Monday, December 5, 2011

Take to the streets when Umno/BN falls... and dance for joy!

Flash Mob Hits Mumbai, India

200 ordinary Mumbaikars (aged 4-60) come together one busy Sunday evening for the pure joy of dancing. The historic CST station blares Rang De Basanti on their speakers while surprised train commuters rush to see what was going on...

Two hundred dancers took commuters at Mumbai¹s hectic Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station by surprise on Sunday, when they broke into dance accompanied by the title track from Bollywood hit Rang de Basanti.

The Mumbai Flash Mob, as it was dubbed, threatened to become a viral phenomenon in India by Tuesday evening, as videos of the performance rocketed through the Twitter universe, were posted on Facebook and liked on YouTube.

While the video looks spontaneous, the act was carefully planned.

Shonan Kothari
"One of the top items on my travel to-do list, which I never got around to in Europe, was to be a part of a flash mob," one of the organizers of the mob, Shonan Kothari, formerly a researcher for Harvard Business School, said in a telephone interview. "Since India didn¹t have anything of the sort, I figured I'd do it myself," she said.

Getting over 200 people to participate in a choreographed dance in the middle of Mumbai¹s bustling central railway station required a month of planning, including visits to three different departments at the station for security clearance. Atul Rane, senior divisional operations manager at Indian Railways, helped coordinate with other departments to organize the lighting, ladders and camera placements, Ms. Kothari said.

Then Ms. Kothari had to coordinate the dancers. "I had 325 people sign up within two days of sending out the e-mail," she said. She didn¹t spread the word on any social networking Web site, fearing too many people would show up. The dancers were taught the choreography in small batches over the course of two weeks in a Malabar Hill park.

While so-called flash mobs have been popular in the United States and Europe for years, the phenomenon has not really caught on in India. That may be about to change, judging by the amount of attention the video has garnered. A video of the dancing, put up on YouTube on 28 November had already been viewed by 1,371,662 people by 5 December 2011.

In Malaysia under the Umno/BN regime, this flash mob would have been declared illegal, accused of threatening public order, offending religious sensitivities and terrorizing commuters, and detained without trial - after being tear gassed, water cannoned, kicked in the head and stomped on by jackboots. This is TakBolehwood, not Bollywood!