Friday, May 18, 2007
Tango on the Beach
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.