The Garba Letters

(garba is a form of dance originating from the state of Gujarat. Comes alive during Navratri)

Haalo garba ramva (come on let’s play garba)

Dear Council Jobsworth

Following on from your original note to Ms Aanal(below) I thought I would respond to your rather pointless note and reassure you that yesterday evening was just fine.

Well, who needs Harrow Leisure Centre, Brent Town Hall, Greenford Town Hall, Granby Hall or Demontford Halls…. we have Bromham Village Hall! We even had a doorman, come bouncer with a box of sticks.Sneha you’ve trained him well. But that didn’t stop a whole bunch of non Gujaratis sneaking in. That includes a 6’2” Simon😂 and even a Punjabi mother and daughter. The latter had bought her visiting mum from India to show her how we were keeping it real away from the motherland . Jai Hin 🇮🇳. Mr Modi would be proud 🤷🏽‍♀️.

The ladies came garba ready. Vivid colours,mirrored ghagra and cholis, classic sarees , countless bangles and bindis and let’s not forget the security of the safety pins .Shameless exposure of bellies and backs but still managing to look elegant if not a little sexy .I have to give the best dressed prize to Tejal I think 👏🏾… now don’t get upset the rest of you. We all looked great 😉. I wore my beautiful lengha from Baroda thanks to my resident doctor Vinita. I don’t think there was a colour that I wasn’t sporting. But Swarupa in her classy gold and black tells me “you’re missing black darling”. Manasi in her stunning fusion combo. And it was great seeing Rekha in a saree and not in her yoga gear although with all that sweating it may have been more suitable . Then the beautiful Nitasha arrived in black & orange ; even with her crazy schedule she knew she couldn’t miss this event. The children were super smart and the boys gave the girls a run for their money on this occasion. Yash wins the prize for the most handsome young man.

We can finally put into practice all that clapping Aanal taught us. Ek, be, teen, chaar , paanch- I’m making it up now. It really did work and her students did her proud including the children. Garba was great with wonderful music from the live band (how rude of me not to get the names, think Sanjeev was having great banter) who kept drifting into Hindi film songs. Parul and her gang were too cool for school – so good at every dance. I want to be that cool!! Great entertainment during what I will term “freestyle”. Then the main event – dandiya . Not easy getting people coordinating feet, hands, sticks and others 😂. The ever patient Aanal even managed to teach Simon how to play; had nightmares thinking he would hit a child 🤦🏽‍♀️. But don’t worry you Health & Safety freaks there were no reported injuries but just a few broken dandiyas. The only complaint I have is my poor poor dirty sore feet. Ofcourse I washed them before getting into bed.

I caught Ritu and Maya in the toilets – no not smoking but fixing the safety pins and outfit of course 😉. An Indian event wouldn’t be complete without an adjustment or two.A certain someone (an auntie and doctor and whose name begins with Dr K😉) wondered why they weren’t serving alcohol. Does it go well with Maataji’s songs ? We stuffed our faces with yummy food and yes I did eat a whole gulag jamun.😇. Who knew that £5 could buy such a big treat …you’re wondering now . There was bhatura and chana, samosa, spring roll , alloo tikki and one piece of mithai . Typical Gujarati food 🤣 all on one plate !!

Brings back memories of my first ever garba with old school friends Bindi and Kailas. Must have been Greenford ?? It was the place to be where the maasis looked for daughter-in-laws and son in laws . I had a lucky escape but then again I was only fourteen 😍.

Thankyou to the Hindu society and especially those were working behind the scenes. Even the location was perfect allowing Nitin (Swarupa’s husband- yes naming and shaming) and Simon to sneak off to the pub whilst we warmed up the dance floor.?

Thankyou Maya for the ever ready supply of water ! 😊

Lovely seeing lots of new friends.





Garba practice 5/10/18

Dear Ms Aanal

I understand from our sources that you held an illicit garba dance class yesterday here in Bedford. There was even some information about Navratri. You were trying to encourage some non-Gujaratis to join in. I suppose it’s worth a try!! 🤷‍♀️ Not only that you had ladies , children and one gentleman (I’ll call him Dr K to protect him and his wife Vishali bhen 😂). I applaud your efforts.

It appears that a certain Vinita Manjure was there under false pretences- we know she can do this type of dance. We have video footage from Varoda where she was rather wild wearing backless blouses and dancing nine nights on the trot and even spoke to boys!! Why was she there ? 🤔 But we are glad she was – a teacher’s assistant is always useful when you have students such as myself , Swarupa, Manasi, Praveena and Aparna. I also think Sneha was there to have fun but was a great support and filled in gaps in our knowledge.Simantee was graceful as ever and having shown her skills at Bengali dance she is surely the next garba queen.

Mayaji was ladylike as always and for some reason does not want to do dandiya with the boys – just too rough apparently. Swarupa … dandiya is dandiya and garba is garba 😂and thee is no you know what🥂. 🙄

So onto the actual dancing … or was it a maths class 🤔 Ek taali (one clap), Be taali (two claps)… you get the drift. Grab the dandiyas now and feel the rhythmn – one , two, three, four. five. One two three four five. Again one two three four five. 😂😂😂 now we have the basics try any of the variations, clicks , no claps , turns , jumps, bends. And don’t forget the hips!! It’s all too much and apparently they were sweating and laughing and the kids were all happy. Perfect 👌🏽

Well .. we will see how your students perform on the 20th October. I hope you have warned them about the dress code … chote chote blouses and gher wale ghaghra. We will all be there to check on their progress at Bromham Village Hall.

I think I’m supposed to say Thankyou to you at this point on behalf of the community.

SeemBeema 💕

3 thoughts on “The Garba Letters

  1. Thank you for the above.

    All read, with a nice grin.
    I did not follow the private references but nice to see them expressed so

    Thank you also for writing about the great buzz that is garba, the
    enchantment that is raas and the glittering garments.

    Certainly those who are good at Dance are way too cool for school!

    Nish Patel

    Liked by 1 person

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