Caught in a Time Warp?

Pehle tha Rock n Roll
Phir aaya Twist
Phir aaya Disco
Ab Break Dance, Break Dance…

(First there was Rock n Roll
Then came Twist
Then came Disco
Now Break Dance, Break Dance…)

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Now try to redo this 1986 Bappi Lahiri number from the film Main Balwan, starring (who else but) Mithun Chakraborty, in today’s scenario. I couldn’t. Felt paused.

The other day, I went to a friend’s engagement and wore a pair of trousers that my brother gifted me a decade back, and I didn’t feel out of place.

I am not aware of any new dance form which has swayed our youth en masse since the days of Break Dance. There hasn’t been any great musical revolution in between. Even the clothes that I wear (talking about us men) haven’t changed much. My niece doesn’t smile seeing the clothes that I wore in college, but she does giggle noticing what my elder brother wore as a child in black and white photographs.

Somewhere in 1990s, some things seem to have come to a standstill, whereas in others we are moving so fast that the past looks so sluggish. Internet and mobile have changed the way we live, communicate and earn a livelihood.

Every decade since World War II can be identified by cultural phenomenon (in music, dress and dance) which shaped the lives then, but that doesn’t hold true for the last decade and a half. Perhaps there have been too many changes taking place simultaneously; and one couldn’t have been all encompassing.

In India the only difference might have been in our movies. It took a maverick called Ram Gopal Varma to make Satya, a watershed in Hindi cinema, which was down in the dumps with mush, rehash, formula and syncronised PT dances, to infuse some life into that medium of expression. In music, we have AR Rehman and his dubbed Roja that had us all mesmerised with the new sound.

I do not follow trends, because there isn’t anything worthwhile to follow. There was Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, but then he died early, though his music still lives, in my digital audio player. There were some sparks of brilliance, almost at the same time: Junoon from across the border with Azadi, Silk Route’s Boondien and Luck Ali with Sunoh. But none could rekindle the magic again. Lucky Ali sounded so monotonous thereafter.

And I also need to know, what after Break Dance?