18 Sep 2015

Ganpati dance

It is Ganpati time. It is the time of big Ganesh idols being magically balanced on juxtaposed thelaas (hand carts) and squeezed through narrow by-lanes of by-lanes.

Every year a new pandaal sprouts up. Every year a new team of youth assembles and decides to have their very own Ganpati pandaal. Every year is promised to be bigger than the last year.

To be fair, it even is.

Fireworks are passe. They now hold a matchstick against a big red can of HIT cockroach repellent or any other inflammable spray. Gulaal is old world. They now have party poppers in glittering colours. Head bands and blue coloured glasses are no longer in. Honey Singh was so last year. Nashik band and dhol was ubiquitous a couple of years back. The vehicle that accommodates the idol is led by another one which holds only huge speakers. The bulbul tarang and the banjo has made way for the music CD operator (aka DJ) who makes himself comfy somewhere behind the tall speakers.

What hasn't changed much is the trickling stream of faithful crowds that join the processions at regular intervals of a few metres.

What has not definitely changed at all is the Ganpati procession dance.

What is Ganpati procession dance, you ask? Now that is a difficult one. How can one even start to explain in words something that is inimitable? Once someone performs a step in the this style, it is difficult for even that person to repeat it.

This dance form has only one motto - "dance like no one is watching". Ironically, there are hordes gathered just to watch the adrenaline junkies make their killer moves.