Monday, June 29, 2009

UP wala thumka lagao...

Someone is getting married in your family? Are you going to attend or have you attended a marriage function soon? I can’t say about other places but the places where I have been, (UP, Bombay, Calcutta), marriages do not seem be culminated well without the craziness at Baaraats. Lavish functions, grand arrangements and just before the final steps, some steps to make the waiting as the longest one. The dancing steps of your near-dear-anyone-everyone.

It’s an obsession to look craziest. It’s energy to perform endlessly. It’s a craze to sweat the most. Or, it’s a mockery for another one being staged to lifelong imprisonment. Whatever it is, it’s a fun to watch, if you are not participating and it’s a platform to get lost completely if you are all geared up.

Just before the onset of Baaraat, all the participants spend hours to look the greatest for the occasion. The preparation for those hours starts months back. Make up, dress up, line up and there the band comes. First few minutes, it’s all band and only the band. Everyone is saving their best dresses; they try to complain for the loudness of the band as well. No one joins and it seems that this time the Baaraat would not turn up as ‘Baaraat’. And then someone, it could be anyone, becomes the leader. He takes the initiative with a few latke-jhatke. He or she ends with the shortest performance. Now the invitation is to all. Join boss!!

It starts with one type of step; latka-jhatka and you have to keep repeating the same latka-jhatka. You change your position; bend a bit, result is still the same step. Be straighten up, same step. Turn, swirl, and take rounds, same step. If you see from a distance you can feel as if some serious emergency has happened in the crowd. Everyone is shaking. A few times it gives a feeling of mild earthquake. The glittering of lights, the loudness of drums, the thud of thumping feet, so many hands upraised, a few drops of sweat passing from one person to other person and sudden shrieks of excitement. All this sums up the drama at the road. More drama can be seen up there at the roof tops. Everyone is out to see the procession going. The drama at the road is completely unaware of their scrutiny by the drama queens at the rooftops. Girls are checking handsome boys, the dancing stars. Boys are again passing their stares to whosoever they can find in the crowd. They don’t bother whom to look, they look at every female. The ladies keep their eyes on jewellery, on sarees and most importantly on Mr Dulha. ‘Who is getting married’ is the big question among them, though they don’t bother to get the answer.

After some time the Baraat is divided into two parts automatically. Boys’ gang is the wild one. They are sometimes sensuous, sometimes too fast and sometimes slow thumkas to imitate girls. Girls’ gang seems to be more mature as they try to follow some style of dancing. They try to follow Rajasthani, Marwari, more group efforts, more organized circles but the end is same. Similar thumkas work everywhere. The equation of the two gangs keep changing and a few members keep switching, resulting cohesion and more dancing-talk among them.

For a few songs you might see a few different steps. The favorite Nagin song is the key appetizer for the main dancers of the gangs. One of the guys sit down at the road, takes out his handkerchief placed specially for the song, waves it like a ‘been’ and tries to tame a snake-cum-human-another fellow obsessive Baarat-wala-thumka specialist partner.

Like so many Indian traditions, we have traditions of typical Baarat songs. 'Aaj mere yaad ki shaadi hai': it’s not surely the marriage of everyone's friend, still the most popular song. 'Ye desh hai veer jawanon ka': i don’t have any clue why they play such a patriotic song for such an auspicious super emotionally excited event of one’s lifetime, but tradition is tradition. I wonder what songs they played in Baarats when these songs were not there, who thought to play these songs for the first time and when such songs became a part of traditions across places. Does anyone know?

The last leg of the Baaraat is the most crucial one. The speed of the procession suddenly drops down to zero just before the main entrance. Everyone gather to show off that this is the time we have to do something. We have to break the rules and show them that we are the ones. Now the two gangs of the Baaraat become one and ‘the rivals for the day’ becomes the gang of girls’ side.

Without caring for the traffic jams, the troubles to the people on roads, the Baaraat ends here with all the paths traveled whatsoever short it was. At the end of it the red kurtas become the maroon ones. The darker shades of clothes get some salty irregular shapes of maps of different countries. The combination of deodorant, sweat, panting and bad breathe of some 100 odd people make it a nauseating environment.

Surely, all this is worth it to the ‘Boy turning Man’, ‘Girl turning Lady’ occasion.

But, I feel,

“Baarats and Baarats everywhere,
Not a single one with a difference…”


preposterous girl said...

:D :D Good take on baraats.. but however unmanaged, same steps, same thumkas.. dancing in baraat has its own charm!! Ain't it?? If i love it, most prolly u also might like it :P
besides , ye bhool gaye kya ki aapko bhi ek din wohi dulha ban na hai :P
Oh BTW post ka title bada achha hai.. i read it in morning, aur abhi tak yahi gana ga rahi hu.. 'UP wala thumka lagau ,ki hero jaise nach ke dikhau"
lol :P :P

ashkd said...

@ PG.. yes it is great fun.. :-) i take time to start.. but i love being lost if i start.. :-) but sometimes the loudness is too high.. in my cousin's baaraat in Feb, i had got my left inner ear severely damaged.. :-(

dulha ba jayenge.. tab to raja honge.. uss din ke.. raja ki sawari mein to mauj masti hogee hee.. hehe.. :P

nach basanti naach.. nirmal anand ke liye naach.. :P

preposterousgirl said...

heheehe.. Mujhe laga Nirmal Anand kisi ka name hai.. :P :P

ashkd said...

@ PG.. hehehehe.. in that case nirmal anand would have been your Veeru.. hehe.. jai kahan hai basanti?? :P

Rachit Goel said...

well great observation...the whole thing has been nicely picturised, gud work.

ashkd said...

@ Rachit.. Thanks a lot.. :-) keep coming..

preposterous girl said...

yunki ye kaun bola!! hehe.. jai aur veeru coin dhund rahe hain , toss karne ke liye.. lol

ashkd said...

ye hum bol rahe hain.. :P (remember the scene when basanti comes to temple and Veeru goes back of Shankar ji.. )

'Andaz apna apna' ki language mein wo log sikka udane gaye hain.. hehe..

preposterous girl said...

hehehe.. u rem that.. I also looooooooove andaz apna apna.. That "gogojee ka ghaghra".. Hilarious..!!

ashkd said...

hehe.. i remember most of the dialogues.. the last scene is so superbbbbbbbb.. 'hum sab to panchhi hain..'.. 'suno suno duniya ke logon sabse bada hai Mr gogo..' :-)

sm said...

good observation
like your post
Hum kabhi Nahi Sudhrenge

Anonymous said...

Hey nice one yaar....specially...
"At the end of it the red kurtas become the maroon ones. The darker shades of clothes get some salty irregular shapes of maps of different countries. The combination of deodorant, sweat, panting and bad breathe of some 100 odd people make it a nauseating environment."



ashkd said...

@ sm.. Thanks.. :-) hum sudhar jayenge to ye baaratein antique items type youtube pe milne lagengee.. hehe.. i wish that doesnt happen in near future.. :-)

ashkd said...

@allthecrap.. Thanks.. :-)
so did you finally find out 'Niyati'?? :P

Vaibhav said...

Good One :)