Being a Rajasthani and a ‘Pappu’ at dancing, I have always watched women perform Ghoomar in awe. Be it a wedding or a festival, celebration meant women happily twirling with grace as they performed Ghoomar.
When the movie Padmavati was announced, I was excited about it. I quickly watched the song Ghoomar as soon as it came out. Deepika looks beautiful and her moves are phenomenal.
Then what’s my problem, you ask? Well, the fact that it’s not Ghoomar. Ghoomar is not just twirling around in a few steps given to you. It’s way more than that.
A few steps of choreography with zero research on the culture and dance form is why Rajput communities are objecting to the song. Artistic freedom is just a sorry excuse for lack of research on the moviemakers’ end.
In fact, from what it looks like, the marketing team of the movie has smartly chosen the name of the song as ‘Ghoomar’ when it is nothing like it. You know, just to garner reactions and moreover, views.
The music, the clothes depicted and the jewellery nothing resembles the Rajputana culture of Rajasthan. Moreover, the steps and choreography is a shame to the beautiful dance form that Ghoomar is.
For once, I expected Bhansali to do the right thing. After what all happened during the shooting, I expected the moviemakers to be more cautious and to put in more effort into their research. But sadly, the opposite happened.
Over the years, I have seen several movies and TV shows taking up Rajasthani culture and failing miserably. Not even one show or movie till now has put in the effort to actually do thorough research for the screen.
No doubt that evolution has taken place over the years in the clothing and the dance form but it’s still nothing like Deepika’s obsessive twirling and random thumkas.
Whoever on the crew or the team came up with mixing Kalbelia sort of costume with a Gujarati touch, no Bajuband and saree draping style of wearing Odhni, clearly needs a lesson on how to research.
Not to mention, the weird mix of ‘Terah Taal dance’ with Ghoomar in Bhansali’s ‘Ghoomar’ and the use of various props like diyas etc. which are never used in traditional Ghoomar.
Now, I am totally against the violence and whatever menace has been happening over the issue in Rajasthan. Abuse and violence should not be the way to voice your dissent.
I also do not have any problem with Deepika, the cast or the filmmakers. My only problem lies with the fact that the song named ‘Ghoomar’ gives a wrong impression of the dance form.
I completely appreciate the hard work that must have gone into the song and the movie but it’s still nothing close to the actual culture and the graceful Ghoomar dance.
So here’s my little tip to Bollywood: Dear Bollywood, stop measuring everything on the scales of commercial viability, artistic freedom & freedom of expression. Stop adding your masala to everything there is, for some things (like Ghoomar) are beautiful in their natural form.
Yes, you’re entitled to your ‘artistic freedom’ of storytelling but then do not call it a tribute to brave Rajput women and warriors when it’s clearly not.
PICTURE CREDITS: GOOGLE IMAGES
You’d like to read: