessons (the kind that you receive in forwarded emails under the title 'Gabriel Garcia Marquez's last words' - idiots!), namely, "when in doubt, dance". Put aside your shyness and jump into the fire. Carpe Diem. The girls are not impressed with your aloofness. Speak softly and carry a dandiya stick.
Next time, maybe.