2B - Thursday, April 4, 2013
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
2B - Thursday, April 4, 2013 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom
A love letter to my
desi dance memories
in this new series, three daily arts writers
in varying states of mind visit the same
place and write about their experiences.
this week's destination:
When the all-powerful
Arts editors offered
me a Bollywood
column last summer, I already
knew what my last article would
I've been sit-
ting on this
- and it's
that I finally PROMA
sity in my final farewell.
The truth is that Bollywood
movies - or rather, dancing to
their music - is the reason I
ended up at the University. Once
I saw my first Indian American
Student Association Cultural
Show in 2003, I knew in my
heart that there was no other
school for me. The show consist-
ed entirely of students dancing
to Bollywood songs.
I've been dancing my entire
life. Growing up in Boston, I
would help my mother move the
furniture in our apartment aside
to make room for her weekly
dance classes, which I'd then
watch from my newly assembled
couch-fort in the kitchen. I
trained for years in classical
and contemporary Indian dance
and saw every performance that
passed through town, but I had
long since given up on living out
my Bollywood dreams on stage.
At the IASA show, I saw 200
people doing just that.
IASA gave me a stage experi-
ence unlike any I had ever known
or will likely ever know again. I
will leave this university with the
unbelievable memory of dancing
for almost 4,000 people, feeding
off their energy and trying to give
them just as much back. I went up
on that stage as dancer, choreog-
rapher and organizer of the show,
but those seven minutes under
the lights never lost their magic.
In the words of my wise and
esteemed co-cultural show
coordinator this year: "You don't
a far e
at Hill Auditorium every in my every nerve a sensation
ou go up there for the first of infinite possibility, the same
reshman year, and it chang- feeling I get every time we chant,
." "One team, one manzil" before
ry fall, IASA gave me a new going on stage.
'of dancers. Through it, I For the past two years, Manzil
some of my best friends in has been my family, with all the
e, without whom my life glorious dysfunctionality of any
be incomplete and painful- family. We've laughed, we've
ing. I was fortunate enough cried, we've argued, we've cel-
k with not one, but two ebrated, but every night we end
tic show cores, as we spent up back together, dancing our
ess nights in the fishbowl hearts out when the rest of the
crappy pizza and being world isn't as comforting.
fsomething incredible, What makes Bollywood films
hingbigger than all of us. so memorable is the blessed
then, winter came. unreality of the world in which
dn't realize it until sopho- they take place. College is that
year, when three of my world, that unreality. I will
mates were on competitive leave this place with so many
teams. After Nov. 12th, movie moments, from dancing
were still going off to prac- all day to talking all night, Lake
nd performing and com- Shore Drive to the hills of San
g. And me - I was bored. Francisco. I will never forget
the finale of my Manzil movie,
when we placed for the first
'he miracle time this year at my last com-
of M anzil I'll remember swapping sto-
ries from a particularly event-
ful weekend at our teammate's
house the next morning, or
e bratty tragedy of it all bonding with my underclass-
hat there wasn't a team for men brothers and sisters. Years
knew by then that there from now, I'll smile quietly to
competitive Bollywood myself when Ihear a song from
teams all over the coun- one of our routines, or when
but alas, a lack thereof was someone tries to innocuously
ly thing keeping Michi- use the word "heist" in a sen-
om perfection in my eyes. tence. I will remember, above
ly we had a co-ed filmi all, the people who shared that
" I'd sigh to myself. If only stage and so many stages with
ne started one. Right. me, who let me into the magical
realm of Bollywood fantasy, if
d then there was Manzil. only for a little while.
anzil," in Hindi, quite liter- And so, to IASA, to Manzil,
eans "destination," but it's to the University: Thank you
nore romantic word. I'd for our little Bollywood movie.
t more to "destiny." The Thank you for filling my life
was formed two years ago, with love, laughter, drama and
Ding to those first tryouts dance, and for making these
asily one of the best things past four years unimaginably
ver happened to me. wonderful. It's a rare thing
en I made Manzil on the in this world to live out your
night of March 17, 2011, the dreams, and I have been lucky
of us went out to Denny's enough to do so constantly. I
spot, around 5 a.m. But hope it is only the beginning.
OK, so I'm in line at Blimpie Burgie. And, all right, I think I have this
down. I need to say three things ... number of patties, right. And the bun?
What's the third? Crap!
Noah, to my right, is visibly swaying back and forth. And when he
doesn't hear the grill cook ask him what burger he wants, the guy shouts.
"Hey, burger! What kind!" Noah jumps and runs down to answer. Shit ...
what was that third thing?
"What do you want fried?" the guy asks, throwing me off. "Onions!" I
blurt out. Good, my reflexes work fine. And I'm left with a nice, juicy burger
at the end of the ordering process. Ipay the man and join Noah at the table.
First, the burger ... it's a revelation. With the fried onions and cream
soda, I can die happy. Just let me finish this burger first. It's gone before
Brianne and I can convince Noah that Stephenie Meyer isn't a very good
author. And then ...
OK, so maybe I'm just paranoid; I know I get paranoid a lot when I
smoke. But seriously, Noah is shouting about drinking and drugs - and
there are children everywhere. I can clearly see the man and the boy to my
left trying to ignore it.
Shit, the fuzz! OK, Brianne and Noah aren't noticing this, but a police car
is right outside with its lights on. Noah, seriously, stop waving your canteen
of alcohol around.
"Are you almost done with that?" I ask abruptly, as Brianne casually
munches a fry. "Oh, yeah, I guess so!" Good. I'm out the door and disappear
into the nightbefore they're finished throwing away their trash.
Oh ... just someone getting a parking ticket. Well, you can never be too
- DAILY ARTS WRITER
If this grease were an alien, it would have already taken over the world.
I didn't notice before, but it has already colonized me and now it's spread to
my keyboard, and I don't want to fight itbecause it's like the Imperius curse
- it just feels so good - and YOLO, so let's order another four patties, come
on, they're not that big anyway, what have we got to lose, just add another
three miles to our workout regimen tomorrow. I betI could eat around 20
of these and have room for the fried vegetables. I am the grease whisperer.
The grease says, "I would never lie to you. You want me in your belly." And
it's right, I do. Ritually sacrifice my good sense and beatify my health, sweet
Blimpy, on the altar of the grease gods. I belongto your cult now.
The only reason to come to this place is if you're with friends and some-
one says, "Hey, let's get Blimpy burgers!" and if that happens it should be
illegal to say no. There doesn't need to be a functional justification, you don't
need to be hungry, you just go, you eat, you joke, you eat more. College has an
unwritten exam, and that exam is experiences. Blimpy is a question on that
exam, and the answer is yes. If you say no to Blimpy, you can get all the As
you like, but there will always be a stain on that social transcript. A grease
stain, forever reminding you of the jokes you couldn't laugh at because you
were too sober and the foods you couldn't eat because you were too worried
about your six-pack.
Do better than me, reader! Get five patties! Order them with an egg! Don't
shy away. This is what you're here for. Even if the food isn't great, Blimpy's
is a worthy reminder that sometimes you are not supposed to be a good
person. Make a fool of yourself and dive into some finger food. Because the
grease gods are watching.
[remember of that night,
fso many nights since, is
felt to drive home and
the sunrise together. I felt
Khosla is thanking everyone
for the memories. To join,
SUMMER LOVIN' AT 420
JOIN THE DAILY ARTS SUMMER STAFF FOR A
HELLUVA GOOD TIME.
HAVE A BLAST AND GET REAL JOURNALISM
EXPERIENCE AT THE SAME TIME!
E-mail email@example.com to request an application.
Marvin Gaye is part ofa
small group of legendaryt
cians that artists today see
Similar to the A
Beatles, Jimi B uired
Prince, Gaye's LaneS
music is so Robin Thi
revered that feat. Phai
tions for the andT.I
artist sam- Interscpe
pling it are
cally high. Somehow, thou
Robin Thicke manages to'
Gaye justice on his latest s
gle, "Blurred Lines," featu
T. and his label boss, Pha
The song, which sample
Gaye's classic "Got to Give
Up," and is one of Pharrell
best beats in years, groove
hard from the openingbas
line. By the time the multi
ered and carnal harmonie
- NOAH COHEN
ke a good student, I did my homework. Like a sober, anxious Blimpy
in," I really, really did my homework. With 30 minutes to spare, I
ed the burger joint's website, memorizing its menu and saving a list of
iments to my phone. Greasy gods forbid I step foot into Blimpy Burger
out a clue ... or a shot (or three). But with two intoxicated writers in tow,
ready - and hungry - tobe put to the test. Between the clangs and
s of typical restaurant clamor, three bearded men in aprons scurried
e the counter. "What do ya' want from the grill?" one asked.
my right, Noah wavered - literally swayed like a burger stacked too
He sputtered chunks of sentence; "ketchup" here, "lettuce" there. No,
! Didn't he read the directions? Condiments come last! I braced myself
unts and good-natured grimaces. The man yielding the spatula just
d his eyes and flipped another patty. Huh.
aybe this won't beso bad, I thought. "No matter what she says," Noah
ed, wagging a finger in my direction, "Give her four patties. She wants
but give her four!" The message was passed down the chain of com-
d, and I, well, I lamented my loss of agency. That is, until my mouth
aced (yes, embraced) the grease-soaked goodness - grilled egg and
olone oozing in, out and between tomatoes, beef and bun - that was my
Blimpy burger. Forget choices, forget the menu: I'll eat whatever these
'henchmen tell me to eat - even if it does comewith a sideof sass.
- BRIANNE JOHNSON
Movie trailers notoriously
reveal, and often ruin, (what
usually turn out to be) the best
parts of an
film in order
to snag the Pain &Gain
up, three-minute excerpt, we
sometimes feel like we've "seen
too much." But if this is the best
that "Pain & Gain," has to offer,
then whoever cut this thing is
doing moviegoers a big favor,
and I've see more than enough
Daniel (Mark Wahlberg,
"Broken City"), a down-on-his-
luck gym rat who wantsto get
rich quick, teams up with Paul
(Dwayne Johnson, "Empire
State") and Adrian (Anthony
Mackie, "The Inevitable Defeat
of Mister and Pete") to kidnap
rich businessman Victor (Tony
Shaloub, "Movie 43"), and steal
all of his money.
Not only does a trio of grown
men kidnapping a corrupt bil-
lionaire make for the silliest of
plot lines, but the greedythree-
some executes the assault with
a taser while wearing;Hallow-
een costumes and communicat-
ing via walkie talkies Throw
in a few more immature, comic
conventions like a boisterous
midget and a freaky fat chick,
and not even an overzealous
"this is a true story" disclaimer
convince that there's something
to gain byseeing this movie.