Tuesday, July 24

Tango speaks one language

I would like to express my thanks to the reader(s) who recommended and also those who translated my posted article: "What is your price" into Italian and published it there at FAIblog.

Tango speaks its own language of love, joy, friendship, and passion, and it is wonderful to see that we can share in many pleasures of its expressions.

The only cat who loves you back!

Tuesday, July 17

Private Dancer (Part 5)

She could not ever be certain if it was the city or its people. London. A city of loners, hermits, and all those who may say they hate to live a life of recluse but despite all this they never fail to miss any given opportunity to remain an insider who lives the life of an outsider.

As a general rule "It is safer not to mix". On the tube, at a bus stop, waiting for a cab or driving through the busy streets, no one's eyes ever meet someone else's with the intention to say "Hello!" and if one says such words then it is assumed that you are trouble; not worth the bother - it is best to look the other way. This is London, you are not a Londoner if you are not a loner.

In her favourite Milongas she felt these barriers were gone, lifted. Here she is expected to play by different rules. To navigate the social scene in tango, she saw this as a game. Milonga's games are there to be played, even to be enjoyed; to tease and to be teased back by them, that is part of the promise of any afternoon or evening of tango.

She had learned that first and foremost it is about the People and their masks. Anyone who enters a milonga soon puts on their "tango masks".Mask of Nothingness By Designer: Ozan Ayitkan

Each has one or more of their own masks, depending on the mood or the season: the dancer, the teaser, the teacher, the seducer, the soulful, the casual freelancer, the serious, the melancholic manic depressive, the cheerful-for-ever-optimist, the drama queen, the prince, the cat-the lion- and-the king, the hopeless romantic, the passion junkie, the damsel in distress, the woman longing to be loved and caressed, the man by the deep shadows of the walls, the charmer, the clueless, the menace, the tame, the wild, the actor and the actress, and there are still so many more. Everyone has a mask and no one ever objects. This is the tango scene and every one has to match the decor.

In milongas the mask could get you what you always wanted, well almost. If everyone is willing to play the game then it is easy and one can go far without any blame. The only problem has always been that everyone does carry a whole load of junk in their hearts: 'their past'. They have forever tried their best to hide this behind their masks.

Tango allowed her room to breath and consequently in its air there was 'a chance to live'. She wondered if it did really make anyone feel the same. Was it much different for them in their non-tango-life where and when " life of drama " ended with the last of the tango songs, but the "Drama of Life" began just on the outside, not far from any of those milongas walls?

She just sat there and watched the floor. Dancers passed and the floor lived its revolutions and turmoil and the calm- all at once and without any qualms. She had been waiting, to make her first dance a chance with which to enter the floor, to b
ring her the mood that could keep her satisfied through the evening ahead. She sat and waited, and refusing to lock into anyone eyes whose embrace she felt she might not like to share. The floor continued to revolve and many were seen to leave one embrace for another, and then another and another.

"My lovely lady-love of love, how have you been?" she heard him say in that accent of his. She could not know where he had heard or learned this from but it was certainly not his own. She had seen him here often enough, and she knew enough of that man who just spoke those words. It was probably some clap-trap from a rap. Regardless of how he had said it; she felt it was crass, tactless and definitely tasteless. Here was the surprise since despite all this she'd just heard, the woman in his arms burst into laughter and said "I have missed you too 'my lovely-guy'!", and they soon left their untidy chairs next to her and joined the dance floor.

She had deduced that obviously this guy knew his psychological profiling techniques better than many police inspectors or experts. He had managed, and mastered well his techniques in how to find his targets, a perfect match for his very imperfect panache. She cringed and laughed.

She laughed but she knew it was not because it was funny. It is very true however that some could disguise their perversity into making some clap-trap sound handsome and attractive, and it is of course all about the listener and not what it is that is being said.

This often occupied her mind. The fact that the movies formed everyone's ideals and perspective on love and personal charms. What everyone looks for is imprinted in their mind by the charm of some actor's 'movie accent' or some other kind of romanticist scam presented as a plot for love. That is all. Everyone loves what is bright and sparkles, even though it is none other than some 'razzle-dazzle'.

Not much else is often needed. That's what wins the trophies- either on someone's arms hanging for months to come or in sharing brief moments of happiness being squeezed-out, by some known-but-stranger's bed. Even a familiar face of a partner at home, be it a wife or a husband, waiting expectantly every night for the other's return; what keeps everything going is the making and maintaining of the 'razzle-dazzle' for their otherwise non-eventful life. That is why the show must go on.

In a moment of carelessness, nearly being lost by her, her thought turned away from the milonga floor and she remembered the woman who was admitted into her hospital. She was waiting to give birth. Perhaps before the night is out.

How can he be here instead of there? Does he not know? He was now whispering some more nonsense in some other woman's ear: "..... razzle-dazzle and bingo here we go!" - not exactly, maybe, but this is usually the total gist of what is being talked about.

In a moment of harshness, the reality of some logic hit her, "may be his mobile is switched off!"
she thought.

Should she go there and tell him? Is it her place to interfere? She is a nurse, that is all, and she came to know about his wife being there by simply an accidental meeting on that hospital ward. "Surely he is aware that his wife is about to..., and he can not be that ignorant of her being due, being so near her time" she continued to argue these in her mind.

He is clearly a slob, both in appearance and style but he seems always to have done his homework! "A failure in life" holding onto a 'treasure' like her- his wife, or that is what and how it seemed to everyone else around.

Life is funny and often it is like that. It is hard to ignore the irony: women always wish for a 'nice-loving-man' but constantly end up chasing after the man who is incapable of forming such emotion.

She did not want to get involved in other people's lives. Not her style. His wife is a patient of the hospital and not one of her own. At the hospital, they met each other as she was going through the ward, covering for a friend, "extra shift & extra pay", doing her rounds. In fact it was his wife who recognised her first. "You dance tango, don't you?"

This hospital is new, and situated in the south of the river. 'The South' that never feels like home. To her the word 'south' is still somewhere that is 'beyond'.

London, a city that is naturally divided by one river. Its two parts are joined by a few bridges. It is strangely divided in its existence by the very same river that used to be its main artery through all its life.

For London, it is simply a matter of 'North' and 'South'. It is not about the money nor it is its people; it is the very feel of the place. It is what Londoners will soon make any visitor understand: "One belongs to either the North or the South, and it is never possible to have roots in both sides."

She had lived most of her life on the North side of this divide. In fact she had never had to visit the South. As far as she was concerned the city ended its borders on the south side where it was met by the river's embankment.

In this she was not alone. Millions of Londoners live this way too. Even the taxi drivers choose to work either in the south or the north. For the taxis "
the city" is seen as the neutral zone, "the city", the financial heart of London, snugly sitting by the sides of the great divide, leaning to the north with an eye on the lenient south.

She travelled through this neutral zone, 'the city', day-in and day-out. It felt like she had to go through a clearing zone in order to arrive onto the South where she worked. New Job, New Hospital.

In the first few weeks she had felt like she had somehow failed and even betrayed her sense of belonging to the city that is now her '
home'. It had taken her many years to consider London her home. She now belonged and she felt that the city was hers too.

Life got really hard once she had decided to run roots. She needed more income to pay off all living costs that kept going up, soon reaching nearly beyond her limited pay. At the end of each month she had to choose something else that she had to also do without. To stretch her income to cover all, she had applied for that job in the South. It was selling-out but the job in the South offered her a small promotion, and therefore paid her little more, to pay for all those that she could no longer do without.

In many years that she had lived alone, she had learned to compromise. Her true wants had always been negotiated and waited for.

Away from her original home, she learned soon in her early teens that Life does not always give everyone choices. Life just offers different ways for entering into its revolving doors, leading only to one path out to all which is awaiting ahead.

There are never any true puzzles to solve, the question of 'which way to take?' is only one of many elements of an equation. To reach any answer we always arrive at the same probables, the path we choose to take is always the one that we assume is 'the nearly' certain rather than the little known. It takes great courage to go for the little known.

Regularly life offers choices, clear-cut choices, – but never one of the desired "easy-choices". The undetermined fluky outcomes and seemingly unintentional driving forces are the Life's way of teaching us the science of "playing dice" with the universe of ours.

She noticed he had stopped dancing with her. Two tandas and they were returning to the same table. She got up. Ready to go and tell him.

He noticed her coming forward, a wide grin appeared on his face. She knew he would misunderstand this approach the moment she had made it.

I need to tell you something, It is personal, could we please go to that corner?" she said this while pointing to a quiet corner of the milonga. He immediately disassociated himself from the woman he had been dancing with very intimately till a few moments ago and said "Personal? ...yes, I like the sound of that!". He said this not with a quiet volume but in a way that it could easily be heard by anyone standing near and around.

She managed to wriggle her arm out of his clasp without being seen for the physical struggle that it was, between him and her. He had neither given in nor given up hope so he put his other arm around her, scooping her lower back. She tolerated this impertinence and walked to the intended corner.

Well before he had opened his rehearsed amorous lines of desire and affection on her, she had to stop him making more of a fool of himself and making this communication as short and to the point as she could.

"You must go and see your wife tonight!"
- "My wife! Excuse me!?"
- "Yes your wife, she is probably in full labour by now, haven't you checked your mobile?"
- "My wife is in labour?", he looked totally confused by this and not sure if he had heard her right.
- "Yes, your wife, the one who is pregnant, unless there is another one, this one is in labour, and perhaps you want to get yourself there if that is 'OK'?! "

she was being sarcastic and enjoying him squirm with some trace of embarrassment as he processed the news that had just reached his now reality stricken brain.

He mumbled something quite indistinguishable in reply and went on his way.

She came back and sat down. She ignored the nosy looks that had followed him and her to that
corner and now shadowed her back to her seat. The confused looks on their faces at his hasty shamble of a departure, and her calm and collected state, these made the curiosity on their faces even more cause for her amusement. She felt wicked, and somehow she enjoyed it, this was the true cause for a smile forming on her face.

The man who had been sitting opposite her, right on the other side of the milonga floor, from the
beginning till now had not taken his casual glances off her. He saw her smile and interpreted it as enough of an encouragement for him to come forward. She had never danced with him before. She had seen him dance often to know how passionately he loved to express his love of tango.

No words were spoken, just a gentle nod, followed by faint friendly smiles. Maybe their masks were on, and maybe there was none between them. In few brief moments, as soon as the first song began, she felt wonderful. She was reassuring of her trust in him, and he made sure she also knew this same feeling by his welcome of her in his embrace. She had already closed her eyes and a perfect evening seemed to commence.

(....Private Dancer continues!)

A Short Tango Story by MilongaCat.

Monday, July 9


Sometimes everything is just perfect. A day, an afternoon.
Either by design or good luck (not fluke); a combination of everything comes together to form a perfect one.

This Sunday was one such day. A party in the heart of English country side.

Lovely Argentine tango tunes, in a long sunny afternoon, with square slabs of sunshine lighting up a comfortable wooden dance floor through tall windows standing high on one side of the walls, cool breezes travelling from the green and leafy surroundings outside the dance hall, no other interfering sounds of cars, traffic, people and all else that could spoil pleasures of listening to and dancing with the music being played inside the hall.

The scent and flavours of Earl grey tea, apple and other fruit pies, cheeses and red wine all welcoming the guests as they arrived from their journeys – mostly from far.

Some knew each other, good friends who meet regularly to dance in local milongas, some by name , some by sight. As hours went by everyone else had also made friends either among those whom they danced with, or met and enjoyed cheery conversations with.

As for dancing, I loved all my many tandas, some playful and cheeky: full of games and fun, a few tender ones warming our hearts - with distant memories or making new ones - many other dances filled with pure joy in embraces that intertwined with the melodies and beats of some unforgettable songs.

The hours past and pleasure of music, dances and chats in good company continued.

When the Sun set the evening began with the daylight fading gradually and more candles being lit. The air cooled, the doors were shut; dancing bodies warmed, embracing even closer - more tender. Fervouring hot tangos and fast milongas replaced and took over the more gentle afternoon's earlier tangos and valses. Perfectly timed.

Late in the evening when "the last 3" tango was announced by our dear host whom had also DJ'ed so many perfect tandas (all day long), it was a timely ending; punctuating the last of a lovely day and marking well what had already gone by.

In very good company of two other guests, traveling back to our homes, we talked of music and dance meanwhile my heart was full of joy, and my mind was still filled with some wonderful new memories of our summer tango party.

This was the party that I had nearly not wanted to go to just because it happened to be very far!

The only cat who loves you back!

Friday, July 6

Not Embracing Any Old Ashtrays

In tango scene where the proximity to dancing partners is intimate; the very fact that someone's scent - specially if the person is a smoker or non-smoker - always influences if one could dance, and enjoy a tanda with them.

One of my pet hates is to suffer the irritating unpleasant scent of tobacco on people's breath and cloths.

A reasonably simple decision for me to make was to usually avoid the smokers or at the very least not to knowingly choose to dance with those were seen puffing at a cigarette.

The difficulty however always remained that some milongas allowed Smoking in their main halls. This made the polluted air unavoidable. With the stale ashtray smell dispersing and spreading from many tables, some places did not differ much from any miserable smoky pub!

These were the norm until last Sunday. On the 1st of July, "The Total Smoking Ban" , in all public places, came into effect for all of the UK.

The difference this has made is incredible. The freedom to breath "Fresh Air" has been returned to all of us.

It is now a total pleasure to be able to dance in our milongas without having to suffer the proximity to those whose second hand smoke irritated our eyes, lungs, and managed to stink our hair, skin and cloths.

Smoking is Personal, and that is how I want us all to see it continue from now on, it is their addiction to smoke and therefore I am very happy not to have it done in our faces and lungs.

The only Cat who loves you back!

Thursday, July 5

Ganchos & Turkeys

No Ganchos and No Turkeys?!!!

In reflection, I only said "I don't like dancing close-embrace with frozen turkeys!"

Now, if all turkeys are gone(thawed and done!), and there is no fear of any ganchos to be done, can we not first begin with a tango?

Monday, July 2

MilongaCat is loved back!

It just goes to show that MilongaCat is also loved back...

I just had to share this with you and the rest....and "yes!", I am speechless but "Thank you dear!"

The only cat who loves you back!