Thumkas and jhumkas: Surviving wedding dance practices

There is a reason I have spent the last five days singing the Roop Tera Mastana remix that samples the tune of Turn Me On in the intro, and it’s not because I think Kevin Little is a musical genius and I have fond memories of his one hit playing at Fez and random parties nonstop circa ’05. It is also not because the remix goes on to include O o Jaane Jaana into the mix, although who can deny that any Salman Khan hit has the power to render anyone defenseless? The reason is simple: Dance practices.

If you have lived in Pakistan even for the briefest minute in the last decade or so, you must know all about this phenomenon which sweeps us away with it during December, otherwise known as the month when everyone you know decides to get married. And you know, so what if you haven’t spoken to them since 11th grade? You’re their best friend, homie! Besides, have you ever tried to tell a madly zilla-ing bride or groom you can’t dance at their wedding? Jeez. Too much trouble. I’d rather just shut up and try to thumka my way through Chak Glassy. To honour all us warriors shaking our thangs for 300 plus strangers this season, I present a list of the benefits to be had by dancing at weddings close to our hearts. And also not so close.



Where else will you hang out with your friend’s little sister’s best friend’s world-wise little sister who will tell you all about her views on monogamous relationships and Pakistan’s economic future and ask you if you don’t have a boyfriend because you’re a lesbian? Where else will you meet people with terribly demanding jobs like teaching 8th grade who ask you if all you do all day is look at fashion blogs for work? No where else, because you’re probably too busy ogling French Vogue online and ordering things off Net-a-Porter, you bum.

We’re onto you!! x-(

While at actual events we can politely walk away from strangers who are friends we haven’t met yet, dance practices are all about cooperating and coordinating with potential pals. Go on then, chin up and click dandiyas with that girl who just walked out the bathroom after 20 minutes and didn’t flush.


Relaxing and Meditating

While you guiltily sneak into the shaadi wala ghar 15 minutes too late because you got caught in the traffic on your way from work, about 80 per cent of your comrades in dance will turn up 75 minutes after yourself. This is not annoying, as you might be tempted to think, but a real blessing in disguise, because now you can totally catch up on sleep on your friend’s couch while her khalas argue about whether kheer is a better mehndi dessert or halwa. I personally prefer zarda, Aunties, in case you were wondering. This is also time you can spend text bombing all your friends who complain you never get in touch, and contemplating important questions like: Isn’t it weird we have eyes, like actual one-way-mirror windows we can look out from cut into something solid like a face? Creepy, am I right?

To put it mildly.



Complain all you want about unwillingly having learnt all the words to Chamak Challo and Sadi Gali, and actually dancing to Chamak Challo at three different weddings, but you’re really getting a bit of a workout there. What would have you done had you not come to this dance practice?

A few things come to mind.

Put your feet up and watched The Walking Dead reruns? TV is for suckers. Lies. I think TV is for champions, but the exercise bit is true. At no other time than during wedding season do we feel compelled to robotically do 45 consecutive minutes of cardio, because if we don’t, for some inexplicable reason our conscience will gnaw away at our souls, like way cool zombie rats. Do you really want imaginary undead rodents making a snack pack out of you? No? Then take a deep breath, count to three, and let Akon do the talking. 



Categories: Music


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2 Comments on “Thumkas and jhumkas: Surviving wedding dance practices”

  1. Zainab Haque
    January 17, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    Love it !!so true esp the thumkas and jumkas blog was hitting bulls eye!


  1. Social Media Round-up: January/February 2012 » Rubies & Ribbon - August 28, 2012

    […] to survive dance practices with your long lost […]

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