A little bit of Gujarat in Jersey

Lets get one thing straight : Garba is NOT Dandiya..

Dhintak Dhintak, Dhidhanda, Dhintak………or close to it is the beat of every breath in Gujarat during Navratri nights.   Having lived in the US for more than a quarter of a century, Navratri is the only time of the year when I truly miss my hometown of Vadodara India. 

 I am bit of a garba snob…….yes, I admit it!  I tend to complain if the music is off beat and I have even walked away from the venue by the sound of “munni badnaam huyi, darling tere liya..”  Upon entering a garba hall if I see a set of western drum set, I know that the dholi is nowhere to be found and short of sulking, my disappointment is well advertised.  The season gets the better of me and I do manage to get into the spirit just a bit.  Others have said I get into it “intensely”.  I am sticking to my version though. 

 And despite all odds, I made it!!!!!

I must say though 2011 was one of the better Navratris that I have experienced in the US.  The first couple sessions started out with somewhat reasonable music but one single session with traditional musicians and vocalist made up for what was lacking in the season.  I was more than happy to close the Navratri season on that high note.  My  motherhood nudged me to yet another garba evening as the youth in our area (mine included) had organized garba to raise funds for the March of Dimes.  Having spent whatever extra energy I had in the earlier garba sessions of the year, I decided to lug along my paraphernalia to take a break from dancing and shoot some pictures instead.  J was not there so no one to stop me for carrying the stuff and the drum set you saw early on was an added incentive.

If you are from Vadodara, no explanation is needed………just enjoy the movement and let your imagination run with whichever voice enters your head; kalhansbhai, shamaben, atul purohit, achal mehta…….there….. I have dated myself royally by now.

Dancing the Vadodara Style

Teens enjoying the Sanedo in their own style!

And then finally it was time to sit down!

Until next Navratri – who knows – might be in Vadodara!


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