The Growing Trend

Mar 13, 2012 by     7 Comments    Posted under: Non-Fiction

I’m supposed to attend 3 weddings soon in Islamabad and all three have one thing in common. The girls are going crazy thinking about dance performances at the mehndi / dholkis! I mean what does it matter to the bride and groom if you do the ‘ainvayi ainvayi lutt gya’ step from the left hand instead of the right? It will certainly not be the end of the world if the steps don’t match and definitely not if the starting song is all wrong in the medley of 20 songs you have got it arranged from the recording shop. TWENTY SONGS! The same or almost the same people dancing on twenty songs and then you complain that the dinner was served late!

I am not a maulvi, jary-ofying a fatwa against dances. I am dancing in all these three weddings thankyou-very-much but the bustle of it all; the necessity pretty much baffles me. Our fellows these days do not even bother ordering a dholki to one of their “dholkis” and instead much of their time is spent in dance-partying. For girls, this is understandably the best exercise in Pakistan because we don’t have a much successful trend of gyms or a much safe haven in parks for ladies who’d like to walk. Dancing is fun, co-coordinated dance is all the more fun, but it does not mean that you invite people from miles away and make them stay till midnight just because your dances aren’t engraved in their memories till they get bored to death of the songs.

Relax. Have fun. It’s a wedding, not an exam!

Secondly, where did the tradition of singing around a dholki go? Surely if one can memorize all those dance steps, convince bad movers to bless us with their thumkas, then one can also spend a little time learning lyrics of songs. And there is no rule that all the old songs are to be sung and are ‘singable’ to the dholki beat. One can mould the beat to one’s own need and have a lot of fun. Involve the grownups, who personally speaking, look much better contributing their voices to the chorus and taps than prancing around in their heels. Aunties should act their age. Enough said.

Singing is fun. It includes more people, the beat of the drum reflects happiness and straightaway announces a wedding. One can pin-point people and dedicate songs to family members, even dance a bit if you want to. If you have a terrible voice or do not know all the words, your mumbles are lost in the raised voices of everyone, males and females. While dancing, if you do a stupid act, the camera records it forever and you are forever the centre of people’s mirth. Also, no one has to conjure up male or female partners and be all awkward about it because yes, we might be oh-so-modern but we still think twice before dancing with people from opposite genders.

Happy Dancing! Toodles =)

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7 Comments + Add Comment

  • I haven’t attended grand weddings with lots of dancing that much, and it seems some what appealing from an outsiders perspective.
    However, I’ve heard stories from several people related to how some girls prepare solo dances (and are encouraged by their mothers to do so) specifically for the purpose of getting rishtas from families attending that wedding. That I find quite disturbing.

  • sooo interesting :D although i was the one dancing as well.. actually heading one of the dance practices but i agree with what you said :P..i still like the old way of having mehndis with dholki because more than fun mehndis now days are competetions for both the sides :P..
    excellent job..rabia <3

  • I love that you wrote about this. I remember going to this shaadi where the dances had to be so coordinated that the whole fun of the mehndi disappeared. It felt like we are a bunch of dancers, dancing. :p

  • These days Mehndi’s are more like dancing competitions. And not only that, people have separate events for dancing. The whole fun of Mehndi and in my opinion a traditional Pakistani wedding is gone. Because people are more interested in showing off and competing with others than enjoying themselves. Very well written.

  • Main issue khanay ka hai, aj kal gajar ka halwa tau koi rakhta he nai hai shadiyo mai :/

  • I agree.
    Though I love coordinated dances and everything, but lets just spare mehndi’s from the rigid and religiously followed practices. Especially for the sake of having competition between the two parties. It can be so much more creative, with dances in it.

    -coming from a person who LOVES dancing.

  • can u suggest some good songs to sing at dholki.

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