Wednesday, November 28

The Tastes

I loved how sweet her breath tasted. Amongst all the figures and many shadows in which the mirror reflected it was her smiling during our dances which were framed for me to take away in my memories of us dancing. I had turned her gently round; round one corner and then again round into another, and that was when I noticed her smiles for the very first time, she looked happy and content. I could see as well as sense her pleasure in dancing that valse.

The intensity of depth and the harmony of her synchronised breathing with mine was in itself hypnotic. It was with every breath of hers that I could taste a little more of her scent, her breath, her skin, a sweetness that was so unique; the taste of wild flowers and honey. I remember these taste vividly always. I had known them for so many years, they had stayed with me from the family trips to the country side. In our frequent all weekend picnics, sitting under the shades of some very large trees, and facing those tall mountains that were all covered in a blanket of green, with a backdrop scenery of wild flowers that went as far afield as eyes could see, those are where the scents were from, and now this woman whom I had not known for long reminded me of them.

The tastes of the sweet honey; the fresh salty crumbled cheese; both generously spread on a one day's old bread and eating these sandwiches as the honey dripped through our small child fingers made me and every other child feel truly content and happy for a very long time afterwards.

Combined with our dancing there were such abundance of thoughts of colours, shapes, and scents of high and low notes that I could not possibly gather them all in any single frame-of-mind.

When the songs had finished briefly I watched her closely and wondered "how could anyone paint the feelings of contentment in simplicity of two dimensions where the mirror had only managed to try?" - just!

There is so much to taste yet in our lives hence I wish us a never ending hunger; there is so much to search for and to learn hence I say "May we stay very foolish as long as we care to admit and dare to admire!"

The only cat who loves you back!

Sunday, November 25

25th November !

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

"This is a call to action on behalf of countless women around the world whose daily lives are marred by violence and abuse. Gender-based violence is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation.

As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace. " Kofi Annan

Only when I care; I feel,
only when I feel; I sense I live.

White Ribbon : Take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.


Thursday, November 22

Illegal in Tango!

Machista [macho-ist] values that influence legislations in Latin America can give some of us reasons for pondering why "Sexual Harassments" is seen as a NORMAL "Macho" act by a small but still significant minority in Tango community outside Latin America.

In 14 Latin American countries a man may legally rape his wife or fiancée, and in some of these countries including Argentina and Chile-a rapist need only propose marriage to escape prosecution.

It may be true that Tango has had some of its history hazed in a background where some of its popularity was tinged by its practice at the brothels of Buenos Aires but if we are to get some perspective on this we should say "That was over 100 years ago!"

If Tango has culturally moved away from that state of mind even in Bs As, why don't some of its practitioners here do the same 100 years later?

Perhaps while a rape is not punishable as a "criminal assault" on a person there then it is difficult to make some understand why "sexual harassment" is - for being an assault, and therefore illegal here.

The only cat who loves you back!

Saturday, November 10

Dancing Tango - in her poem

Oh, Orlando!
Remember the night we danced
quietly on the sands where music
was played? Your words were
wonderers, said quietly
in the pockets of my ears.

Oh, Esphahan!
With your turquoise blue mosques
and lovers hiding under the sands
by the Zayandehrood and its haunting
blue skies. Still the words did
wonders when they were said quietly
in the pockets of my ears.

Time is eternity, my dignity
resides in yours and your
words are wonders that I count
as precious coins kept quietly
in the pockets of my tears.

"Dancing Tango"
by: Sheema Kalbasi

Monday, November 5

Autumn Tangos

There is something mesmerising and unique about strolling on fallen leaves. The fragility and frailty of these leaves are a good reminder of how life with all its imperfections is precious.

Personally I never feel that autumn is a sad season. It is truly beautiful; it is a portrait of life cycles, it is the invigorating sense of fighting for survival. The nature shows off its knowledge for continued existence. In order to continue with life, many parts that make the whole, they must sacrifice themselves and die. Trees and plants celebrate hopes for another cycle of life, they play the most cruel game: gambling on possibilities of death and banking that they will live again.

Those red and tearful eyes were sad and angry. The betrayal may not have been intentional but the heartaches and pains were just as real as if it were. Painful and inconsolable, and none of them were much different from the others either. There was yet another, talking of trust betrayed. They insisted repeatedly that they did not deserve these cruel cold lines used for their break ups.

Earlier I had listened to her, quietly and for very long. She had talked for some time. She was just as upset as the last I'd heard. A very strange fortnight, since two weeks ago when I had heard of the first break up I have become a lot better at this. I am still baffled by what has gone on. She is the 4th, and at this rate there will soon be none in my circle of friends who are still in a relationship.

With the first break-up I was too eager to comfort her. I had dived in with many supporting comments. This was a bad mistake. A very bad mistake. I know better now, I have learned.

She spoke and I kept quiet. I let her say all she wanted. She did not want to hear any from me but instead wanted me to hear from her anger, her disappointment and how her dreams had vanished in one very brief conversation.

With the news of the 2nd and 3rd friends' break-ups I had become a true believer in the calming effects of keeping my mouth shut.

This afternoon when the 4th friend said "we broke up yesterday.", my immediate thought was if there was a relationships virus going around. A very silly thought but random misfortunes are not supposed to take part in any organised sequence.

I am not sure how endearing it is to be considered as a very close friend in such times to hear talks of sadness and vulnerability. I have been privy to much that I had wished not to hear since I feel they should not feel so much anger and pain and sadness.

Is it part of this seasonal change effecting many ? I can't think it being pure coincidence that in less than two weeks I have heard of four friends relationships ending. I can hear my mother's voice in such circumstances "It is people's destiny, and it is for the best, you will see!", I wish I could think the same but I can't.

Everyone chooses their own destiny, it is the consequences of these choices that we must learn to come to terms with.

Under my feet, the leaves' crunching with that special feel of sound and sight, these are very familiar, they are the sounds and sights from my childhood days; the breaking and squishing noises. My feet are encouraged with these sounds to take another step with every step, and I continue to walk through the park. This is a beautiful park, another very good reason to like my neighbourhood.

I needed to clear my head. After that long conversation I felt I really needed this. It is not easy to sympathise and keep a sensible conversation when the other party is in no mood for talking sense, specially when they feel that it is with their sensibility that they are hurt.

There is still some light in the late afternoon's sky, the air is crisp, and the breeze is cold enough to persuade me to put my hands rather quickly back into my pockets after I switched on my mp3 player. The tracks that I am hearing remind me of the summer picnics that I shared with a dear friend in this park.

It is strangely a sweet and warm feeling inside remembering those. We had danced these tracks on the green grass fields that were here then and under the shades of those massive tall trees there. They are still standing tall but almost totally bare of any leaves. We had danced without embarrassment or care. Passers-by came and went, some bemused and some others visibly amused. We shared an ear piece each to enjoy listening to the music as we danced those heartfelt melodies. We enjoyed sharing and enclosing ourselves in one another's embrace. I am glad that we celebrated making ourselves those memories when we could.

On the way home the last thing on mind was any thoughts of the autumn blues, I had switched off the mp3 player. I wanted to better hear and feel those leaves, picturing us dancing some tangos, specially for this autumn.


Sunday, November 4

Tango Obscurity

The other evening some of us went to a new tango venue in the West End of London. I like to welcome the new addition but let us reserve any comments on it till it becomes a regular weekly event as it is promised to be in the new year, 2008.

Competition is always good for everyone involved, with so many teachers gathering and dancing in some of our popular venues in London, one can not ignore the competition they enter to on and off the dance floor. They show themselves off delightfully whenever the opportunities are there. I suppose it is expected that they turn up to size each other up, and to see what the others are up to.

For some of us the main show of the evening is whenever a popular piece is being played late in the evening, this is the time to watch the dance floor suddenly flourishing into some impromptus competition by the teachers and their partners. It can not be denied that these shows are very amusing. The occasional unplanned nature of these competitions - not that they would themselves admit to taking part - in the midst of all others dancing and in between the crowd, certainly worth the time and attention of any discerning observers, a feast for the eyes.

It is easy to see that there are many new faces teaching in
London. Everyone is trying hard to find their feet (excuse the pond!) especially if this is their chosen new home. It may take them a while to culturally adjust to new situations and people here. I like to wish them all good fortunes and success while they stay.

The competition and venues are increasing in numbers and I am very much hoping that this increase will be reflected in the quality of the classes and venues being offered. It may be worth mentioning that there had been some teacher(s)/organisers in the past who had mistaken the
London dancers simply as cash-cows to milk without offering much in return. They are now either not here any longer or living so much on the peripheries that it does not matter what they may be doing with themselves at all.

Politicians know that there is an island called "Obscurity", they travel there for refuge when their opportunistic past can not be erased. Not many ever come back from that island and if by some fluke of circumstances they they do they never speak of who else lives there, surly the politicians are not the only ones living there.

The only cat who loves you back!