In the monsoon season of India there are days of torrential rains that are the origins of several “ragas” or “the pattern of notes and rhythms” in music. Legend has it that the when the raga “Malhar” is sung it can induce torrential rainfall. *
Growing up in Southern India, I was exposed to many rainfalls, monsoons, taals, ragas and malhars. It was a swirl of these magical sounds and movements that sucked me into a world of rhythms, vibrating from deep within. The sounds of everyday traffic, people talking and animal sounds were all drowned into a capsule of these unique rhythms. In that bubble, I would be transported to a world of music, heartbeat and excitement. These patterns of rhythmic tapping of feet, hands and instruments would blend into my heartbeat and crescendo into a climax of all seven senses in my human body. Just like in the quantum theory, small positive subatomic particles that were being generated through the taals, ragas and malhars created a wave like motion into the observers surrounding and left a positive effect of dance, music and movement in my world.
Rainfall has been very symbolically depicted in both Bollywood movies as well as in Indian history. Farmers dance to the rain God when there is no rain, and drought threatens to starve their crops, and they rejoice with a dance when there is torrential rain fall. Dance has been in our blood for many a centuries, a symbolic characteristic expression of joy and hope. Dance has been born and rooted in the Indian culture for many occasions that are auspicious as well as entertaining.
Today dance has transcended worlds and crossed continents to vibrate in our children’s hearts and minds as equally as it did in our motherland. Dance has been encouraged by parents to introduce young minds to the Indian Culture, learn more about our ethnicity and inculcate a love for our land. Whether learning a traditional dance such as Mohiniyattam, Bharatanatayam or Kuchupudi, or a semi classical dance such as Bollywood children often are fascinated by the rhythm and beats of the dance. With influences of media and Bollywood celebrities, dance has transcended from India to the hearts and minds of the young ones in America.
This harvest festival come be transported to those rhythms and sounds of Bollywood that would get your feet tapping and heart racing as talented inspired dancers, transport us into a world of music, heartbeat and excitement. Just as Albert Einstein quoted once “We dance for laughter, we dance for tears, we dance for madness, we dance for fears, we dance for hopes, we dance for screams, we are the dancers for we create the dreams!”