Stage is dazzling with psychedelic pink, crimson, blue and other non definable colours. Crowd is seated and impatient as the next performance is on the cult ‘Laila Me Laila’ song. In the past, the blazing hot Zeenat Aman have gyrated on the song lighting the screen on fire and recently seductress of our times, Sunny Leone have scorched the screen with her moves.
Music is blasting through speakers and piercing through my ear drums, i am seconds away from getting deaf but the crowd is undaunted since they are all eagerly waiting for the next performance and a large percentage of them is beyond senior citizenship tag, intensity of sound hardly matters. Youngsters who have wandered away listening to ‘O mere watan ke logo’, an old song from Bollywood movie, have returned back and taken positions on either side of stage and are ready with their smart phones to click the sexy sirens.
Cometh the moment, the smoke machine goes on an overdrive, stage gets blurred, song starts and five women dressed in red, black skirt and top ensemble with golden details come out swaying with their tambourine. Crowd is yelling and going delirious, some of them are hooting and commenting, laughing and sniggering. The first thing i notice is, each one of them is far from being hot and sexy, in fact they are huge and their body have no shape, they are more sack like. When they are moving from one step to another the body is not curving and flowing as they have too much of belly. They are not hot, sexy, beautiful in largely excepted worldly parameters. They are not even cool. On that moment, i thought, Why are they doing it to themselves? Why did they choose this song? Why are they on stage dancing? Why are they subjecting themselves to this humiliation?
Performance gets over, i eat dinner on the venue and start walking back towards my home in the dark moonlit night. Holding my little ones hand, i feel ashamed of myself for not seeing the courage those ladies would have put to get on the stage, for not seeing the efforts it would have taken to coordinate on that song, for not seeing their hard work, dedication, for not seeing the beauty in the performance, for not seeing their confident smile instead all the hooting and sniggering, for not being encouraging, for not being supportive, for not being human.
I, who was in their shoes 2 years back when i was 30 kg over weight post my baby, did not feel for that stupendous courage and effort those ladies have displayed, though only for that slight fleeting moment. I felt let down by myself for seeing outer packaging and not seeing beyond.
Given a choice everybody would want to look beautiful outwards but real beauty lies beyond. It was in their confidence, in their courage, in their belief, in that smile who knew it all but still kept the promise of smiling, in their effort, in their hard work, in their rigour, in their conviction, in them!
Not so sexy but very beautiful lailas!