I boarded this train called ‘Tango’ a few years ago.

I was going through a low phase. A friend of mine took me to this gathering called ‘The Milonga’. We landed there really late. The last 10 mins of it, to be precise. Somebody came and asked me for a dance. I accepted, as I was not new to partner dancing and also, I knew a bit about weight change. I could follow. As in, I din feel like a fool dancing. I din feel any out of the box emotions either. But something did happen that day. For those 3 mins, yes 3 mins, as I was unaware of the 3 songs – tanda etiquette. I said thank you and walked off after the first song! Coming back to the story, for those 3 mins I closed my eyes and my body relaxed. I hadn’t slept for days before that. I liked the way my body relaxed. I had failed to achieve this through drinking hot milk, listening to soothing music, exercise etc.

I decided to start learning Tango. Coming from salsa, this was a completely different world for me. The dance, the environment, the people, every thing was different. Part of it I liked and part I didn’t. Then again people and environment have rarely stopped me from doing something. So I kept at it. I would like to call this stage, Latency.

Station 1 – LATENCY

Then came the dreaded second stage. I would like to call this stage

WTF! (Station 2)

Yes, you read it right. I was of the opinion that this dance is so easy to follow. But I kept on hearing, that I keep pressing my back onto the lead’s hand and I am not staying in the embrace! I just couldn’t ‘figure’ out what was I not doing right in my ‘following’.

Honestly, if class venue was like not at stone throw distance from my house and timing absolutely not interfering with my regular schedule. I may have very easily gotten frustrated and discontinued at this point.

Hmm… this is not true actually. Knowing myself, when things are not working, I put in that much more effort to compensate.

But how much ever I tried to analyze, or put effort, same feedback.

No presence. Not in embrace. WTF!!

Station 3 – Khul Ja Sim Sim

One of the Tango teachers from Italy came to Bangalore. Before the class he danced with me. The most pathetic I have felt in Tango, is in that dance. He danced with a few of us (followers) and molded the class to suit us. That class completely opened me up. It was indeed a ‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’ moment for me. I realized what I was doing wrong. I was trying to ‘figure’ out Tango. I was trying to ‘follow’ it. All I had to actually do was, to just let go of myself, relax and be present with the lead. That’s it! Really that’s it!

This stage opened me up to so many things after that. Leading me to next stage of Tango learning.

Station 4 – Self discovery

This is where my learning actually started. I forgot about learning Tango and started learning about myself. Till date, this is what Tango means to me.

A way to look and feel oneself through the embrace of Tango.

I felt emotions that I never knew I was capable of feeling or even existed in me.

I felt beautiful, graceful, sensual, serene, scared and naked all at the same time.

Just to elaborate a bit on ‘naked’ part. One is so close to the partner in the embrace of tango, you just cannot hide anything. Your partner can literally feel your heart, your insecurities, and those butterflies in your stomach. You are butt-naked emotionally. No more facades.

Station 5 – 2 steps forward, 1 step back

After the previous stage, I was hooked to tango. Curiosity to understand myself, kept me hooked to it. From then on it has been 2 steps forward, 1 step back feeling for me. This is how life also is, isn’t it?

I am happy when I become more and more open to letting people into my inner world of emotions and experience the beauty of willingly be part of this amazing thing called ‘Embrace’. Together creating strokes of movement, on the canvas of dance floor, using the colors of Tango music! (Wah wah, ab to hum shayar bhi ban ne lage hain :P)

I feel bad when I am stuck in my head, in my heart or in my body and not able to let go. The feeling of being stuck is so strong some times that it makes me wanna give up! At least take a break for a while. But the lalach (greed) that I will and shall experience those beautiful moments again, and to achieve this all I need to do is to let go, surrender fully to the experience of the embrace. Not to be afraid of where it will land me.

Like life, there are so many moments that make us wanna give up. But we don’t in the hope of experiencing those beautiful moments again. Coz, life is beautiful! So is Tango!

Thus Tango is life!

(You saw what I did there? The geek in me keeps seeping in. Transitive law)

The journey continues…

I will never give up on life. And I shall never give up Tango.

I am enjoying this journey. I don’t even care what lies ahead. Nor do I care about the destination, if one exists that is. This journey is so enriching and fulfilling.

Cheers to experiencing life in its full glory…

AMEN!

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