Thousands of Argentine souls visit India seeking greater wisdom and deeper understanding of spirit. The Argentine visitors dip in the Ganges to purify their souls and stay in Ashrams to enlighten themselves. There are hundreds of followers of Saibaba, Harekrishna and Ramakrishna Mission, among others in Argentina. The other day when I was in the restaurant of the famous resort Llao Llao in Bariloche, a waiter named Jorge greeted me with a Namaste. He is an Anandmargi and has lived in Calcutta for three months. He has assumed an Indian name and practices meditation and recites mantras. During her fashion show yesterday,Monica Socolovski, the Argentine fashion designer told me that Saibaba is her great inspiration.
While the Argentine souls have been journeying to India since many years, there is a reverse traffic now. Indian bodies have started come to dance Tango in Argentina. Sharukh Merchant, partner of the Tandoor restaurant was bitten by the Tango bug in Boston and is here since the last several months. He is an accomplished tango dancer.
In his dinner at Tandoor the other day, he introduced me to Mamta,who has come to Buenos Aires to learn Tango. She is going to be here for three months. She goes to different tango studios and practices every day. She has started going to Milongas, where a faster version of Tango is danced in clubs and where one gets chance to dance with different partners.
Mamta had started learning in India and continued it in New York and she is here to breathe and live Tango...
It may not be a big deal if she is learning salsa, samba or merengue. But Tango is a different ball game... literally...my readers might recall the reference to balls in my blog on the novel Kiss and Tango... http://latinamericanaffairs.blogspot.com/2007/12/kiss-and-tango-novel-by-marina-palmer.html#links
Tango is the most sensual dance in which sparks are emitted by the rubbing bodies. That makes it more challenging for the tradition-bound Indians who are more preoccupied with souls than bodies.
Tango is only a reflection of the amazing adventurous spirit of Mamta, who has broken several myths and streotyping of Indian women. She is a single woman ( her fiance from India will visit her soon), who has come alone to stay in a new city whose language is new to her. But she has been managing confidently and successfully the Buenos Aires Taxis, the Machos in Milongas and even the city traffic on a cycle on a weekday. Bravo..
In case the readers imagine that she is an adolescent bitten by the dance bug.. hmm .. forget it.. Her children have grown past the adolescent stage into the twenties. She has beaten the age. She is as fit, as energetic and as mad ....as any teenager.
She has started going for a spanish class so that she can understand the lyrics of Tango and interact with the Argentines.
She is by profession a graphic designer. She has studied and worked in New Zealand and then moved to NewYork from where she has come to the Tango land.
Rather than continuing with my interpretation of her, let me put the readers straight into her blog: Tango y espanol in Buenos Aires
And she has an interesting foto gallery too..
Felicitaciones Mamta... Felices aventuras !
Before I end, I must mention the third Indian who has come to Argentina for a month to learn tango and experience Argentina. He is Udai from Bangalore. He has taken a break from his Microsoft job to travel around for a year. He has already done a month in Brazil, before coming here. He is on a backpack trip with a Guitar and amzing spirit.