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clubbing Indians

I went to a club last night.
It was good to stay out late and dance, shaking off the last vestiges of my cold.
Furthermore, none of my companions got embarrassingly drunk and the guest we invited seemed to have a good time.
Packed in like sardines, moving to fast techno accompanied by polyrhythmic drums, I knew I wasn't in Kansas. Most of the faces around me were darker than mine but otherwise it was a typical pleasant experience - only a few lecherous men singled me out. Moving to the music enabled me to lose myself, my whiteness, in a way that is safe and rare.

Then I saw The Couple. I am proud to say they were not American, or at least not obviously so. There they were dancing a little too illicitly on the floor. Plenty of space surrounded them - all their neighbors had turned their backs. I felt embarrassed and wondered if this meant I was truly Indian. I mean they had their clothes on, the way they were dancing isn't uncommon in the U.S., but here it seemed out of place, R rated in a PG 13 world.

When we first arrived in this strange land, we were told not to squat. This is the position Indians usually go to the bathroom in. Therefore if they saw us squatting, it immediately brought to mind some one using the toilet, thus causing a cringe. I could totally relate watching this couple on the dance floor, I cringed, trying not to notice - a difficult task in such a crowded area (when I turned the other direction I faced the wall). Instead I just giggled, and tried to make light of it, then tried to ignore them, feeling thoroughly Indian.

However, when the Bhangra came on, heavy north Indian music, the dancers went wild, moving to rhythms I could barely comprehend, and once again I was reminded what a stranger I am, being pulled by the crowd - to lose myself once more and just enjoy the music.

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