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How Bhangra Ruined My Life, Part 1 of 3 February 24, 2009

Posted by sikhsubculture in Bhangra.

Real Life Stories

It all started very innocently my freshman year of college. I had just finished my second week at school when I met Binni. My Orgo lab ended a few minutes early and I wanted to get a quick bite before I hit the library, so I went to the dining hall. I was about to pay when:

“Sardar Ji, kee haal eh?”

“Hey, I’m good”

“You must be new here, my name is Binni. Where are you from?”

“I’m from Ohio”

“Ohio, huh? A lot of Punjabis there?”

“I guess”

“What are you majoring in?

“Right now Chemistry, but I’m thinking about double majoring. I’m pre-med.”

“Va-va, shabash Doctor Sahib. I was pre-med once.”

“Really!? What are you doing now?

“Uh… so what clubs have you joined”

“Haven’t really joined anything yet, I was thinking about joining the Bicycling Team and maybe Habitat for Humanity… I did it back in Ohio.”

“Well, I’m the bhangra captain this year. Come down to Devlin 410 at around 7 tonight, we are having tryouts”

“Umm… I don’t really know bhangra that well”

“Huh? Anyway, see you at 7.”

I hadn’t really done much bhangra. There was the occasional local Indian party and then my sister’s wedding last year. I wasn’t that good at it, but it didn’t seem that hard. Just put your hands in the air and move your shoulders up and down. I was hesitant about joining a dance club, but I hadn’t really made too many friends yet and I had heard joining clubs was a good way to meet people. But why were there tryouts? How many people could possibly be interested in joining an Indian dance club? “Must just be a formality” I thought to myself. Boy was I wrong.

When I arrived at Devlin, I thought I was in the wrong place. There must have been 40 people eagerly waiting to get inside Devlin 410. They couldn’t all be here for bhangra, could they?

“Hello everyone and welcome to the bhangra team tryouts. Unfortunately, we only have 3 spots open this year – two guys, one girl. We’ll start with a quick warm up song and then you will all do a both a group routine and an individual routine in front of our judges.” A routine? Was I supposed to prepare something for this? I didn’t even know how to speak Punjabi. “Bhai Sahib Ji, there you are. Come, come meet the team” said Binni. As I walked into the room, passing the other people waiting to get inside, I saw about 10 people all wearing the same blue t-shirt that read Bhangra Blowout 2002, Washington, D.C. I remember trying to figure out what that meant. Was there an actual event just dedicated to bhangra?

“Rishi, come here and meet our newest member” Binni shouted out as he pushed me to the front of the line where the rest of his group was. Newest member! I hadn’t even tried out yet.

“Hey man, I’m Rishi, good to meet you.”

I quickly interrupted him, “Hey Binni, what do you mean newest member, I haven’t even tried out yet?” to which he replied,

“arey yaar, thu vi Sikho, meh vi Sikho.”

I guess I didn’t really need to try out. I felt bad for the other people who were now stretching hoping to fill one of the 2 remaining spots on the team, but I guess it pays to be Sikh every once in a while!

“Bruuuaaaah, a ha, balle balle balle” All of a sudden the music started and I felt like I was in the middle of a Bollywood movie that I could not get out of. The people around me were busting out crazy moves left and right… I was way out of my league. The scene reminded me of synchronized swimming expect everyone was smiling and bobbing their heads from left to right. I didn’t know what to do. “This is too much,” I remember quietly saying under my breath. “I need to get out here.”

I started making my way out and I almost made it out the door, but suddenly someone grabbed my arm and said,

“Hey, where are you going? We just got started.”

“Uh, nowhere.” I replied.

“Good, ‘cause I need a dance partner.”

Her name was Preeti, she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. I was now a member of the bhangra team.

Stay tuned to SSC and find out How Bhangra Ruined My Life, Part 2 of 3



1. Set - February 25, 2009

I think this post applies to many people!

2. R Singh - February 25, 2009


3. Singh A - February 25, 2009

hahah we all know someone who failed out of school because of bhangra!! this blog is a GREAT idea, by the way. Fateh.

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