Old folk can still dance

I was thinking about the fact that, as an over 30, I am now officially old. I mean, James Bond is now a 30-something, which makes this the first time in my life that I have been in the same decade as a Bond actor.

However, between popping arthritis medicine and obsessing about the fact that I have to settle down before it’s too late, I remembered something. Old folk can still dance. I don’t just mean gorgeous professional dancers like DesiDancer, I mean ordinary uncles and aunties. I’m not saying that they can grind, freak or krump (although I’ll bet DD can krump like a clown) I mean that they can dance which is to me a far more beautiful thing.

Herewith, exhibit A [via Vinod], Gurdas Maan’s Babe Bhangra Pounde Ne:

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If I can dance like that, when I’m that age, I’ll be a happy man.

118 thoughts on “Old folk can still dance

  1. yet uncle-bhangra is hard– it requires a lot of cardio stamina, and in order to look that light on your feet takes a lot of control. Props to the uncles!

    And let’s not forget the highly sophisticated facial expressions.

  2. Shruti, darling, it wasn’t serious. It was all in jest. Until this morning, I hadn’t been giving much thought to the fact that there were people amongst our readers who looked at some of us and said “They’re over 30, they’re old”. So I wrote the start of the post, tongue-in-cheek, really as an excuse to share the video.

    Nor is our teasing of DD meant to be in anything other than fun. If you ever meet her, you’ll understand why.

    Don’t worry, if maturity comes with age, I’ll stay young forever.

    Better now?

  3. … *sigh* maybe I have an AILF/UILF(??) fetish or something

    get ready for all the biodata requests in your inbox!

    Am I the only one that thinks it’s really unattractive when 30+ people express insecurity about their age (even if they’re just joking), and really – like, seriously – sexy when they rock their age because they’re perfectly fine with it?

    I don’t necessarily think these are two mutually exclusive conditions.

  4. Shruti would like you to wear Speedos ;)

    Ahem, we’re trying to get your groove back, not mine silly.

  5. Nor is our teasing of DD meant to be in anything other than fun. If you ever meet her, you’ll understand why.

    no offense taken, Shruti! I’m of the stance that age is how you act, now how many days you’ve logged on this planet. In which case, I’m generally about 7. ;) Ennis can tease all he wants because no matter how old I get, he’ll still be older.

    But you bring up an interesting point about looks-based validation… I mean, looks fade and we’re all getting uglier by the day (ok, maybe just me?)… I figure a gorgeous mind and charming persona is most attractive at any age. Though Jai will argue it’s the caboose that counts.

  6. I know, I know – that was a weird ass rant…

    And yes, you made me feel better now, tanks :)

    I think I’m just confused about all that discussion about the “right” age group on Abhi’s post about recruiting new bloggers. I was begining to think y’all really draw lines for ages.

  7. Thirty+ is aging? Oscar de la Hoya is almost 34 and faced WBC world junior middleweight Ricardo Mayorga on May 6, 2006 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. He won this bout by a TKO in round 6.

    I move better now than I did ten years ago…and I look better too.

  8. Shruti, you are too cute! I can only speak for myself. I call myself old all the time and I’m still 16 months shy of 30.

    When I find myself saying things like, “Oh! Your kids have really grown!” and “It’s so good to hear your voice again” and really meaning it; when I have to stretch–I mean, damn! I HAVE to strech before snowboarding/running/dancing: -10 cool points–when I regularly say, “It’s too late. I’m going home. Got work tomorrow,” or “That place’s too loud” when deciding what to do for entertainment, This, these things from a girl who used to get by on 5 or less hours of sleep a night, sware allegience to hip-hop and throw my small body into a mosh pit at-will less than 10 years ago, I feel like a foreign entity has taken over my body. I, personally, have decided to call the entity, “age.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I stil get down but what was cool/important/regular at 21, won’t be at 31 for a wide array of reasons. What’s scary are the people who never realize that…

  9. Am I the only one that thinks it’s really unattractive when 30+ people express insecurity about their age (even if they’re just joking), and really – like, seriously – sexy when they rock their age because they’re perfectly fine with it?
    I don’t necessarily think these are two mutually exclusive conditions.

    They should still stop complaining :) It’s like having to come up with elaborate ways to tell your friend she looks fine when you really don’t care one way or the other because you don’t judge her like that.

  10. Ennis get his groove back…

    Ennis can wear tiger striped speedos and sport a handle moustache and ask Sin, ‘ Arrey oh Samba…Kitne aadmi the?’

  11. I have attended some Pakistani weddings in Pakistan in the early-90s and there was in fact a lot of dancing at the maiyoun, mehndi and other pre-marriage festivities. The marriages were all Muhajir marriages in Karachi though so maybe they do it different in rural Sindh, Lahore or Sarhad.

    The Indian Muslim marriages also usually have a lot of dancing but with the likes of Zakir Da Fool Naik/Israr Ahmed and other charlatans propogating their medievalism on basic cable in India, I wont be surprised if the masses are giving up on these festivities.

    I was talking to this elderly lady the other day and we were discussing the origin of the Maiyoun, Mehndi and other similar pre-marriage parties. I have been told that the urdu speakers in undivided India did not really have these parties. Apparently they all come from Punjab and then spread to Karachi after 47 and made their way to the Urdu hearland in India via Karachi. Can someone confirm this? What about the Indian Punjab? Do they have these pre-marriage parties as well?

  12. Ok, since there are very few threads where I can link to (appropriately) link to songs, does it get better than this? You just have to ignore the woman’s horrible voice, but Chamkila (the dude) was an incredible talent…in another life he could have been Shakespeare.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=33WqdSE-qeU

  13. no desh sez

    That’s why I’ve always admired the Indian (that’s what I primarily saw, and even that’s “stretching it”) community while growing up because they engaged in all these forms of dance, whether it was during Diwali, Holi, or other times which I can’t remember and infrequently attended.

    pro’ly has to do with the liquor consumption no desh. both the indian festivals you cite are associated with intoxicants. people let down their guards and hang loose. i suppose the societal pressure to behave or to not consume alcohol so freely has something to do with the relative toned down behavior in pakistani weddings… :-)

  14. What about the Indian Punjab? Do they have these pre-marriage parties as well?

    Yes, It is spread all over India – rural, urban alike. It can go on for days.

    If you are a Mumbai don or steel magnet, then you can have Bollywood stars participating too with your daughter/ daughter-in-law in these parties. Or even have them in France.

    I always thought dancing and songs in marriages in India/ Pakistan/ Nepal are irrespective of religion.

  15. I always thought dancing and songs in marriages in India/ Pakistan/ Nepal are irrespective of religion.

    Not always, especially among the super religious. If the Imam-saab says ‘no dance, music is haraam’ then I’m pretty sure you can guess the outcome.

    Although I have been to a wedding where the men and women were separated after the religious ceremony and then the real kundi shaking began. (It’s shocking what people will still do even without alcohol in the picture…disturbing!) It’s not strictly a Paki thing, either, as my experiences are all from a bengali perspective.

  16. I would kill for Versailles. Sigh.

    I am glad that somebody caught to my reference.

    Mittal’s daughter danced with Shah Rukh Khan and all @ ladies sangeet in Versailles.

    For others, it will be their home or some Hotel in the town.

  17. The Bindrakhia video is powerful. The love he and Gurdass Maan have for punjabi virsa is breathtaking.

  18. 69 — “If you are a Mumbai don or steel magnet”

    I think you meant magnate?

    Sorry Kush, not making fun but this post in my THC induced hallucination was the best f***ing animated comedy I have seen. Imagine Shah Rukh dancing with a magnet and all the iron filings drawn to him. Hilarious. Chak de Phatte.

  19. Apparently they all come from Punjab and then spread to Karachi after 47 and made their way to the Urdu hearland in India via Karachi. Can someone confirm this? What about the Indian Punjab? Do they have these pre-marriage parties as well?

    Of course! Please, do you need to give Punjabis an excuse to party? ;) Actually I have no idea what these parties are like on the Pakistani side – can you describe? I really think that “mehndi” is the same as the sangeet, but I could be totally wrong.

  20. Well you came and you gave without taking but I sent you away, oh Mehndi well you kissed me and stopped me from shaking I need you today, oh Mehndi

  21. I like this video of Gurdas Mann because he has MEN (clothed) dancing behind him (old or young, whatever). Not like Daler Mehndi and the scantily clad gori chicks. Too much sex in videos just makes ya numb.

    Also – commenter “Pritha” ‘s story about her parents and grandma…really sweet! :-)

  22. When does old age begin ? If you are too busy, you probably wont notice it creeping on you. I am 45, reasonably fit (can hike for a day or run a half marathon) but have, like Pritha’s mom, become self conscious (maybe I was always this way) in front of the mirror (can you say Dorian Gray?) For women I’d say that age begins to make its presence felt in the 30s, for men probably a decade later. Maybe what we can control is the rate of decline.. but make no mistake, it is one way..all the way downhill, slow and steady or fast and frightening. What are the signs? grey hair, no hair, spreading middle, crows feet, odd bumps, new diseases, and some loss of fluid intelligence. And waiting for the next sign.

    But more than all of this.. is the generation gap.. although with the time machine that the internet is.. one can go back and forth. My daughter loves bands from the back when I was younger.. assuring me that they are still current. I interact a lot with people in their 20s.. My boss is in his 30s. Still mutual stereotypes inhibit an easy back and forth. Ageism is the most powerful lens there is.. And one thats hard to overcome.

    strangely enough..I also feel at the peak of my mental and physical powers (small peak it may be) so as one ages maybe we become more and more split, into multiple selves?

  23. Khalsa Junction are some of the best bhangra dancers in America. Youtube has many clips, this is just one of the good ones. Some of the best dancing you’ll see.

  24. If you are a Mumbai don or steel magnet, then you can have Bollywood stars participating too with your daughter/ daughter-in-law in these parties. Or even have them in France.

    for a small fee (smaller than SRK’s), Kush, I’ll dance at your shaadi ;)

  25. I meant Jagte Rao’s Main Khoi Jhoot Boliya, another Raj Kapoor classic

    and just for that Kush… I will dance at your shaadi as well… for free. :-)

  26. this is exactly how my dad dances…the comparison is in a good way though. i must say, dancing with my dad (undoubtedly as some wedding reception or another) is a rare pleasure. like the post…

  27. Thank God for Amitabh Bachhan, the man who single handedly legitimized, actually glamorized, the uncle-aunti dance. Yeah, Ennis, turning 30 is a wake-up call. Forty and fifty don’t hold the same benchmark value.

    Speaking from my long experience in aging, growing older is not a problem as long as you don’t have a debilitating disease. But one is still left with an accumulation of regrets for not having done certain things in life or wishing one had done certain others a little differently. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” still sounds good, though.

  28. Sin and Al M for D:

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I guess my extended relatives are just smack dab in the middle of conservatism. The ones back in the Desh wear burqa, etc. That’s why I have zero desire to ever step foot in that country. I can’t, however, wait to go to India one day.

  29. Now that the ages of people are confirmed and only one of you is in my range (mebeing22)….Shrutii, how you doin? ;)

    You know me. It’s my duty….to please that booty.

    and Jai, you are my hero (I think i have mentioned this before)

  30. Jeet,

    and Jai, you are my hero (I think i have mentioned this before)

    No you haven’t mentioned it before, but it’s very nice of you to say so. I’m not sure if I deserve it, mundea, but thank you anyway ;)

    When you have some spare time I suggest you go through the posts in that link DesiDancer supplied in post #58. It pretty much marks the apex of my badmaashi during my entire time on this blog…..

  31. Speaking from my long experience in aging, growing older is not a problem as long as you don’t have a debilitating disease. But one is still left with an accumulation of regrets for not having done certain things in life or wishing one had done certain others a little differently. Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” still sounds good, though.

    I think this is critical…aging is OK as long as a)you remain reasonably fit and b)you feel fulfilled that you accomplished the things you think should have been done by a certain age. In other words, no (or few) regrets. A 40 yr old with a happy marriage and healthy, good kids may feel better about himself than a 40 yr old who feels he’s missed the boat on that stuff. On the other hand a 40 yr old with a miserable marriage and obnoxious kids may envy his single friend who’s still partying every weekend with a different woman. I just turned 35, I’m pretty OK with it, but the events of the next few years will be important in deciding if I make a happy transition into my 40s or not. But definitely, looking around and seeing my sister, my cousins, and my friends aging right there along with me, makes the whole process easier. What I HAVE noticed lately is that my parents and aunts/uncles have started looking kind of old to me the past few years, because I can remember them in their prime. Life is really short, people.

  32. What I HAVE noticed lately is that my parents and aunts/uncles have started looking kind of old to me the past few years, because I can remember them in their prime.

    The changes appear even more dramatic if they live in the old country and you see them every couple years or so. I have one such appointment at the airport tomorrow. Anticipation + Fear.