Different cultures have their own distinct coming-of-age rituals. In the island of Vanuatu, teenagers mark their step into adulthood by bungee jumping from a 98 feet tower. In the Brazilian Amazon, the boys signify their journey to maturity by wearing a pair of gloves full of bullet ants. We also have our version of this rite of passage. Yes, I'm talking about dancing at Gaa-e-Holud and other such festivities.
Now there are various things I never wanted to or want to do in my life. Dancing fits in right between eating korolla bhaaji for a month and listening to Djent, the whole Djent and nothing but the Djent. So when the time for the wedding of a dear one came around, I felt it was only logical to draft myself into the gate dhora department. But life is weird and nothing works the way you plan it. What could have been an occasion where I sit back, enjoy the kacchi and make fun of the terrible music selection, I managed to get myself into the prestigious wedding dance crew which included a wide selection of cousins and a lot of bad decisions. But it was also an experience full of revelations, ones that I wouldn't have had otherwise.
Dances at weddings or such occasions seldom make sense. You're supposed to fling yourself around the stage to a beat that you'll barely be able to hear. By some unwritten law there'll always be one or two people on these occasions who have the golden feet and can dance sublimely to everyone's surprise. But for the rest of us, the entire purpose of being on the stage is making a fool out of ourselves.
And that's perfect.
What's so perfect about flailing your arms around to a poorly choreographed routine with bare minimum practice in front of a flabbergasted crowd, I hear you ask? Well, everything. The beauty of dancing on stage is that you'd be bad at it just like everyone else (except maybe that one guy/gal with a ceiling-high MJ poster). There's a point decimal chance that you'll like a single one of the songs you'll dance to. You won't get enough chance to practice and you will most definitely forget the steps somewhere around the act. But you also won't care as you'll see the person next to you has no clue either. It's perfect because you'd be genuinely enjoying every single moment of that desynchronised mess. It was after that routine of awkward hip-thrusting and B-grade dance moves when I had the realisation that it's hard to feel self-conscious about anything at all after three long minutes of dancing to Magic Mamoni.
We live in a time where we need to be wrapped up in three layers of irony to enjoy something. Before doing any mundane thing we feel the need to make sure it lives up to a certain level of sophistication. But sometimes “having fun” should be the first priority when we're, well, having fun. It's a simple thing that we forget more often than not.
So if you ever think you can't dance, just know that you probably can't and that's okay. Because it's not about the moves you'll pull off, but the sheer joy of breaking your mould and dancing your heart out. There's a beauty in making a fool out of yourself when the laughs around you are worth it.
Nuren Iftekhar is your local stray cat in disguise; he interacts with people for food and hates bright light. He got Hufflepuff 3 times straight in Pottermore so no walking around that one. Send him obscure memes at firstname.lastname@example.org