When the movie ends, I want to dance. Bollywood actors and actresses are so talented, they make dancing look so effortless (and the ones who aren’t technically proficient at least look like they are having fun). And with an item song or closing song in my head, I think I can do it, too.
I’m an okay dancer. I took ballet as a child and belly dance as a teen. I make up for in enthusiasm what I lack in talent. But I also lack stamina and flexible knees. Girls like to swing, as well as “summersault, shake it all, boogie, and shimmy.” I can shake it all and shimmy, and I was in high school during the Swing Revival, so I can swing a bit. Not bad. But even if I had started as a toddler, I’ll never be Aishwarya or Madhuri, Katrina or Deepika.
But when that movie ends, oh how I want to be.
So I was overjoyed when Just Dance started adding Bolly-songs to their line up. The series of games, originally on the Nintendo Wii, and later expanding to other consoles, allows players to dance along with songs. The music is largely pop, with some classics and fun stuff (like Disney) thrown in. Each song has elaborate choreography of varying degrees of difficulty, created by real choreographers, and performed by real dancers.
The game is a lot of escapist fun; you can pretend, for 3-5 minutes at a time, that you are a lithe, graceful dancer. I can, anyway.
The first such song (unless you count the Pussycat Doll version of “Jai Ho”) is a song called “Katti Kalandal.” Which despite having an artist listed as “Bollywood,” is actually a Tamil song from a Tamil movie. Well, you can’t have everything, I guess.
Later sequels did a better job at representation, featuring songs such as “Kurio ko uddah le jana” from Hum Aapke Hain Koun…!
And then, the most amazing addition of all: “India Waale” from Happy New Year. The song and movie are fine, but most importantly, the avatars look like Deepika Padukone and Shahrukh Khan. Finally, finally, my dream came true: to dance with SRK.
It’s all I’ve ever wanted. It’s all any of us have ever wanted.
And the movie ends, and I can have it.