When I say ‘rain dance’, what sort of image comes to your mind? I always visualise a group of men wearing leaves doing the oompa loompa dance around a fire, chanting and begging the Gods for rain.
But that’s not it. A rain dance is like having a community shower. Large groups of people dance under sprinklers that guzzle out gallons of water while a DJ plays some latest Bollywood numbers. And apparently, it’s the rage this season.
This has to be one of those great ironies of urban life. While a number of Delhi colonies wait with bated breath for their quota of water — morning and evening, people here dance under faux rain, literally pouring precious water down the drain!
Do you know, one dance for about 30 people requires something like 3,000- 4,000 litres of water? Some very quick math, done by my colleague Minakshi, shows that an average family uses about 250 litres of water a day. Ergo, one rain dance takes up enough water to serve 16 families for a day!
You may say it’s a one off, so what’s the big deal? But actually, it’s not so rare. According to one party planner, in the months of May and June, they organise two-three rain dances a week. “Weather garam hai na, rain dance mein cool off ho jaatein hai,” explains the lady who runs the company.
I wasn’t sure if she was exaggerating in hopes of featuring in some story about booming businesses, so I called another event planner and told him I had a birthday coming up. I was warned beforehand that I may have to work my dates around theirs, as their rain dances and DJs are all booked out for the coming weeks.
Before I could hang up, the enterprising sales representative asked me if I have a venue in mind, whether there’s a water tank near the venue, how many hours I wanted it to ‘rain’, non-stop or with breaks, and how many guests will I have. I must have mumbled intelligible replies, because I was told that it would cost me Rs 16,000 to hire a tank for a three hour rain dance.
Small price to pay for all that water? That’s something to think about the next time you’re stuck with shampoo in your hair and the water’s gone!
PS: The idea came for this article came to me last weekend, when I was invited to join a rain dance and pondered whether to jump in or not!