May I Have The Pleasure Of Stepping On Your Foot?

So I went to a party on the weekend, and it was awesome, because there was music and dancing. But it also sucked, because there was music and dancing. What I’m saying is that I cannot dance. And this is no ordinary lack of talent. No siree. I am unable to dance in the same way that Vasant Dhoble is unable to distinguish between regular women and prostitutes.

But before we get into that, let’s just accept a few facts. Firstly, all the smooth, sensual dance forms that yuppies go nuts about today – be it the tango, the mambo, the salsa, whatever – are just extended foreplay. Also, for most men, dance is just an excuse to put on some music and rub up against a woman in the hope of seducing her. This is supposed to be hot, but when I put on my iPod and do the same thing on the bus, it’s suddenly frowned upon. OK relax, I’m kidding. I don’t use an iPod.

It’s no wonder that women love the idea of dance as foreplay. Because women love doing simple things in the most complicated way possible: “OK, before I hook up with this guy, I want him to spin me around 500 times, dip me, hold me, thrill me, fling me, lift me, bench-press me, hoist me up like a bazooka and pretend to fire RPGs out of my bum.”

This is a problem for me, because the only dance I know (and badly at that) is Bollywood dance, which is a certified woman repellent. The only way it could be more repulsive is if I wore a necklace made out of all the female toes I’ve stepped on.

And it’s not just me – most Indian men are rubbish at dance. We have a fixed set of steps that get increasingly stupid with each drink, and we just don’t care. Our approach to dance – be it at an office party, wedding, birthday or funeral – consists of various gems.

First up is The Nagin. You know a step is a winner when you see it being performed by sweaty guys at every engineering festival. This wonderful tribute to Sridevi involves raising your hands up above your head in the shape of a cobra’s hood, and swaying about with the grace of Hrithik Roshan. From Guzarish.

And then we have the Indian Man’s Overbite. No pelvic thrust is complete without it. It involves scrunching up your nose, and biting your lip seductively in the hope that the woman you’re trying to impress has a Tinnu Anand fetish.

Soon it’s time for the step that you’ve seen every uncle do at every party ever: the shuffle-about-while-balancing-alcohol-filled-glass-on-head step. The only time it is okay to balance drinks on your head is if you’re a poor village woman who has to trek 100 kilometres to the nearest bar to stock up on booze.

As the night progresses further, we unleash The Chammak Challo. Arms outstretched, and hands rotating as if to say, “Who knew turning imaginary taps could be so much fun!” While doing this, in my head, I’m convinced I’m Shahrukh Khan, whereas I actually look like a hawker offering you a breast exam.

I blame our lack of style on India. Our culture has no room for sensual dances. We have bhangra which, while fun, is about as sensual as a gunshot wound. At some point, they stop bothering with lyrics and switch to ‘bhhrrrrrwaaah’. Every time you make that sound, somewhere in Punjab, a buffalo gets turned on.

In Maharashtra, we have the Lezim, which is performed using what I can only describe as musical nunchucks. You should learn it if your lifetime ambition is to be featured in the background of a DD Sahyadri documentary.

And what in the name of holy Mohanlal moustache is kathakali? It’s a dude with green face paint who looks really angry. Then again, I’d be angry too if my face looked like something the Hulk might dig out of his nose.

I’ve actually decided to stop being a boor and to “get with it”. I’m going to learn as many cool dances as I can. And ladies, if you’re paired up with me in dance class, remember: wear survival boots.

(Note: This is my HT column dated 17th June 2012.)

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28 responses to “May I Have The Pleasure Of Stepping On Your Foot?

  1. GB Shaw on dancing: a vertical expression of a horizontal desire.

  2. ROFL. So, you don’t use an iPod, huh? Hilarious post! Loved it.

  3. And what about that drowning move where you swing your hands forward like the freestyle stroke then clinch your nose and go down on your knees. Another would be the oscillating shoulders where two guys try to make their left and right shoulders meet as per the beats. And what about that seductive move where guys hold their heads with their hand supporting the back of their necks and then the matka jhatka. Killer moves. They just kill the mood, reputation and all your chances of getting lucky!

  4. Hey great piece as usual. You may wanna check ‘…bhangra while, while fun,..’ Think it shud’ve been ‘…bhangra which, while …’ if I’m not wrong n with all due respect ;-)

  5. No snide remark about reality TV dance shows? Me disappoint.

  6. awesome!! That naagin dance para is hilarious!!

  7. super awesome!! absolutely delightful read!

  8. A gem of a read.. Hilarious and true! Kudos..

  9. Deep Chhabria

    My personal favorite is the chest rub. Where one guy is on his knees looking at the other one bending over as if he was playing peek-a-boo with his hairy cleavage which looks like he is doing a Vidya Balan ( From Kahani of course) .Which advances onto the arms stretching and a violent shimmy on Punjabi dub step beats right after the chorus which are mainly lyrics like ‘bhootni ke’. The cherry on this mawa cake is ‘oye hoye’ which is shouted out continously with a lot of passion and desire till it fades out like a swans last song.The step ends when the two grand canyons collide or two Busty women do the same step next to them.
    *Don’t Judge me*

  10. Good one. Hopefully, your next post is on Euros. Maybe you will write after it is over.

  11. “First up is The Nagin. You know a step is a winner when you see it being performed by sweaty guys at every engineering festival. This wonderful tribute to Sridevi involves raising your hands up above your head in the shape of a cobra’s hood, and swaying about with the grace of Hrithik Roshan. From Guzarish.”

    You sir won me at start of the article and here….Even i cant dance :)

  12. necklace out of stubbed women toes.. haha.. you must be like a modern day “angulimaal” prowling the discos and night hangouts..:D.. hilarious stuff man..

  13. At some point, they stop bothering with lyrics and switch to ‘bhhrrrrrwaaah’. Every time you make that sound, somewhere in Punjab, a buffalo gets turned on.

    hahahahahahaha….man you can crack open jesus wherever he is…!!

    *bows*

  14. Typically the dancer also runs out of steps and suddenly grabs the shoulders of an innocent bystander and asks him/her to lead the ‘train’. This goes on till new ‘bulbs’ of steps glow or the song changes when everyone sheepishly stops the train if they have not already stopped when they ran over broken glass or something. Ofcourse in your head all the while you were inside the titanic with arms on kate winslet’s shoulder. ;)

  15. Lovely column. You’re getting better and better!

  16. Great read!! The Hulk thing set my imagination ablaze and made me throw back my head as I laughed out loud. *Thank God Les Boss wasn’t around :P

  17. Enrolling into dance classes must be made mandatory for men. I sadly, agree. ‘Nagin’, tops it.

  18. Just hilarious! I actually laughed out loud!

  19. LOL… good one. I thought i knew what kathakali was about until you put it up here. my mohanlal moustache ego has crumbled up.

  20. I thought I was the only one who knew, “The Nagin” step. S%#t.

  21. And then there is a dance form that comprises precise movement of your feet in order to avoid others stepping on your toes. Let us call is the “Shako” :-)

  22. This is an ill informed article from someone who claims to know nothing about dance (and yes, he doesn’t). India has a lack of meaningful, sensual dances? What a fool! And the humour is forced and pompous. What a waste of time!

  23. Omg I can’t stop laughing! First time here, and loving it. Where were you all the while, when I needed to laugh out loud?
    So glad I found your blog! :)

  24. Great post man. Stepping on feet is all part of getting good (a part that thankfully disappears with practice).

  25. India doesn’t have a lack of sensual dances! They’re just not the ones you see at a family party! But this was a hilarious take on dancing. If you’re an Indian who can’t dance though…..that’s sad *pats your head* We’re born with it, most of us.

  26. I got a lot of stinky-eyed glances my way when ir ead this and laughed out loud in the office then I shared it them and it was an epidemic of hillarious proportions! you have a crazy imagination.. on a side note – thank god that you spared the “garba” ;)

  27. Through the course of this particularly uneventful night, I have read a plethora of your posts and there’s just one thing to say about this one.
    BEST.POST. EVER. !!!11!!!one!!

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