Kool Kanya News / Speaking Out

Video Of Two Women Dancing To ‘Piya Tu’ On The Streets Goes Viral

. 4 min read . Written by Sanjana Bhagwat
Video Of Two Women Dancing To ‘Piya Tu’ On The Streets Goes Viral

Amidst the abundance of bleak and gloom-inducing events going on in the world right now, two elderly women found it in themselves to dance with joyous abandon on the streets. Their energy and infectious happiness while dancing to the tunes of Asha Bhosle’s 1971 hit ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’, has brought a smile to people’s faces and gone viral on social media.

The Women’s Two-Person Dance Party On The Side Of The Road Has Won People Over Online

The saree-clad women didn’t let trivial things like social inhibitions or age deter them from having their own two-person dance party on the streets. A video of them dancing was shared on Twitter.

They have won over netizens with their spirited dancing and exuberance. Many are applauding the women for doing what they wanted to with abandon, and others are simply grateful for having come across something filled with such pure joy during these worrying times.  

Why Is It Strange To See Women Occupying Public Space Like This?

Women are taught from a young age to not occupy space – physically, emotionally, in their voices, in their bodies, and in their behaviours. They are conditioned to not feel entitled to taking up space or expressing themselves. 

This is especially true for public spaces. Men are encouraged to believe they own public spaces. Women, however, are encouraged to shrink their presence. Cross your legs. Talk less. Smile more. Keep your hair tamed, head down, voice low, and whatever you do – don’t draw attention to yourself!!

Masculinity rests on the ability to sprawl and take up as much space as possible. To be a woman is to be small and contained. 

An activity as simple as sprawling out and napping in a public space like a garden, has become a privilege exclusive to men. Displaying that kind of abandon and lack of inhibition, worry, or self-consciousness in a public space, is something few women can imagine.

In 2015, Blank Noise, a volunteer-based organisation against street harassment of women, organised a programme called ‘Meet to Sleep’. With the aim of women reclaiming public spaces, they organised a series of events where women would meet in designated city parks, and simply sleep for some time on the grass or on a bench.

Image courtesy: blanknoise.org

Most participants in the project admitted that the experience was as unsettling as it was a step in the right direction. Most found it impossible to let go of the discomfort of being comfortable enough to sleep in a public space.

“It is also about fighting fear that is learnt and inherited. It urges participants, collectively, to unlearn fear, occupy spaces and claim visibility. Rather than policing or censoring women’s mobility, cities should be made safe and inclusive,” Jasmeen Patheja, the founder of Blank Noise Project said.  

Public space is reclaimed by women when they fight against fear in collectives like ‘Meet to Call. It is reclaimed in small, individual acts of self-expressions like this girl dancing and singing to ‘Yeh Ishq Hai’ while walking along a deserted village road at night – a space and time that is conventionally feared for being unsafe for women. 

It is reclaimed when two elderly women dance to a 70s Bollywood number on the side of the road. 

It’s Heartening Anytime A Woman Reclaims Public Space – The Two New-Age Roadside Helens Are Doing Just That!

Older women especially are supposed to “act” in a certain way in public. “Aapki umar mein toh” an elderly woman must be a role model of traditional quietude and conservatism for the younger generation of women. She will be “revered” and “respected” when she spends her days passing on her wisdom, cooking, maybe even knitting. Dancing on the streets to a raunchy Bollywood 70s number, however? Not so much.  

The two elderly women dancing then brings us immense joy, not just because of how infectious theirs is, but in how they’re reclaiming public space to loudly showcase this joy. 

Their uninhibited dancing coupled with their unapologetic reclaiming of a public space, is exactly what we needed to bring in the weekend on a happy and hopeful note. We hope it does the same for you!

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