In our pursuit to be Americanized, Devi and I took up ballroom dancing lessons.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were familiar to me and it was fun to watch them. We found a reputable school and signed up for three months of classes. It was fun as we learned the steps and movements of foxtrot, waltz, quickstep, and tango. The teacher had ambitions for us and ventured to impose samba, rumba, cha-cha-cha and the likes on us. Even we thought we may become good dancers and enjoy it, but after a while I realized that I was not cut out for it. I even tried dancing during wedding parties and other fun nights, all the while feeling that I was making a fool of myself. But Devi was different. She believed that she knew dancing. And she did. She often coached her group of ladies to do Kaikottikkali during Onam and many other cultural nights. She tried her best to convince our teacher that the fundamental steps of their dance, whether it is foxtrot or waltz or anything else, have to be based on Kaikottikkali, as she kept on folding her knees and bending in or sideways, irrespective of the music. Being a feminist, she was also convinced that leading the dance should never be a male monopoly. When I was told to lead her, she had her own way of dominating the dance. I am not sure whether we quit or the teacher succumbed, but after the three months, we looked around for other ways of Westernization.