They danced to one beat

I rarely watch opening ceremonies of big events. The last time I sat in front of a television screen that broadcasted an opening ceremony was in 2012 during the Olympics (that ceremony was not good at all). However last night, I sat down with mom to watch the opening night of the 12th South Asian Games 2016. The reason – two of friends were in the performing crew. 

Credit: Mumbaimirror
I had no expectations from the ceremony. I knew there would be a few musical items and some dances ---- things, which are nothing to write home about. I watched the whole broadcast, from speeches to the finale performance. Even though nothing spectacular happened in the show and I couldn’t even spot my friends, something left me quite impressed. So impressed that I decided to pen it down here.

The cultural part started with three consecutive musical performances. Singers like Papon, Zubeen and a few others excited the spectators as drums rolled into the performing ground. A dozen different drums were played on stage and marked the beginning of the dances. As soon as the drumming stopped, hundreds of men rushed into the field and circled around the stage. Those hundred men, I realised, were wearing different dresses. I noticed them separating into groups and then it occurred to me that all of them were going to showcase a different dance of India. I wondered how they were going to play the music for the dancers. It would be a mess to mix the music of Bihu and Kathakali and Bhangra and whatever dance forms they were planning to perform. India’s music and dances are so diverse that putting them together in a same stage at the same time is almost impossible.

I concluded in my mind that things were going to end embarrassingly. A few women carrying some peacock like feathers took the central stage and the rest stayed on their position in a half circle. The whole ground was covered with dancers. The music started and the camera zoomed into the peacock dancers. I safely guessed that the song being played belonged to the peacock women since their steps matched the music’s beat. The dance looked good with the feathers adding charm to their performances. But I was worried about what the other dancers were doing. I couldn’t imagine them dancing to the current song.

The camera switched into a wider view and then I witnessed the impressive thing. Everyone on the field was dancing and everyone was doing their own dances. A group was doing Bhangra, another was dancing Bihu and a few others whose dance forms I didn’t recognise were dancing too. And the music wasn’t even theirs. All of them were dancing differently to the same beat. Throughout the whole performance the music only changed once but the dancers never stopped. It was a beautiful scene to see so many dance forms of India swaying together to a single beat. And in that instance, it hit my mind that this is the India I had always dreamt of. Extremely diverse but sharing the same heartbeat. 

Time saver tip: The cultural performances do not start until 1.20.00

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.