Friday, November 27, 2009

Bring Me This Disco King

Perhaps the strangest thing about it is that, well, almost anyone and everyone can do it. Right? Or at least so they think. There isn’t anyone who thinks he is or she is a bad dancer. Well, sure many admit that indeed they’re horrible, and must have exchanged their feet with jelly at some point, but that’s not exactly a personal opinion. It’s borne out of the shell-shocked facial expressions they noticed on friends on or strangers the first time they made their ‘moves’ public. And/or the more direct retorts they had thrown at them. But before that happened, causing them to observe one of the remarkable ego-bubble bursts of life and react with either a blush of shame or the furious blush of defeatist defiance, they did really think they were quite alright. And at that moment they preferred dance to any music of the spheres or song of the Greek island people.

There is a perfectly valid reason for it too. Although you may never have thought of this way, it is really is there. The trouble you would have in believing me may stem from one or both of two popular, oh-so-well-loved sources bearing aggressive verbal projectile. One, that surely the speaker is an idiot. He must be wrong, unless he’s being very entertaining about it, in which case let’s believe everything he says. The second excuse or, in your prized opinion, valid counter-point would be song. How can dance better song? It is eternal, it was, it is and it may well survive the nuclear world war. Why not? But, in both these hypotheses, and here I am even honoring your bilge and derision of my contentions as hypothesis number one, you would be slightly incorrect.

More than slightly, but we have really all day ahead to demolish your two counter-arguments. So we’ll get to that later. Good debating technique dictates that one present the bone of contention before one spotlights the dogs sharpening claws over it, and I have erred in that already. In the spirit of forgiveness, forgetfulness and ‘better late than never’, I offer my humble argument. Said bone alleges that a major reason why everyone thinks they can dance is that actually everyone can. The backbone supporting this outrageous notion is that through ages, eras, lands and tribes and civilizations, nothing else of one has more perplexed another. Also, nothing else of one has matched less with its equivalent across the ocean. By its very nature, dance has always been as diverse as music. Unlike music, however, it has always been more to every single individual than song.

You say that songs are eternal. I agree. You say that music represents the pure perfection and pristine truth that our words and works are never quite able to capture. I agree. You say that songs have remained unchanged in generations and sometimes we still sing the songs of people hundreds of years dead, showing our perpetual connection with all of mankind even if the words and tongues are lost forever. I will agree with that too. You are correct in each one of your statements, and I’m sure you have some more to give me. But, really? Allow me.

Songs will always hold their position in the world. Their beauty is for everyone to see, to acknowledge and to concede. That unfortunately is what renders their defeat.

Dance changes with time and with mood. It changes in form, in cause, in effect, in desired result (some expect rain) and is rarely passed down the same way as song is. Where are the pillars of perfection? Where is the world’s greatest of all time, at any one time? My very point is that they aren’t and there isn’t. The mystery lies in what it arouses. The secret, as to why we dance, lies in its catalysts and not in the drum-machine beats of a disc-jockey with gelled hair and fancy clothes. Dancing, and I do not mean that word in any but the most unconventional sense, belongs to one and all. Everyone can do it. Everyone can be a good dancer. You do not need to train for it. You do not need to be born with it. You do not need to undergo harsh discipline to cultivate it or make it your life’s goal.

It comes from within. It is every man and woman’s naturally gifted talent. Something God ordained and made provisions for. Some woman pole-dance too, but more on that later. The union of your physical body to the excitement in your mind, to the euphoria of the senses, to the abandonment of reason, to the embracing of momentary madness does not require a prescribed process. Although I know some of you attend weekend classes with your soulmates or your wives, you don’t really need the 1-2-1-4 process memorized in your feet to achieve it. Inside your head, you already know if you are happy with it. Lose yourself, your arms, your legs, your hips and your head to the rush inside, and you have dance. Stay tight inside a circle and barely moving your elbows, and you may still be dancing. The brilliance is that you are dancing, each and every time that you think you really are.

The mind and the body are one. The next time you go clubbing or to a fancy ball somewhere, wait for that moment. In that moment lies the joy of living – a pure, unbridled celebration of being alive right now. In that singular moment, you will see … infinity.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My Life, My Terms

The world is a blur around you. Sights and sounds, buildings and neon, pedestrians and beggars, garbage and billboards. People zoom past, looking hazy around the edges, as you perform the daily tasks of living. As you perform the daily tasks you call living. In earnest enthusiasm, we jump the bandwagon, grab this life by its horns and make our place in a ruthless, backstabbing world to build our own bungalows and achieve our success and EMIs.

We begin to lose focus. You stop noticing things, when there's just so much to see all around. The mass media entertainment package of the world blinds your eyes and covers your ears. Skinny girls who want to sing like Mariah Carey and dress like nothing stare vacantly out of magazine covers. Deodorants and suits promise to bring you loves and passion and endless sex appeal. Facebook and iTouch, children and divorces, promotions and sales pitches – your life is more comical now than a board-game.

Stop. Look.
Think. Change.
Begin. Today.

Live. Breathe.
Don’t stop. Today.

Today, make your life a little bit different.

Go out in old clothes. Write a poem. Talk back to your boss. Demand your rights. Shout on the streets. Sing aloud. Smile at a stranger. Buy a lottery ticket. Just to see what you get!

Hold your life in your hands. Be strong. Be proud.

Punch a baby.

Today, surprise God. If he really is watching.

Monday, November 02, 2009

111 Hai Bhai! (Hint: Binary for Bond)

"You know how it is, don't you? The first few weeks of a job are always a struggle. One has to find potential clients, advertise one's skills, put out special offers and all that. The worst part is when sometimes people do not even understand what I'm talking about! So I have to sit them down and explain my job. Nothing is more infuriating than that."

"Yeah, that can be very irritating. What is it you do again?"

"But who can really fight fate eh? One has to do what one is destined to do. One should simply be glad that one has found what was one was destined for."

"Unlike two?"

"Vocation and avocation. That's the words. Where the twain shall meet, apparently all is fine."

"Not to mention, its needed at this point in the world isn't it? Everyone seems so lost, in dead-end jobs and fixed emolument schemes, not knowing which direction to go or what to do with life."

"The trappings of society, alas. We get so wrapped up in pursuing what is kept dangling ahead of us that we don't even stop to think if we really even wanted it. How few people ever stop to think about what they want to do in life! They stay just like that always, stuck in a workplace they don't care for and which doesn't look after them."

"The funny part is, this isn't even restricted to the ones with dead-end jobs. I know many high-flyers of the yuppy generation who are minting money, thanks to oodles of IQ and sharp acumen and what not. But are they happy? No!"

"The meaning is missing. The meaning for life, the thirst to reach for more, the satisfaction after having found it. People have lost their way. Thank god I found mine. I can't tell you how satisfying it is to be where I am. Helping people, truly helping people."

"You didn't tell me what you did."

"Even though right now I'm struggling a bit. The market is looking up, and its a growth industry. I'm hoping to capitalise on the recession boom. A wise man once said, supply creates its own demand. He was so right. You wouldn't believe the number of people who need this done professionally!"

"The recession...boom?"

"Yes, its a strange world isnt it? The recession works well for my industry. The more the number of frustrated people, the better the playing field. They look for me. So often I've explained my work to them, my art really, and seen a look of joy come into their faces! They spread the word, sometimes, at parties and events. I've been getting more calls of late. I'm keeping busy."

"That's good, that's good. What kind of job is this?"

"Oh, I'm a Babypuncher. Freelance Babypuncher. My card."