The Black Baniyan

The day I returned from my maiden dance class in April, I was brimming in good spirits. My parents noticed the same and enquired about the class. "Kya seekha?" they asked. Promptly I folded my arms across one another like Jeanie, squatted to a chair like posture. I said, "It began with this." and began gyrating my pelvis back and forth. Believe me, this is an excellent warm up sequence. But of course, they cleanly missed that aspect. They stood politely, but my sister couldn't take it. She gurgled and then went "A ha ha ha ha ha..."

The hip exercises were embarrassing enough. My demonstration ended abruptly and I escaped from showcasing any of the dance sequences over the last ten weeks.

Don't get me wrong. My parents are quite proud of my hobby. In fact, my mama was informed quite earnestly about it. He asked on the phone, "What kind of dance are you learning?" I couldn't gyrate over the phone. And Jazz is a mysterious term, providing no additional clarification to an average curious Indian. So I gave the next obvious clue, "You know... like Shiamak Davar..."

The phone went silent for a few seconds after which I heard "A ha ha ha ha ha...". Since then, When I pick up the phone to greet my mama, instead of a hello, I hear a mocking, "Mohabbat Karle Karle Re..."

Not dissuaded by the subtle lack of respect for the dance, I diligently attended the classes all through these ten weeks. Sure, the steps aren't brimming in masculinity. Nor has my hip movement gained any grace over this period. Still I thought the final dance show will be my answer to the cynics. My parents will realize there is more to this form than the silly stereotype they have in their head.
Well, yesterday we've been instructed to wear a black baniyan for the show.

They may call it by any fancy name - undershirt, singlet, vest. But its a baniyan nevertheless. The photographs on the web belie reality. An average joe can't look good in vests. There are too many issues about love handles, hair, bulges or the lack of them. Nothing punctures a well built personality like embarrassing clothing. Rippling muscles of humour and toned articulation fail when in combat with a derisive enemy.

In case they plan to sprinkle us with chamki or paint snakes on our noses for the show (like shown below), I will cease to be the same person!

The hunt for the right baniyan begins tomorrow.

p.s - For those in Delhi, Danceworx is organizing a show (from 26th - 29th June) at Sirifort Auditorium to showcase the work of their workshop batches - this covers students of varied experience levels, professionals in a wide spectrum of dance forms. Noida batches will be performing on 27th June @ 7.30p.m. See you there!

p.s2 - This one is headed by Ashley Lobo. Not Shiamak.


  1. Lolzz... //I said, "It began with this." and began gyrating my pelvis back and forth. // My god..imagining u doing that in front of parents!!! :D :D all the best!!

  2. good luck Iyer.. machaa dena ekdum !!!

  3. hillarious one dude :) .. well I am also performing in one of the shows on 28th evening (sd).. & luckily we have to wear shirts (instead of white baniayans)..

  4. You can find good ones by Hanes. No label too. All the best!


Post a Comment