Nov 29, 2009


You wouldn't know it to look at me, but I have some Indian heritage. My great-grandfather, Rattonshaw Khambatta, was a Zorastrian diamond trader from Gujarat. My grandmother has the fantastic middle name of "Zhindhu" - not that she uses it. I only discovered it when looking at her WRNS enrolment form for my Year 11 biography project.

"I like your middle name, Gran!"

"What middle name? I don't have a middle name."

"Err... Zhindhu? It's here - on your World War II service record."

"Oh, THAT middle name."

Rattonshaw married Eve Pritchard, a receptionist in a London hotel he stayed at during a business trip. My Gran spent many of her early years living large in the Raj - she remembers mountain holidays outside Mumbai, and tigers lying shot dead on train tracks, their black tongues lolling out of their mouths.

My Gran has the most awesome stories.

Anyway, this leads me in a roundabout way to the Bollywood dancing classes I've been taking every Wednesday night with Bollyfunk for two months now. I've been really enjoying it; it's a good gentle workout, plus it's fun to learn dance routines again - well over a decade since my ballet and tap days ended.

Last week I finished learning my second dance, "Barso Re" (Raindance). Due to machinations of Rachel Leigh - a regular Bollywooder who runs the Star Rae revues up at the Brisbane Arts Theatre - I wound up performing it with her this evening. She kindly lent me a beautiful sari, and didn't even mind that I made a few mistakes.

I'm the one on the right:


  1. Stunning mate. You have a grace you don't appreciate.

  2. Beautiful, GC! You looked and moved beautifully!

  3. Commented at YouTube, but again, really great.

  4. Wow, we were just talking about this. The internet and real life is crossing again.

    You're game letting someone film it, then posting it on your own blog. Lucky it's awesome!