Sunday, January 28, 2007

Winter Prom 2007

The first time, I heard about this thing called 'prom' was in 'The Wonder Years' TV Series. I was impressed. People dressed up big time for such events. Men wore Tux/Formal Suits (sometimes Dinner Jacket and bow tie + vests). Women wore those fancy formal dresses - typically formal gowns. The promenades typically happened in 11th grade and at the end of high school. For many kids its a big event. The romance coeffecient for this event is supposed to be unbelievably high. People usually go an a desparation spree to grab dates for this event. The event has a formal dinner and dancing (sometimes aided by the live band). People network, introduce their dates to other people. Its all very gala. I guess at that age - your date would define your status on that prom night. If you get stuck with 'The Blob' - your night ends before it even begins. The dancing ranges from swinging, various forms of social dance and typically ends with slow dance (the live band adds to the romance by singing 'unchained melody' or equivalants). So with the romance set at a all time high, the prom king and queen are elected (a vote on the most popular guy/girl). Conversations with friends, yield that the night actually extends beyond the slow dance and ends with some real hot lovin' and that more than anything else seems to be the major concern for parents sending their kids to prom.

I was in 12th grade when Wonder Years was aired. I was juggling time between Balsu IIT coaching class (which I promptly dropped) and Lakshmi coaching center for Math Phy, Chem. My 12th std class had 3 girls. At the end of the year, my math teacher gave us all a lecture on how doing badly that year would ruin our lives irrepairably. We were given a valedictory function, which scared us even more. Then we were sent on our way for a arduous 3-month preparation towards board exams, TNPCEE and engineering counselling. No prom, no winter jackets and no slow dancing. Looking at a 'The Wonder Years' made me feel, I lived in a different galaxy altogether (Of course things are very different today).

So, when I heard about a prom at the end of 2nd year, I thought "wow! a prom for old farts" - Well it was a prom for old farts. This wasn't really a prom prom. It was just a big fancy Ball. But at least my childhood aching to be part of this prom extravaganza was getting fulfilled. $130 was a fat ass bill to pay. I pity the parents who send kids to prom. A formal gown for women is freakin expensive. A bus was supposed to take us to the Henry Ford Musuem, the huge huge place where the ball was to be held. Milli-seconds before starting, after 700 times of asking each other "is this okay?, is the tie allright, is this too much" - my wife announced that she couldn't find our tickets. Usually its my fault. But I have adapted to marriage. It is simple evolution of man over time. I gave the ticket to my wife as soon as I got it. So I had this sudden upper-hand for the first time in my marriage. She lost the ticket. Imagine my good fortune! I could trade this for eating-potato-chips-on-the-couch-watching-cricket for the rest of my life. Nano seconds before the bus was set to leave, my good fortune got better and I found the tickets myself with no help from my wife. I still have that superior condescending smirk on my face.
The ball itself was a spectacle. Everybody were dressed really well. Women were looking really hot. The venue was breath-taking. Huge. It had samples of many vintage cars the Ford had made so far. A separate line-up of Ford cars that were used by various ex-presidents. The live band played all those vintage songs from Jamie's got a Gun, Sweet Child O' mine and I will survive. Networking happened. Introductions were exchanged. It wasn't quite a long night - started at 9:00PM and ended at 1:00AM. I was strangely reminded of our farewell party at Crescent Engineering College. In the final year, starting from industrial tour to get-together, farewell, symposium, we danced at a drop of a hat. Mainly to 'Kaasu mela' - 'maana madrai' (minsara kanavu). We had no shame, no shyness. After dancing to such fine songs, I couldn't take a step down to dance to the songs played in this ball. But seriously, I have to confess, there is an element of self-conciousness. I was dancing fine in those ISA parties in grad school. But now I've lost it. Finally, I condescended and stepped on the dance area. Mainly because I had an inkling that a slow song would be played. And they ended the event with a slow-song and for some funny reason I dont recollect the song anymore. The event ended with many happy faces. Some people kept falling down - because of the drunkenness. Some had to helped back to the bus. Most of us spent time taking photographs. Well 3 more months of this and then we all go different ways. Again.


Arvind said...

Sounds like fun times! :)
Where are the pics?

RK said...

So, finally kalathula yerangi kalakkitingala hawkeye, nice post as usual.

MLC said...

"kaasu maley" & "maana madhurai" ku dance aaditu indha oor paatuku aadardhu nejammavey kashtam dhaan!!

funkaboy said...

The 'Wonder Years' brought back lotsa fond memories. It was my introduction to an American teenager's life.

I was amazed to find out that the actress who played Winnie Cooper is now a math whiz and actress.

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