Friday, May 18, 2007
For the uninitiated, paper Dance is a competition in which a couple dances on a sheet of paper and every 1-minute or so when the music stops, the sheet is folded into half. So, Post 3 iterations, every concept of personal space falls asunder and the couples are practically into each other's arms and the outcome of competition is decided by the amount of time a man can hoist the lady, with loud cheering from the crowd as if some wardrobe malfunction has took place
Preface - Through the haze, someone in the distance inquired my name. I replied, and was promptly jolted back to reality by the echo of my sound on PA System. I wanted to call him, choicest of the names. But, consciousness of being on the PA system kept me pinned down helplessly. Consciously, pulling myself back from the drunken stupor, I opened up my lead laden eyes and saw a smiling young lad in the silhouette, who said - Congratulations you are our first volunteer.
Content - Criticizing the transportation department for not arranging adequate transportation for reaching Hosabettu Beach- The Venue for Company party, along with my friends, I squatted on the stairs of the Bus, gibbering about lack of beautiful gals in Mangalore, little aware of the what lay in store for me. The routine of going to Company parties, grabbing some beer, downing it until taste buds go dumb, gobbling at some tasteless food stuff, washing it down with some more beer, was practiced with religiously.
The evening started with the usual games HR dept is told to organize to justify their salaries. Instead of subjecting ourselves to the torture of wearing a woman's garb for a Fancy Dress event or participating in some Antakshri, we swaggered to the watering hole and sought refuge with our old friend Mr. Foster. After downing two, the world again seemed to be a good place and I was swinging my head to the beats of Carnatic Music, for which I suddenly seemed to develop an appreciation. Out of the blue, the music stopped and the "Preface" took place. Perplexed and annoyed I got up giving angry looks to the guy who carried out this stunt. Helpless look in his eyes, and the hyena-ish laughter of my friend sitting next to me, gave me a fair idea of who orchestrated this episode. Giving -Et tu Brute - looks to my friend, I started my long march towards the makeshift stage, barely able to keep myself vertical. As my senses reluctantly started coming to life... I saw 5 girls and 5 boys, expressing emotions ranging from glee to melancholy, gathered for a surprise event. Soon the reality sank in, that this would be a paper dance event. The face expressions on some of the newly wed gals, whose hubby's were till now giving them appreciative glances, changed instantly. A few requests to withdraw were entertained. To plead mercy, I too tried replacing the drunken foolish grin on my face with an innocent expression, only to be encountered by coy hostess who told me - C'mon, u sure wud enjoy it. So, here I was finding it difficult to maintain my own balance and they expected me to match steps with a lady.
Now, I had been in close proximity of some femme fatales many times and sometimes I was even more sloshed. But, every time I had a fair idea of their respective permissiveness quotients and here I was holding a girl, I barely knew, at such close quarters. The event started with a quick Swayamvar, I was first one to be picked up by a tall, smiling lady (MS). I gave her a long hard stare and thought - Good that you are light, would be easier to lift, if need arises (Strictly and only for the event... u &*%$#).
In a jiffy, 5 newspapers were spread out and we started ball dancing. Every time, the music started the paper was folded into half, forcing the participants closer, much to the embarrassment of participants and amusement of audience. Any normal Homo Sapien would enjoy such encounter but in a more private surroundings, and here we were entertaining the crowd, similar to a censored version of "Educative" movies. Maintaining conscious control on my senses (and more importantly my hands) I managed to pose sober and landed up in the final round. With paper size good enough for only one pair of feet, the Men were now supposed to lift their partners. Now, lifting a lady is no big deal, but maintaining this posture for a few minutes, God, I am no Sunny Deol. To relieve me of this situation, my partner told me that-I don't have to lift her if I didn't want to, instead she would stand on my feet and we both would dance. A bit too close for comfort and trying to find a grip on the least objectionable parts, the nice damsel gaily kneaded my toes with her feet swinging to the beats of Macarena.
The victory came quick and easy as the other couple lost balance midway. I thanked my bubbly partner profusely for being so sportive and returned quickly to the echoing banter from my friends after collecting a wristwatch as a memento for the event.
Aftermath - I woke up the next day with a groggy head and pulsating toes thinking this was a dream. But, the stylish watch (a cheap replica of Movado) and throbbing toes reminded me, it was not. Throughout the next day and for the better part of my assignment in Mangalore, my mischievous colleagues kept asking me - What's the time Dude?
I accidentally played cupid also, when some of the friendly cups of coffee with MS, were interpreted by one of her shy friends as serious competition. Losing no further time, he mustered enough courage to confess his true love to her, to be pleasantly accepted. As for me it was added up in one of my sweet memories of Sun, Sand and Water.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
In our childhood, in days of DD, we all had seen some ice skating events (Olympics), aired once every 4 years. The concoction of our teenage hormones and the lithesome figures gliding effortlessly across the ice was never short of blissful hallucination. Somewhere, deep down, we carried a strong craving for this sport which combines poise with beauty. So, as soon as I got the wind, that one of my senior colleagues was practicing this sinfully ecstatic sport. I went barreling to him, and requested him to enlighten me. He welcomed me to join and gave me the basic survival instructions as well.
With some roller blading experience, I went straight for the Ice, and tried to gain footage. But, soon came the realization, that my confidence was parallel to the kid who memorized 4 basic rules of maths and started attempting Irodov Problems. Shaking in my legs, I tried moving forward, looking through the corner of my eyes to find out the admirers of my latest additions to "Elvis-The King" style dance steps.
In sometime, I was gliding along peacefully at slow pace without much effort and absorbing the surrounding scenery. Lots of Cherubs(toddlers/kids) were gliding smoothly in brownian motion, shrieking with joy much to the contentment of their expectant parents, a fair number of teenagers were practicing first lessons of courtship along with turns and glides. A bunch of friendly hockey players along with their coach were practicing speed and a young Indian couple - the husband continuously instructing his wife to practice skating backwards and the wife wearing the look of poor kid who just got a dressing down from his Head Master reluctantly following him.
Master and the Zen - This is precisely the point, where, I must leave my usual neutral observer role and enter as an active participant. Most of the fellow skaters give buffer areas to rookies like me to facilitate a smooth transition. But, this tall gentleman, who happened to be the Coach of hockey team, believed strongly in the Darwinian Selection principles. Left to him,he would have banned all rookies from entering the arena and desecrating the pristine ice rink of "The Home of Cougars". But, in lieu, he contented himself by making sudden moves, to unsettle the rookies, and having sadistic pleasures of watching them fall. Well, I also caved in once and lost balance a couple of times. This went on till I noticed a twitch in his lips indicating a smile. Suddenly, old red mist came to my eyes and they narrowed like a Cougar on Prowl. Next time when I went through his practice area, I had a meaningful smile on, and even after he stopped right in front of me, I continued at the same speed. He must've judged my intentions and hastily cleared my path shaking his head. Better sense prevailed and we stayed clear from then on.
But, the best was yet to come. Coach(MASTER) had demarcated an area to practice his aggressive moves, in which commoners were only welcome at their own risk. Suddenly, there appeared a Toddler(ZEN), with utter disregard for authority, who went straight for it and started enjoying himself. Sensing intrusion, MASTER started displaying his aggressive style in order to ward off ZEN. But, instead of getting scared, ZEN shrieked with joy and went after his every move with double speed and dexterity. Driven to desperation and anguish at failure of his attempts, MASTER attempted a spin and ended up prostrate with a couple of horizontal spins. Quickly he gathered his Bruised ego and relinquished his territory to ZEN.
After this amusing incident, I spent some more time practicing my newly learnt braking skill and admiring the skills of the Swans on ice Team, before calling it a day.
My legs were pulsating after being after being subjected to such a torture after a long time. But, the whole experience was truly ecstatic. I called it a day with a determination to pursue this sport. Given my record, such infatuations last only one night. But, since, I had already attended 2 sessions. So, I guess my romance will last a bit longer this time.