By Anuradha W. Ramachandran
At my age, I don’t get invited to many exciting events. Being a mother of two boys is a nonstop roller-coaster ride, some would say! While I love my kids, I need to maintain my sanity and repair my frayed nerves. I do that by seeking succour at parties with friends or the occasional art, music or theatre do. Fortunately, I live in a community that comprises different cultures in a burgeoning suburb of Mumbai: Powai. Being a tech-savvy neighbourhood, we have an online social community network called Powai Info. So, one morning when I saw a post that asked, “How about a flash mob by residents?”, I responded with my trademark “I’m in!” Soon, we had a group of 400 wannabe flash-mob dancers. The discussions started – which song, where to practice, who to teach, who to get permissions and required clearances…
and then there was a call for our first practice session. We’d decided to dance to Psy’s Gangnam Style.
I set out with mixed feelings – excitement, trepidation and questions: Would people turn up? Would this die a natural death like other community endeavours? Would we get the permissions? At the venue, there were only half a dozen people. My heart sank… What happened to the hundreds who said they wanted to be part of this unprecedented event? Practice began. A petite young girl showed us the signature Gangnam step and we emulated. In the group were a few moms (like myself ) and a few teenagers. While the others easily picked up the steps, I fumbled and flayed my arms around. The thought that my boys would have a rollicking time watching me like this didn’t make it any easier. I asked questions (yes, there can be questions about a dance movement), fretted, fumed and felt discouraged at the end of our first practice session. Was I taking on more than I could handle? Would I be able to pull it off ? I got home feeling low and unsure.
A date had been set for the flash mob: November 11, 2012. I was quite sceptical considering we didn’t have enough participants – 10 or 15 at best would turn up for practice – and began to dread that it would be a washout. I was wrong; the fever caught on. More people joined in. Some were school kids, some working professionals and some mothers. Over the next few weeks, I was constantly running to and from practice sessions, which were not so daunting any more – I was actually showing the moves to some newcomers!
The air was buzzing with excitement and anticipation on the evening of 10-11-12 outside a popular cafe in the complex. The crowd was growing by the minute as we’d asked our friends and family to be present (yea, yea – I know that’s not technically a “flash mob” but we’d put in so much effort, we wanted everyone to be there!) We were nervous and excited all at the same time and then the music began. Dressed in bright colours and our version of Psy’s black glasses, we began to groove. The crowd cheered us on and I found myself relaxing and enjoying being the “sexy lady”, counting steps in my mind. Before we could say ‘Oppa Gangnam style’, it was over and the crowd applauded us shouting, “Once more!” That was when I knew I had done it! We caught our breath and started again – this time, some people from the crowds joined us and we managed to achieve what Powai Info had set out to do years ago: Bring residents together.
Anuradha is an English Hons graduate from Delhi University, Having spent many years in the hotel industry organising events & selling hotels to corporate clients, she took a break to pander to home & kids. Always the one to initiate outings & plan activities; she loves the idea of seeing new places & putting new experiences together.
A proud resident of Hiranandani Garden for the past ten years, she looks forward to bringing this community closer by involving them in various activities & events.”
First published on Atelier
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