Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wedding dance

You know what was wonderful about Ashesh and Mona's wedding, besides the marriage of two of our favorite people at a beautiful place on a lovely early summer day? The fact that L and I basically burned through the dance floor with our awesomeness.

Many of the guests at this party were Ashesh and Mona's relatives from South Asia, so the music was a carefully calibrated mix of American hip and hop and pop alongside all sorts of south Asian dance tunes. Obviously L and I were out of our seats for the American music, but as the bhangra tracks blared, and all the Indian relatives were storming the dance floor in their suits and saris, we hung around and tried to follow their lead: bouncing our shoulders, dipping our arms, keeping our hands high as we changed the light bulb or shimmied our hips. There was a fine line to walk between respectful imitation and boorish mimicry, but we did all right. Ashesh's sister told us that she had been afraid that the white people would clear the floor when the DJ called out, "Desis, this one's for you!" but she was glad to see us still dancing, and that we were putting her relatives to shame.

As the evening progressed, the DJ returned to American tunes, and he hit upon a gold mine: a sizzling mix of current hip hop and dance tracks. After an imploring look from Ashesh we returned to the dance floor alongside everyone else. Eventually, though, the other guests seemed to have filtered away, and L and I realized: we were the only ones dancing.

Did that stop us? Of course not. The DJ kept earning his money as the songs got better and better -- we were dancing by ourselves, making the most of the space, dipping and spinning and twisting and popping and shuffling and even grinding (they can't get mad at us, we're white and married, is what I thought when I briefly worried about what some of the older, more traditional guests might think). I realized that people were watching us, and even cheering and oohing as we moved around the floor. My eyes were locked with L's. We were hot, sweating. The wedding photographer was all over us, swooping around and squatting and putting himself in our midst like we were Lindsay Lohan. My fear now is that Ashesh and Mona are going to see eight hundred photos of us dancing like fools and mouthing the words to songs, and unfortunately that will be part of the official record of this wedding.

At the end of the night, as the wedding guests had dwindled to about 20 of us, the DJ gave us a special shout-out from his perch and people clapped for us. The photographer complimented us and said we had been very entertaining and a pleasure to shoot. Someone else told us we seemed so happy and carefree out there, and that it looked like L and I had a great relationship, and that we must practice all the time. I thought: actually, we do.

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