Did the idea of Ghoomar come to me with Dame D being on all the news channels & social media for some wrong reasons?
No, not at all, I thought of this dance form as my cousin (Bua’s daughter based in Jaipur, raised in Jodhpur) Aarti’s Birthday was approaching (September 27). What could have been a better gift than a post on Ghoomar, which she loves and dances so gracefully?
I saw Aarti performing Ghoomar on her own Mehndi – Sangeet ceremony in 2014 along with her cousin Deepa Mathur (Her Bua’s daughter), I was amazed at the dance moves, the grace, the music, the costume…everything was just too good. That time I couldn’t recollect when I had seen a dance like this?
Another Ghoomar performance is worth a mention is by Shachi Didi (fondly called Cheena Didi) who is the elder sister of Aparna Chaturvedi Di) on Aparna Di’s Son Aniruddh’s Sangeet ceremony in Hyderabad last year. She looked resplendent in her attire, beautiful lehenga chunri with traditional Rajasthani rakhdi (maang teeka), she performed Ghoomar with elan. Grooving with Diyas in her hands, every step was perfect and totally in sync with the music. She pulled through the entire song with such panache and grace, leaving the audience speechless! The camera captured Shachi Didi’s various moods!!
But when I got down to write this post, I recollected that I had seen Ghoomar many years ago, during a cultural program of my father’s office (BHEL) “Kala Milan” in Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. This was the time; I was studying in school (Std. 12) and I had gone there with my mother and brother as Papa being Admin Manager was overseeing all the arrangements.
Shri N.D. Tiwari, the then Industries Minister was the Chief Guest of the program. So, you can imagine the grandeur of the program. The venue was beautifully decorated with flowers and the stage was set with Samay lamp and singers on the stage to sing Saraswati Vandana. I had never seen anything so grand before, I was quite excited…obviously!
As Minister ji was the Chief Guest, the delay was inevitable rather fashionable. As many of my Papa’s colleagues knew us, we got real VIP treatment there. Suddenly I saw Papa walking to us and told me that some children have come from Kendriya Vidyalaya, Jhansi (where I had studied for just one year in probably 7th Grade). Now I was after him to take me backstage to spot some of my friends. It was not difficult for him, and I made a swift entry into make – up the room. There I saw many girls in Rajasthani Lehenga – Chunri with diyas in their hands.
Now the moment of truth, how to spot my friends, if any! Many years had elapsed, all of us had changed, but how to tell? Whom to tell? Everybody looked princesses in their traditional costumes, this made my task even more difficult. Suddenly a girl from the group, asked me who was I? Why I was there? I told her the reason.
She stressed her mind, amidst all that chaos and asked me, “Verma Uncle’s daughter”? I thought maybe Papa is making arrangements, so this question. I told her the purpose, that I am looking for somebody from KV, Jhansi. Now, it was time for her to throw a surprise, Bienu Didi? I said yes! She said, “I am Shweta Pathak, I use to travel with you on the school bus.”
OMG! What a moment it was! She had turned out to be such a beautiful girl! Now she called all the girls from her troupe and I could meet many of my school mates…some I could place, some I could not, but everybody was happy to know that I was from their school. It was one of the most overwhelming moments of my life! Meeting many of my school mates as a Dance Troupe from KV, Jhansi.
After tearful departure from backstage, I moved to my seat only to watch the most amazing, traditional, graceful, enjoyable Ghoomar dance of my life. That was my first brush with Ghoomar dance, which received the first prize from Shri N D Tiwariji.
Can anyone beat KVians when it comes to winning prizes?
After which, I only watched Aarti and Deepa doing it, and recent being Cheena didi doing it with same panache!
My post is a gift to Aarti on her Birthday, hope she likes it!
Love you Deepa!!
Ghoomer is the dance of Rajasthan, danced by women in Lehengas and Chunris in resplendent colours with all jewellery and finery (squares of cloth draping head and shoulders and tucked in front at the waist). Ghoomar is one of the traditional folk dances of Rajasthan, India, known for its high level of difficulty and in a competition of local dances around the world in 2013, had been ranked fourth.
All women performers pirouette while they are in the motion of describing a wide circle together. With two motions involved, it requires tremendous skill to maintain uniform distance throughout as well as look elegant in a group. Derived from the word ‘Ghoomna’, meaning a twirl or going round, Ghoomar takes a special place for the people of the state and is mentioned with pride by Rajasthanis.