Thursday, November 27

Tales or Tailes!

There was a war on and there was food rationing. There was not much to eat and many existed on a meagre supply of whatever happened to be sold under rationing systems in the shops in Britain. The government encouraged everyone to grow vegetables and to farm any animals if they could, to supplement whatever there was to feed themselves.

In the suburbs the soldiers on guarding duty were told to keep their eyes open and to protect people from anyone who might be poaching and stealing since this happened specially during the curfew hours.

At their guarding post on a small country lane a soldier interviewed the Priest that night like almost every other night.

The Priest gave a different reason on any such nights whenever he wanted to be excused for breaking the curfew and for venturing out, to visit the village below. At the bottom of the hills sat a small village where this country lane led to it. From the guarding post the soldiers could observe any coming and goings. However a little further down and all below the hills there was not much anyone could see other than the night shadows.

The Priest always talked of the elderly, the needy, the lonely and the frightened, the orphans and many more. He needed to pass the guards and break the curfew because he had to; this he always told the soldiers. His cause he made sure was heard and understood to be one that was selfless, noble and essential.

That night, the soldier who had met this Priest many times before, had stopped the Priest on his way back from the village. This soldier told the Priest that from that night on he will not be allowed through, and that the curfew restrictions will apply to him too. He made it clear that he will not be permitted to break the curfew at any nights, not any more. Hearing this, the Priest got very upset and started arguing his reasons. At the end, while being very angry, and unable to get the soldier to agree with him, the Priest became abusive and rude and insisting that “I am not telling you tails other than the actual truth when I tell you that they need me there!”

The soldier looked at him hard and long and finally said “What should I believe to be your truth? Is it the tale that you tell me whenever you pass through on your way to the village below or the telling tail of the stolen chickens sticking out from under your sleeves when you come back from your nightly visits?!”

That may have been then, but “the telling tales” and “the telling tails” is a dilemma that we still have with us till today.

Should we believe his tale if someone tells us of his fighting to secure Mr Obama’s victory or base our opinions on other telling tails of his angry words when he fights against the Afro-Argentine issues as well as the Negristas arguments of the history of Blacks and how they have been denied this in Argentina?!

The only cat who loves you back!

Monday, November 24

From my planet Earth to your Planet Tango

"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." was famously said by Albert Einstein.

For the majority who love tango but choose not to live on on a different planet we find ourselves bound to respect the historical facts and referenced realities of the events on our planet Earth for what they are. There are undeniable facts about Tango Music, Photo Archives, Recorded songs and melodies, and all that have survived to date, and these are being further researched and added to at all times. It is not just one source that speaks the truth but there is always only one Truth.

There are those who can argue much better than I could on how Candombe of the Blacks (Slaves) and other influences did help in evolution of the Tango music and dance.

I would however like to arrive at the questions of LEGEND & MYTHS of the Planet Tango from a much simpler and most basic that all of us may follow.

The UNESCO facts (to date) and its research into Slavery show that at the beginning of the 1820's the black slaves of Latin America including Argentina were greater than 30% of the total population in most areas.

However by the year 1920 those Black populations of "slaves" off-springs who managed to survive in Argentina was brought to near extinction from 1 in 3 of the total population to just 1 to 1.5% of the population.

These are sad but undeniable facts. A very foolish suggestion is made here that The Yellow Fever, Wars and Inter Racial marriages alone caused this extinction.

These beg the following questions:
Was yellow fever a RACIAL DISEASE? Did it only kill the slaves -blacks - as to wipe out a third of that country's population? Was the fever's fatality due to the colour skin? of course NOT, this is Absurd to even suggest it!

Question of Wars? Were the Whites using any MAGIC protection and hence they became invisible to the enemies? OR Were the blacks mortal and could be killed in wars but the WHITES were IMMORTAL and could survive? This is another Absurd suggestion when blaming the near extinction on question of wars that killed all the black population but the White survived!

According to the strange archives of that Planet, (i.e. Tango Planet), those who were trading the BIG BUSINESS of Slavery for more wealth and comfort, they kept and traded these slaves in farms and mines, worked them to death BUT these Slave traders/owners suddenly all became "HUMANISTS" between 1820 to 1856 and decided to marry them instead!

The suggestion of INTER RACIAL MARRIAGES from when Slavery was "Declared Illegal" therefore made many 100,000's of slaves part of the "WHITE" Argentine population in one or two generations is absurd. To think that INTER-RACIAL marriage program was common in order to make sure that all the FREED slaves children inherit only the racial colour "WHITE" is incredibly naive and impossible to believe for any
school child who knows the very least about genetics!!!

The absurdity of such suggestions by the Planet Tango are astounding and when you look at the its twisted self-serving (non existent) logic, it then is a question: Why is it even suggested in the first place?

History can not be sanitised just because we do not like the past in a Tango or any other Forum.

For those living on the "The Planet Tango" I must reiterate that this is not a "NEGRISTAS" political issue - as you had suggested it to me in your communication. I have raised these due to simple politics of our Humanity. We are at the end of the year 2008 and not the 1908! The Negristas politics may be one that you are still fighting against but for myself it is our integrity and humanity that is the question.

It is good for all of us to want to be Politically Correct and to also be vociferous in doing so specially in the face of those who want to instil stupidity in us and to progress it to their infinite.

The only cat who loves you back!

Friday, November 14

The Song of the Reed

(From Rumi's Mathnawi Poems, Book I,
Translation by:
Sir William Jones)

Hear, how yon reed in sadly pleasing tales

Departed bliss and present woe bewails!

'With me, from native banks untimely torn,

Love-warbling youths and soft-ey'd virgins mourn.

O! Let the heart, by fatal absence rent,

Feel what I sing, and bleed when I lament:

Who roams in exile from his parent bow'r,

Pants to return, and chides each ling'ring hour.

My notes, in circles of the grave and gay,

Have, hail'd the rising, cheer'd the closing day:

Each in my fond affections claim'd a part,

But none discern'd the secret of my heart.

What though my strains and sorrows flow combin'd!

Yet ears are slow, and carnal eyes are blind.

Free through each mortal form the spirits roll,

But sight avails not. Can we see the soul?

Such notes breath'd gently from yon vocal frame:

Breath'd said I? no; 'twas all enliv'ning flame.

'Tis love, that fills the reed with warmth divine;

'Tis love, that sparkles in the racy wine.

Me, plaintive wand'rer from my peerless maid,

The reed has fir'd, and all my soul betray'd

He gives the bane, and he with balsam cures;

Afflicts, yet soothes; impassions, yet allures.

Delightful pangs his am'rous tales prolong;

And LAILI'S frantic lover lives in song.

Not he, who reasons best, this wisdom knows:

Ears only drink what rapt'rous tongues disclose.


Tuesday, October 21

Classes, Work-Shops, Seminar!?

It is good to learn. Some of us may spend a life time trying to learn what we find interesting. Learning any subject can be either a very easy or near impossible, and it is not just about achieving tasks. Passionately loving to learn is just one part of the equation in any learning process. The rest mostly comes from a good solid and well tried and tested “Methodology” designed for learning that specific subject with the help of a medium and any media that can do that job.

In some tango “Shops” where sadly “Tom(s), Dick(s) or Jeannets(s)” have neither a clue what a “Methodology” is nor they would give a hoot about such complexities, many students are failed by their teachers’ inability to teach. Every week they are asked and shown how to Copy moves. In certain cases Greed also plays a major part when some teacher deliberately knocks out the students’ confidence in order to ensure more frequent attendances.

The adverts come thick and fast. There was a time - NOT very long ago - when we all knew what the terms Beginner, Intermediate, Improver, or advanced meant. The word “General Class“ meant something very distinguishable from a “Technique Class”. There were sophisticated things we knew of called “Courses!”.

These "courses!" were a series of General or Technique Classes. They began at some specified level, and progressed systematically and methodically over a period of time to advanced levels. They took the students to a higher well-specified level. There were no fuzzy, willy-nilly, randomly selected clap-trap terms and names describing almost anything under the blue sky or next to nothing on a dark rainy night. There was a purpose, and aims and achievable were explained and they would be different for different courses and not the same silly paragraphs for all the meetings of the year.

Finally there were “Work-Shops”. These were special and would not be stringed together just because the teacher fancied how the words “Work-Shop” sounded in relation to their own names.

Workshops were places and times in which students who had accumulated knowledge and expertise gained from one or more “Courses” gathered and were given the opportunity to concentrate on some areas of shared difficulties. Students were able to enhance their knowledge, and to complete their fluidity.

Workshops were run by the help of true expertise of a “Master”, and in the company of students whose equal level of abilities and interests offered them the opportunity to clean up and polish what was not possible to do so in a normally attended/organised course. Workshops lasted over a few hours to “master” one topic, and they were not delivered as a series of small run-of-the-mill classes of steps & sequences!

In our current Tango scene and in many “Tango-Shops”, no one seems to teach a Class any more. For example it is now common that the poor students are often invited to take “Work-Shops” only to find themselves over-charged by a factor of 2 or 3 times to repeat another “Technique Class”. They would practice for an extra half hour of what they were meant to lean in a class and pay a lot more and still not know what it is that they are lacking!!!

The insult gets fully completed when there are talks and claims of giving a “Seminar”. Do they really know what the word Seminar means at all? Have they ever been to a college or university course, never mind those!? Have they looked up the word “Seminar” in a good dictionary? Have they then thought to ask the most basic following questions:

  • Is there going to be a small group of advanced students in a college or post graduate school engaged in some kind of “Original Research”?
  • Is there going to be an intensive study plan to discuss students’ reports and findings under the guidance of a professor who meets regularly with them over a study term?
  • Would there be a meeting for exchange of ideas in the format of a conference where equally knowledgeable researchers could discuss the merits of their own developed ideas?

Unfortunately none of the above would take place in any Tango “Seminar” organised by “Tom(s), Dick(s) or Jeannets(s)”.

So Let me just conclude that personally I would like to see more of those dedicated teachers who run proper “Tango Courses” and a lot less of those title inflated “Work-Shops”.

Maybe there will also be some hope here for disengagement of the ignorance and arrogance, and that we would not see the abuse of the word “Seminar” when a Tango Course is being advertised and sold.

The only cat who loves you back!

Monday, September 8

New Tango Season!

It has been a long while. No specific reason for this absence other than being overwhelmed by the mundane. A bad excuse but that is the only one there is.

I feel a little older and not a great deal different, and that is the way I love life to be.

There had been times that I had been wanting to sit here and write you all that had fascinated me or made me burst out with loud laughter but somehow the barrier was not lifted. It was until the other day when a friend said "Just write what you like and you can always stop again if you wish or feel you have no need to write!".

I know that I am not aggressively competitive by nature, and perhaps that is why I find it difficult sometimes to set myself targets. I know there is a very fine line between feeling content and ending in a state of procrastination. How can we tell them apart when the same feeling can be seen as one or the other by different individuals? I am not sure if I have the answer, let me know if you do.

"Work hard and Play hard" that has been a life style that I have lived almost all my adult life by. That is why if and when I get a little free time to myself, I get frustrated. I simply do not know what to do with that bit of "Extra Time" so I end up feeling guilty. "Strange?", maybe, But I do know that I am not alone in feeling this way.

"Play, and playgrounds", Yes! Let's talk about these, i.e.: Milongas, a few new ones have sprouted up in London. While One or two (if not more) have also changed their places and ended up in new homes. More on these some other time.

Summers are usually "Down Times" in London tango scene. Many people go on vacations, having fun in some warm places where skins are kissed by sunshine almost everyday and all day. This is the preferred choice. Somewhere where cold drinks are more tasty and plenty, and Life is hot, somewhere where Mundane can be put on pause and when silly and being casual wins over all else there is. A little madness, this is the best rest.

London kick-starts its new Tango season by joining and taking part in "The Thames Festival". The Mayor Of London's Office organises this end of summer big festival and "The River Tango" is one of tens of location where live music and dancing are on offer along the Thames River Embankments and its bridges. All public events are totally free and I won't mention our high London taxes that are paying for this event. So do come along!

The only cat who loves you back!

Thursday, May 1

Embrace Delight

Every morn I decide to repent at night
For embracing the joys of heart and sight
Yet every night, what seems right
With all my might, embrace delight.

Translated From Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Wednesday, April 23

So Little To Say

I believe "the book" is always better than "the film", only because the reader is often the best director a story can get.

Perhaps that is why I enjoy the voyeurism that one experiences when reading other people's blogs. Some bloggers can write and describe a normal routine event in visiting their local milongas with such care and affection, and in such wonderful details that it becomes contagious. A compulsion is created for their readers. The compulsion is to want to visit some milonga somewhere before the end of that evening and wanting to experience what was read.

When I have so little to say or share I look even harder to read others when they have so much to.

The only cat who loves you back!

Wednesday, April 9

Simple: Overtaking - Don't!

No overtaking on the RIGHT HAND SIDE!

Most leaders can not see or guess who is going to overtake them to their right simply because it is a natural blind spot. This becomes a much more serious issue for many of us who dance close-embrace.

This common-sense and simple rule of "NO OVERTAKING ON THE RIGHT HAND SIDE" frees us from wishing we had the use of either "X-Ray vision" or "Reading (those very silly) Minds" .

The only cat who loves you back!

Friday, April 4

Hands On!

Staring is rude, gazing is OK, watching is certainly encouraged. "Bizarre" ... but it is not really. Think about it, well at least later, if you want to, and "No!" you don't have to!

- Just stay there and watch!... and watch a little longer! ...and then do some more! whatever you do, just make sure you don't is said to be rude.


Earlier she said to me she liked my hands. I found that a little confusing. I feel there is nothing special about my hands. When I told her this she did not try to explain what I should look for in order to distinguish them somehow for either being different from the others or for being liked by her.

I felt embarrassed hearing her say that, mostly because I have not really learned to take on compliments easily, maybe this is a cultural thing I have inherited from my father's attitude.

I looked at my hands today and tried to see them through her eyes, I studied them and I could not see why she might like them. They are just normal hands, and like any other.

Today, I have also been watching other people's hands. At first, everyone's hands looked like any other. During the day, whenever hands were extended for a hand-shake or selling me tickets or handing me back some change or generally when they were used for whatever purpose in front of me I studied them. It was important. I needed to know and learn of the possible differences.

I admit some were small, and some were large but many were just proportionally like the rest of all other hands we might have a chance to see everywhere.

I don't know how or why I began to notice not the hands but the nails on those hands instead.

It is incredible how much nails can tell us about a person if we study them carefully. Nails can easily be watched, people do not seem to usually mind any strangers looking at them.

I told her about this much later this evening and before I had finished telling her all I had learned I noticed that she had hidden her hands from me. She could not agree to let me see her nails before she could get a chance to do them she said to me.


Next time I dance I will watch those hands that take mine and see if I like them differently from another, maybe if I try I might also learn why!

The only cat who loves you back!

Thursday, March 20

through the widest of windows

I cried out aloud – it was through the widest of windows -
"Please don't walk on the grass!
Don't trample those! Please do let them be!"

Time ...just before another moon rise, cutting through the clouds
Once more...
the young blossoms greeting the dark...

Why do blossoms come of age so early?
Why would they not want to slow down?

Some never learn,
Some make friends with every breeze.
What is it about 'the death-wish' ?
- breaking these many of young hearts -
"... old news...", these tire my soul.

These burdens - too heavy.
- "How can we hold?"

- through the widest of windows - I cried out aloud:
"Blossoms! Beware!"
"Mind every breeze!"
"Don't play! It is a can you see and not learn?!"

- In the morning after -
The massacred blossoms laid all over that lawn

I cried out aloud - through the widest of windows -
"Please don't walk on the grass!
Don't trample those! Let the dead blossoms just be!"

The only cat who loves you back!

Wednesday, March 5

Who is teaching whom?!

It is difficult but I will try what I can and speak of another controversial issue, namely "Who is teaching whom?!"

The other day, in a very amusing conversation with some friends we were informed that somebody who is to be known here as "The Character", has set up shop and is now teaching dancing tango. This individual who keeps insisting that "he dances with his heart" unfortunately has always failed to realise that "Tango is danced with our feet too" and that tango is not just for engaging the soul but the body too. "A heart alone, without some body, will sadly not do!" this never seems to have occurred to him to be true.

I, honestly, would like to give him or anyone else like him the benefit of the doubt. If their heart is moving with the music when dancing then perhaps in their mind they can not realise that the body and feet are being needed. The embrace, the techniques, the understanding of any partner's involvement, the connection, the balance etc in this "couple's dance" i.e. The Tango!, may look as secondary and as unimportant issues to them but they are essentials. If their mind tells them these and other similar essential matters do not require their attention then it is only in their mind that the truth may stand to be what it is seen to be by the rest of us watching them!

However, a heart, alone, moving with the music when the feet are still visibly and totally confused to what they are meant to do, will not suffice when it comes to dancing tango in public and even more significantly if one intends to teach the tango. I would have thought even a short few months for anyone to have been present at the tango scene would have been enough for this message to reach home but no, it never did. Instead there soon came "the t-shirt", the over exaggerated accent, the self-promotions, stickiness, the gluing of oneself to various venues, the DJ's desks, and to be seen to associate with individuals who run them, forcing oneself on others' generosity of time and attention when they are simply being too polite or even too embarrassed to shake such characters off.

As strange as it sounds we now hear that such a person has set up shop. Yes, He introduces himself as a "Tango Teacher", and that he is officially teaching tango!!!

Personally I am not against anyone wanting to make a few handfuls of bank notes from "any bizarre bazaar", be it tango or any other trade. If some one has some talents they are entitled and should be encouraged to use it. The rewards are theirs if they can get. In fact the more tango activities, classes, milongas, exhibitions, concerts etc there are, the richer the benefits and rewards are for all of us. However these should not be extended so thinly that taking people for a ride is to be seen as a talent and therefore for us to be fine with it.

On the other hand the shocking truth might be that this individual or people like him may really see themselves as qualified to teach in their own mind and by those who have never been taught. In such cases, these are acts which are at the very best due to self delusions, but I fear the worse that there is something else here at play, a fraud and a con.

Looking around us here we can see that there are some highly skilled, dedicated tango teachers whom we know to have spent many years studying their trade, delivering the goods and polishing their acts. There are also those who may not be the best at teaching tango but at least they are very polished performers and appear where a public face of tango is required in the media. Perhaps there are some we can best call the unsung heroes too these are the teachers who have never managed to claim a great deal of public fame but, despite of that, their successful implementation of teaching techniques and use of knowledge have consistently produced very good dancers and we all take more pleasure with them at our milongas.

So... what are we to do with "the character(s)"? By entertaining the personal delusions of grandeurs of such individuals, or worse allowing the con-artists engaging their trade in our community, I am not sure who would lose out most. I do not have many ideas on how such enterprises or people can be stopped although I do know this that by ignoring these we will all lose out, in our own ways!

The only cat who loves you back!

Friday, February 29


Diana Krall - Temptation (lisabon video)

It is the temptations that we keep asking about and the question still remains; "Can she resit?!"

Wednesday, February 27

Tango Provocateur (Part 3)

He said he'd gone fishing. This made her laugh. He'd never been before despite the fact that he had always talked about it. He said it again " I could not join you dancing last night because I'd gone fishing!"

It was only the other week, last Saturday night in fact when they had danced in her place, in her sitting room just after their meal together. Naked. Together, past midnight, delicious. He sang to her through all those many of Armstrong's songs, singing along oftentimes: "It is true that it can only be you!.....", and he danced her through.

"He was no player!" she told herself but how could she be sure? What's there to be sure of in life, by anyone, at anytime? "Let's be real!", her ex-husband for those few years they shared together was more innocent looking than anyone could have ever known and was no "rat" as some liked to recall their ex-es but he was totally the wrong man in her life.

Perhaps it was about time to give this guy some room to play his game. "Let's wait and see if he ever could stage or think of any one game", it is only fair she thought not to prosecute any other guys for the misery caused by the miserable last.

The warmth of his embrace was intoxicating and invitingly deliberate in eliminating her inhibitions when they had been to her place last. They started dancing sweetly to Armstrong's songs. One after the other. Every melody touched her. Drifting into such abundance of emotional gratitude for the time and space to have mellowed into "Now, and nothing more". Caresses were heavenly spine chilling. Kisses were not just met by her lips wanting but desirably madly wished for.

How could she not want it more? Was this not every man's and woman's most forbidden wish? The most intense of crushing and breathtaking silky dreams took her only that far, and not much further than she had been wanting him to. But he surpassed those with her. The freedom and liberty given to her, the feeling of 'glee', gained at the expense of feelings of shame, 'the pride in cognition of self', it was not him leading this, but herself. She had arrived at her acknowledgment of a transparency - of inner self - from within her.

Her ex-partner was never cruel or abusive. She could not spread any blame on him for being not like this new man in her life.

It had been many years since the passion had died. It was difficult to remember if there ever was any other than physical natural desires of lust. Between passion and lust there is an ocean of differences , this she had learned now. Lust made her not resist temptations if they were offered but passion made her look and create the heart stopping moments of wants and mind numbing tingles of aching for togetherness.

Can she call this love? Surely not, this has been too short and casual to call it so.

He said he had gone fishing. What a strange thing to hear anyone say, far too much like the song she had heard him sing along.

"Even that, if it were to be true, can not be described as an excuse that is worthy for taking on for being acceptable!", she thought. The massage that he had left her with was stupid sounding and simple: "Gone fishing!", "whatever next!" she thought!

In her sitting room she recalled the fever driven moments they had shared before. She was not ashamed nor embarrassed for having been true to herself. At 'Trust' they had met as equals.

" 'Trust' does not emanate from conviction of what perceived truths are, but rather commences from the assumptions of self-deluding versions of our suppositions", and she liked the ones she held. To this belief, she had given in some long time ago. She was nobody's fool and she had stopped playing anybody else's games - knowingly. Now, she was "happy!" since she found herself to be, for the time being- at least, where she had searched for to be all through her life since she had assumed to have known 'belonging'.

Some years back, in that bitterly cold winter, by the seaside where they lived with her ex-partner, she used to accompany him on his strange walks in the late evenings on the solidly frozen beaches. The sand crystals on those beaches felt like concrete, hard and inflexible. In their walks the snow and winds cut their faces. The howling noises were relentless, the winds and waves crashing together near and around them made their whole body numb. No feelings were possible in any of her limbs. She used to surrender to these because he used to say he felt at one with nature. Maybe he was crazy, may be he wanted her driven crazy, she stopped analysing his mad behaviour a long time ago.

The past was a different country which she had walked away from, and she had no intentions to reason with, or find reasons for any more. What mattered was that she had found all her reasons for being 'herself' and whomever she wished to become now, and she had.

She enjoyed her persona, a living 'tango provocateur'. A woman that men dreamed of holding close and near. Women wished if they could only be daring enough to become like her.

"Where could he have gone fishing till this late this evening?"

It was a cold night outside. She did not wish to be next to him on any boat in that freezing cold weather. She did not want to imagine being on any river or riding any waves, neither near nor far, regardless of any beach, sea, or country that she had or not known.

She wished him to be embracing her close, hot, in their nearly naked state when exhausted from dancing many hours of tangos. She imagined them on her sitting room floor, they could dance till they could give up and collapse onto each others' bodies. On her sofa, tasting life with each individual breath, the unique sensation of knowing one another's heartbeats, "What a wonderful world!", but that crazy man had instead gone fishing.

"Tango Provocateur"
A Short Story by:

Thursday, February 21

"And this I know!"

And this I know: whether the one True Light

Kindle to Love, or Wrath-consume me quite,
One Flash of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Translated by Edward FitzGerald (Fifth Edition)

Wednesday, February 20

The Message

When a mind thinks only of worshiping the messenger, it is impossible to discuss the truth of the message in hands.

Instead, let us just dance or listen to some silence or go and find some ordinary, everyday activities in life!


Friday, February 15

Tango Provocateur (Part 2)

It was Jasmine. The aroma from the scented candles burning, the sounds of love cries by the bandoneon, and the gentle lighting that led the way into that milonga's dance hall, these reassured her. She felt they all said "Welcome!", her smile was a testimony to her feeling: most at ease as she reached the reception. She was able to find herself again," inside". It was good to see the familiar regardless of where she went, and in her opinion: most good milongas shared a universally familiar feeling in their welcoming format. This appealed to her sensitivities.

It used to be different. In the past, entering a new milonga hall felt like getting in line to go on a roller coaster ride. Scary, exciting, mostly intimidating at times but she knew she had to continue doing it if she was to get rewarded with her "tango-fix".

The excitement always began with the knowledge and fear of the fall (just like the roller coasters) there would be sensations of "Jump" which she could never say anyone can get used to. The jump is the moment that she'd go on with her decision to allow her vulnerability of becoming emotionally naked in front of others. When she would allow others to see her needs, desires and wants from them. There was of course always the highs that everyone seeks: A near perfect tango.

Many had told her of this addiction to the thrills of seeking The Tango Ghost for finding the highs. She could not understand these talks - not in early days of learning the dance, but she had learned of the ghost by herself. Now she'd do almost anything to meet with the ghost of tango. She had fallen for the charms of the ghost like everyone else she was hooked. To encounter the ghost and to be rewarded for her success in her trials needed her daring to increase with every attempt.

The gentle voiced woman at the desk asked her to spell her name again after she had collected her money and she sounded apologetic, a little hesitant in her request and hoping she had not sounded off putting or even rude to this attractive new visitor. "S..H..I..R..E..E..N" she repeated the letters, pausing enough between each to check the spelling of the letters being written into the book. She was used to these confusions with her name, it never bothered her.
-"Enjoy your evening!" the receptionist said, and guided her with her hand towards the changing area. There were others standing there talking of tango shoes and the weather.

In the main hall, the anxieties had not totally released her from their sharp claws yet, she knew that would take a little time yet. To find her feet and the feel for a new place always took a while. A new Milonga's lows and the occasional dizzy highs she knew had direct correlation to her own feelings inside, her bravery and determination although this was not always absolutely true.

Tonight was special. Regardless of what this milonga could offer by itself, for this evening her anxiety was of somewhat different nature; it was certainly not one of fear of the norm but one of expectations.

Tonight, although she did not know what to expect but she knew that she had been waiting for whatever that was about to happen.

Was the expectation for a repeat of the familiar? She had so much wished and wanted that to be so with him. Would he send her heart racing to such stormy heartbeats that it would be almost impossible to disguise them in his embrace? The unfamiliar was always easy, she had learned about ways of getting used to them, and to set her defences into place to deal with them.

The nearly familiar can bring on a different game, confusions always get triggered with these only.

He walked in. She saw him and once again she reminded herself that "Attraction is not a choice but a force!", this was the reason that drove her anxiousness forward.

She watched him. She waited to see how long it took him to spot her among the crowd. He did search, his eyes would not settle anywhere for long. Once they looks crossed, his broad smile confirmed his pleasure in finding her. On approaching her before saying anything: A warm hug, the reassurance that she had wished for from him. He put both arms around her, and gently squeezed her into his chest. This took her breath away. For a very brief moment she had none more to give and as inhaled back again she felt her blood rushed into her face. Her skin felt warm, and she could sense the heat as it travelled from her cheeks to her ears then the back of her neck and finally disappearing gradually in the back of her spine. "What a strange sensation!" she loved it.

"I just got here too, a few minutes ago, I haven't had time to change my shoes yet, it looks really nice in here, it is good, what do you think?" she asked. He nodded in agreement, and soon added "I haven't been here before, I hear it gets very busy. Popular is good, no?"

She liked the informality in many such busy milongas. At least that was how they looked to her or any strangers who did not know of the inner hierarchies and games and players who operated in this or any other milongas.

They sat next to each other. "Shall we wait for the next set?" he asked, she was relieved to hear that since she needed to get ready in her own mind too.

A man headed for their table. Before he had made his request she shook her head and smiled hoping the man would stop his approach but he took no notice. He seemed determined to want to persist. He continued walking towards her seat and stopped only when he had almost stood over her head. she decided to speak first and said "Thank you!, I am waiting ..." but she had not yet finished her sentence when the man just as determinedly walked off away from their table trying to give the impression that she was not the target for his request after all. This made them both burst into laughter as that man seemed to hover over another table a few chairs away just to repeat the same.

There were times when she would walk into some new Milonga and she'd be getting such frequently requests to dance that the whole evening would pass without her knowledge of passing time, only her aching feet could tell her that it was time to stop. She cherished those occasions. In contrast there were other times that she could have been just a transparent object sitting down for long times and no man would look at her.

"Milongas are strange places with much stranger people dancing inside them" she used to say to herself, and now she said that again in her mind and meant it once more. It had taken her a few months to manage to come to terms with both the wonderful as well as the awful times she has had at some Milongas. While she was learning to tango she had also learned that it is not her and that there are some very strange people in milongas .

Fickleness, oddity, and peculiarity are integral parts of some individuals' behaviour in any crowds and milongas are no exceptions. It is only natural for these to exist, and we must all accept and get used to them. This was another lesson she had learned by herself about dancing tango that there are so much to learn that have nothing to do with the dancing at all.

The set changed. He stood up expectantly, and said "let's pray for some heartfelt-tangos now!" . They were not disappointed. She followed him and he waited for her to collect herself in front of him.

She smiled, maybe it appeared to be nervously. He did not. Instead he wrapped her in his embrace. She felt the sensation of the blood rushing into her face and travelling to her neck and down her spine once again. She hurried to place her face next to his neck and closed her eyes to calm herself. He was gentle like he was before. They swayed and moved in harmony. That had mesmerised her before.

He made her feel like a precious jewel held in a frame of a ring . She felt like she was some chocolate that was being tasted and constantly enjoyed. She melted. She felt held like a Jasmine whose petals were caressed with the summer evening breeze. He made her feel precious by being Tender.

She felt entangled, inside herself with him, and on the outside in his arms. She was no longer anxious, her soul was touched once more by the ghost of tango.

"Tango Provocateur"
A Short Story by:

Sunday, February 10

Thanks Joe!

Madonna - Buenos Aires (remix)

Wednesday, February 6

Tango Provocateur (Part 1)

The Jubilee tube line was as busy as ever, even at around 9 in the evening all seats were occupied. The train driver's voice burst in with much the same information again. The public announcement system was annoyingly loud, crackling and intermittent. "....Due to an incident at....this train has to wait here ....the control signal....we will...moving shortly....soon as....the London Underground apologises .... inconvenience...!"

Since they had become stationary the heat inside the compartment had been gradually building up. It was freezing cold weather outside but inside, in that tunnel and right then, it felt hot, hot enough for everyone to want to loosen their thick winter coats, overcoats, shawls, scarves, wraps, etc. The air was stuffy, and uncomfortably stale to breath. It felt hot .

It was not easy for her to ignore their looks and stares. She was getting these attentions mostly because there was not much else to amuse some people's minds with. Many had stopped reading the free newspapers scattered around and behind their seats. To occupy their mind and to distract themselves from the wait everyone had begun looking around. To bring to an end to feeling anxious, people always look for some distractions, and she felt that she was it now. She was now the object and the reason for their distraction.

She had sat crossed legged to the left and with her thick overcoat spread to her right with one hand, and with the other holding on to her rather large bag dangling to the other side, trying to be patient. But she was aware that she did stand out. Without a doubt, amongst them she looked odd. Well, she would have looked odd among any crowds other than her own because of the way she looked.

Her dark red miniskirt, the thin black silk top showing off her well sculpted figure at its best, the lift-up bra gave her a cleavage that most women would simply envy and most men could not avert their eyes from, with her high heel shoes adding flavour to her fishnet stockings which covered her long legs and matching her elbow-long gloves, these combined with her well made up face - they all came together successfully to portray an image which many fantasies are made of for both men and women.

Nobody would believe that this woman with her classic 'provocateur' look is the very aloof shy woman who is an Information librarian. She works in some old family run construction company and her entire working hours are spent getting pestered by visitors who are often the most irritating individuals with their mind numbing conversations being about requests for files, data , stats and numbers and that their lack of respect for her "data request procedures" do drive her to near insanity on some days.

Her life used to be her work. Routines were safe. Nothing much happened other than that. Going home - leaving from work, only meant being in time to catch up with hours and hours of American TV soaps - courtesy of a very good deal from a cable company. She proudly boasted about its hundreds of channels whenever she managed to get a chance to show off her diligence on spotting this amongst all others advertised. The 18 months long contract and the fact that such an offer was no longer available to other customers made her feel good.

Socialising revolved around the odd get-togethers with her university girlfriends. The routine was that they would meet up at some convenient location not very far from their homes and go on to one of the multiplex cinemas, have some pizza/pasta before or after the movie, and they would fill all the gaps in between with gossips about the story lines of the TV soap characters which they all followed religiously. Being in very similar jobs and from the same backgrounds ensured that there was not much difference in what they all did with their lives. The odd appearance of a boyfriend material person in their lives did never seem to stretch for long enough to carry much weight in their conversations. They had learned to leave that be.

She changed. She discovered Tango. Her parallel life was born a few months ago, and now she was living two lives.

Readjusting her overcoat on her lap, she closed her eyes and imagined herself dancing with him to his favourite tango. Piazzola and him transformed her world to where she intended to go. She could not help herself but smile. She choreographed him leading her as before. She had done this for almost all of this last week. These thoughts elevated her soul and mind. She was not bothered at all how they curiously studied her and looked on. She was glad now that she had planned to be early, and regardless of these delays she did not fear arriving late.

After another 10 to 15 minutes and a few more pointless announcements, suddenly the train jolted and they were on their way.

Would he dance her again as she had day-dreamed him doing and would he find her in his heart to be his tango provocateur?

"Tango Provocateur"
A Short Story by:

Monday, February 4

La Esquina by Federico Aubele

Y los años van sin poder soltar
And the years go by without releasing
los recuerdos del ayer
the yesterday's memories
así mirándolos pasar y volver
seeing them going and comming back
los recuerdos del ayer
the yesterday's memories

A través de la esencia
Through the essence
de mil jazmines se filtra todo tu calor
of thousands jasmines all your warm slips through

Los pétalos de tus labios
The petals of your lips
buscando sobre los míos
looking in mine

apagar su sed
extinguish its thirst

Noches de verano
Summer nights
en la esquina de Begrano
at Begrano's corner
navegando a la deriva
sailing to the drift
hasta el amanecer
till dawn

Sembrando melodías
Seeding melodies
en la noche infinita
on the endless night
lo llevo bien guardado
I'm keeping it well
ya lo sé
I know it

Y los años van...
And the years go by...

Las vidrieras han cambiado
The windows have changed
y sin embargo ya aun te pienso
and nevertheless I still think of you
Casi sin querer
almost without wanting to

y soy actor y espectador
I'm an actor and the audience
en mi memoria yo te siento respirar
I feel you breathing in my memory

Noches de verano
Summer nights
en la esquina de Begrano
at Begrano's corner
navegando a la deriva
sailing to the drift
hasta el amanecer
till dawn

Sembrando melodías
Seeding melodies
en la noche infinita
on the endless night
lo llevo bien guardado
I'm keeping it well
ya lo sé
I know it

The combination of this video and song; impossible not to enjoy!
The only cat who loves you back!

Wednesday, January 30

Oddity, Zero chance to Tango!

When standing on a fault-line of time, how certain could one be not to be touched through and within by the vibes and the vibrations through one's body and mind, at millions of miles per hour, nearing the speed of light? Can one hear one's own screams in one's mind?

How spectacular! Those moments could be as deadly as they would be when one's reality is shaken into only rays and beams!

Keep in mind that the rest of the universe is unaffected. That space-time oddity, that is all that it is seen to be, is normal since normality is only a perspective which is held to be true only by its observer. It is a play, by a peculiar child of many universal-functions named "gravity"; a leap into the quantum of multi-dimensions: a playground of the universe.

BUT....! No but(s) and no If(s), it has to happen, and as and when it does:

For the one who stood standing at the fault-line, there - as it happened -, none of these are to be grasped. In that point of oddity , the only thing one may look for is not a thread to an unknown future or to a more familiar past, but only to wanting, a scratch to grasp a very few more fractions of that most slippery of all life's gifts: "the present!"

In the midst of all these questions and thoughts I fear some unexpected reply saying:" I suggest that only "Ziggy Stardust and his cat from Japan" might know all the answer to those and even some more", or another screaming back saying "but you seem to forget that Ziggy's ego is as always too busy making love with himself, he'd be too busy to fly back"

If there was to be a footnote here, it would have read :
David Bowie, his songs still can make many smile. It is tempting to believe in the lyrics of "Space Oddity", it is also a bit sad to recognise the fate of Major Tom. It is even more sad to think that he had a zero chance to Tango, specially on the bright side of any moons.

The only cat who loves you back!

Thursday, January 17

Why Write?

"We write to heighten our awareness of life…we write to taste life twice, in the moment and in introspection…we write to be able to transcend our life, to reach beyond it… to teach ourselves to speak with others, to record the journey into the labyrinth…to expand our world when feeling strangled, constricted, lonely… When I don't write I feel my world shrinking. I feel I lose my fire, my color."
Anais Nin.

Monday, January 14


This "tag-ing" business seems to have taken the blog world by storm and thanks to two friends La Tanguera and m i l e s I was also tagged. I honor their requests.

The rules are:
1. Post the rules on your blog
2. Link to the person(s) who tagged you: La Tanguera and m i l e s
3. Share seven random and/or weird things about yourself.
4. Tag seven people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
5. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Ok let me begin:

1. I am a book worm.
I usually read a number of different books in parallel. Even when I can not physically sit down to read books then I resort to listening to Audio-Books instead. There are always one or two of these on my MP3 player ready to play..

2. I live to tell the tale!
About 5 years ago, in a period of 19 days I faced certain possibilities of my life ending shorter than it has been till now on 3 different occasions and ways!

During this said time, within a few days from each other, I was in a severe car accident pile up, a metal stair case collapsed from under my feet and I fell to the ground-floor from 2 floors up, and the last one was when (however-many) 10's of heavy weightlifting disks stacked up on their metal pyramid stand in my regular gym, just came off tumbling & falling on and around my head & body while I was doing some stretching exercises on the floor-mat next to them! There were no satisfactory reasons that could easily explain away why any of these happened to me since I had no part to play in any of them.

I survived all these three with very minor injuries although at the end of that month my close friends and family members were more of a total nervous wreck than I was.

Since then my outlook on life has changed. Knowing that I was "Lucky!", and am still here despite of all that, helps me smile at all those issues which seem to easily wind many people up.

3. My principles for "Taste"
I am against learning to like anything that is said to need "An Acquired Taste!"
This applies to food, music, art, etc. I believe if some things are not appealing by their very nature then it is only pretentious and shallow if one tries to acquire a change in one's own taste in order to accommodate a liking for them.

4. I am hot!
My body temperature can rise rapidly by about one to two degrees centigrade on demand.
I can achieve this If I drink a glass of wine and immediately follow that by a small bar of chocolate. This also works with chocolate being eaten first, but drinking the wine too quickly afterwards is not just as much fun!

5. I am a tourist.
I take a day off in midweek twice or sometimes more when I can do it, every month. I spend all of that day in the art galleries and museums that I love and adore.
This way I get a lot more of my workload done in anticipation of, and on my return from, my 1 day breaks. I love losing myself being a happy tourist in town.

6. I live with my chemistry.
I am very sensitive to people's personal body scent.
What might seem not very noticeable to most other people's sense of smell, can easily bother me to the extent that it could determine if I am able to socialise and/or work with some individuals.

In tango this can mean either a heavenly or hellish experience depending on whom I embrace!

7. I like the strangers in Tango
...Yes, finally this one is just for Tango. At any large milongas there are always some visiting dancers and I try to find one such complete stranger. I prefer not to have already seen them dancing on the floor.

I have found myself dancing very enjoyable tandas with some wonderfully nice people, some of whom have become very good friends because of this.

That was that!
Now I am supposed to tag seven other bloggers but having been madly busy lately means that most my intended targets are possibly already tagged regardless of how I choose them here from my favourite listed bloggers.

Tango in Her Eyes! , Heartbreak Tango , La Planchadora , Fishnet & Fedoras , TangoBaby , La Vida Con Deby , My Tango Year.

The only cat who loves you back!

Thursday, January 10

2008, Best of Luck!

It is Time! Another page is turned. One more chapter is played out. Who knows where this story, any of our stories will be taking us to next, personally I can only say that I am thrilled that our stories continue. I am also feeling certain that we will remain fascinated and overwhelmed by disbelief at many things that we will meet at every turn till 2008 is over too.

In looking back, there are some regrets which remain, these found to have no resolution even by the end of all chapters that were played out when the year ended, similarly there are many of our wishes that were not fulfilled, despite best of efforts that we applied.

In places Time was short. In others, we can talk of "luck". Luck is the best excuse that I know of which we can shamelessly use. Myself, whenever I stopped wanting to pursue that which I had assumed to be not worth while following, I have often engaged the blame on "luck". With the excuse of "luck" it is easier to face partings of friendships, lovers, and even business deals. Saying good-byes to any chosen paths, by disassociating oneself from any initial intentions; and by blaming luck; one does not need to explain the change of hearts or mind.

I have always seen that there is some crazy feeling for wanting "intimacy of feelings" around this time of the year. Not many are immune of this and that is how it happened to me. Last year around this time I fell into the roller coaster run of finding myself feeling attracted to someone I had just known. The thoughts of falling-in-love, being brave and tempting faith and taking massive steps instead of "baby-steps", walking speedily towards that vulnerable state of offering the most precious of all feelings: longing and love for another person, it felt crazy, and and it felt good and control was given to events rather than sense.

In the sobriety that followed those times when the sense and sensibilities were gone, some more was added to all I had read and learned or seen and known. For some our own common contexts do not apply. There are other versions, bargained for a few screaming days at some sunny and sandy beaches, away from winter days of "Good Ol' London". Perhaps "luck" played its part as best as it could have, and for that I am now - in my sobriety of senses - grateful and consequently have no regrets on what was and what remains.

This year I promised that I'll be careful, and decided not to play dice with life- I think the lesson was well learnt and was not to be retried.

She said "Is this it?...the last tango?... the end of 2007... and then no more ...? ", her smiles were warm but her anxiety innocently showed through. I just felt excited, ending the year on a high note, happy that no pandora box I had left opened to deal with later as the year was about to end.

I could see only a total dissimilar reflection of all that I was feeling inside, in her anxiety for the incoming unknown, perhaps it was just just my imagination and nothing more. I told her that I felt thrilled because of looking forward to all that is yet to happen and all that I am glad to call 'unknown'. She smiled and looked at me with an appreciation of why I had just said.

With the last song of 2007 we embraced even more intent. She made me feel she enjoyed the safety of being together in those moments. We were strangers but it felt like holding on to an old friend for whom there was endless care, dancing together, the very last song ended.

The DJ ended the music in very good time and we counted the last 12 seconds of the year aloud, holding one another in the friendliest of caring embraces. With the first few seconds into the 2008 our laughter and screams of joy joined the noise and excitement shown by everyone else, and together we stole away all the fears and anxieties that there could have been seconds before in her.

We toasted the new year and kissed, and hugged. We had embraced soon again and began dancing, with our own and everyone else's smiles we became part of the general tapestry of joy. Celebrating with dancing a new song for and with the new year that had just begun.

In 2007, I continued to learn more about people and tango. More about what I had already known some , the egos with their individualistic complexes - common to those who live to compete in tango since there is not much else to define themselves with. I also continued with learning of how "Dancing Tango" changes most of us - often for the better, by helping us to get in touch with our most basic of feelings.

Most touchingly I have enjoyed learning from those who share their feelings and experiences in such pages, the bloggers, specially those who write intimately about themselves, particularly those whose writing is about their lives-in-tango and about tango-in-their lives.

I have learned and appreciate that there are many who are much better and more brave at this blogging than I could ever be. Still, they inspire me both in writing and while dancing, and that is a present for which I thank them.

I wish them and everyone of you who reads these postings "The Best of Luck!" - for all the new chapters of life-stories in this new year. In 2008, there is much more to come our way.

The only cat who loves you back!