Mithi invited me and Pat to come to a Bhangra night. Punjab music and RnB – something different. I got him to let me wear his brother’s Indian clothing, just to try something different.

About karma: This was the 3rd iteration of the Karma nights.

Crowd: Entirely indian except for 3 people – me, Pat, and a random white girl I spotted.
: Bollywood, Punjab and RnB. A short 10 minute house mix featured to break things up.
Cover charge: $15 before 11pm on guestlist. Otherwise $25.


Getting in
There were so many men lining up! Not much eye candy. I could sense everybody looking and talking about our outfits. The bouncers luckily let us in. The frisker however bagged me out for my “Elvis” sunnies, saying he died a long time ago (Of course, jokingly) ! The security measures were more strict than that of the Asian clubs – we had to put all metal objects in a little bowl and do a little twirl as part of the frisk. Indians must be crazier than Asians. Thanks to Mithi’s phone calls to the organiser, we still got a discounted entry even though it was past 11pm.

The music: The DJ would typically play a well known rnb song sans the original vocals, and overlay it with some hindi or Punjabi ones. Most songs were basically in Hindi / Punjab. You might think that it would suck, but the rnb beats still allowed you to find your rhythm and dance. It worked quite well, even though I had absolutely no idea what the lyrics meant, nor what the words where to sing along to.

Dancing bollywood style: This was totally different to dancing to rnb. Rnb involves lots of bending and low arm movemnts. When a punjab song plays, you instantly put one or both arms pointing in the air. You sing along. Then if possible find another person or crowd to dance with. Once your little circle starts, the circle slowly moves in a clockwise direction, as each person pulls off their own bollywood moves.

Some of the basic bollywood moves I learned that night include:

Hand thrusting with hands open. (the poke)

Left to right and right to left arm shaking. (the alzheimer)

Squatting up and down rapidly in a circle (the yoyo)

Falling on your knees and throwing some open hand thrusts in front. (mini tank poke) Typically done with someone else oppsite you, also on their knees.

Taking your right leg, and finding another opposite to join your ankle to, who also uses their right ankle. You then hop around in a circle, hands madly pointing and thrusting wherever looks good. (hills hoist a rama) imgp0546.JPG
On the podium. I think I was doing the poke.

These dance moves are assumed knowledge amongst the indian crowd. Well, the ones I danced with anyway. Basically everybody were pulling off these moves. In any case you could also dance proper rnb style to the punjab music without looking out of place.

The women were doing miserably in the dancing department. Either there was no specialist style for women or they didn’t know how to do it. Either way, there weren’t enough women! It was probably 90 percent guys. Someone I met that night said usually there are more girls than guy at the Bhangra nights. He also recommended to visit Goa during my India trip next year. He even bought me a drink. He’s a… champion!


Champion on the left with a random indian on the right.

Oh master
I used some of the moves to get dancing with the guys. They welcomed me and most tried to teach me some moves, especially up on the podium. It was quite fascinating to see so many people expressively enjoy their dancing. It really made the vibe better. There were so many dance moves that reflected on how much they liked the music. The only equivalent in the common world is to pump your fists in the air or bang your head really hard.

One particular guy always came up to me and danced every now and then. So did this other guy. They looked deep into my eyes as we danced. Perhaps they were gay. I wasn’t sure, but they danced close enough to give me some gay vibes. It was quite weird and scary at the same time. The only time they would walk off was when another guy came up to dance with me. What was I, a woman dressed as a man, or an attractive guy? Or was it normal to dance so close to a fellow man? I was too scared to ask my fellow dancer to not dance so close to me in case he got an erection. Luckily that didn’t happen.

Me and the very close dancer. Perhaps he just felt very happy that night ?

Goodbye glasses There was also no cloak room that night, which was pretty .. stupid. I had lost my prescription glasses as I kept them in my pocket but they somehow popped out. They were never recovered ..

Getting kicked out: Dead tired. Took a break inside but it was too hot. Outside was great. There was a really strong breeze happening that night. I put on my sunnies, and sat against the wall. Bouncers came. They said I had to leave. Why? I looked like I was asleep and used the ‘don’t blame the messenger – blame management’ excuse.

I wasn’t beating anyone up, I wasn’t drunk, I wasn’t creeping any girls… I was just being normal. F*ckers !!

me mithi and pat
Me, Mithi and Pat, right before I went outside and unceremoniously got kicked out for ‘sleeping’

Summary It was a good night and despite the rude exit, I would do it again for the pure different experience – as long as it wasn’t held at Martin Place Bar and I had another outfit to put on. Opening a cloak room would have helped as well.


One Response to Karma 3 @ Martin Place Bar – Sunday 30th Sept 2007

  1. […] at me. I made sure I started tapping on the sofa to prevent an exact repeat of what happened at Martin Place Bar during  ‘Karma 3‘ – I was kicked out for sleeping that night. [Coda] Half an hour later Han calls me from […]

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