Rocked by dance, music, fun and laughter
The Navy has a BALL
The Navy Ball had the city rocking in inimitable style.
Photo. Mahesh Harilal
"There may be trouble ahead, But while there's moonlight and music And love and romance,
Let's face the music and dance... "
AND DANCE they did, and how! The decades old "Follow the Fleet" song may well have been the anthem of the night. The daring and dashing Navy's men, forever in a state of battle-readiness otherwise, let troubles sail to different shores on the night of December 11, as they paused to salute and solemnise its soldiers of the victorious 1971 operations with a fitting finale to the week long commemorations. Vice Admiral S.C.S Bangara, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command (SNC), in keeping with ceremony, rolled the traditional ball and ushered in `The Navy Ball 2004'.
The setting was al fresco, in the erstwhile sombre and quiet lawns of the SNC Officers Mess, which shimmied and shined that night with plenty of stars in the sky above and even more stars on its lush green carpet below. The men-in-white donned formal black cummerbunds to chivalrously escort their well-coiffed ladies on their arms. And the ladies, swishing elegantly in chiffon wraps and glamorous evening gowns, illuminated the night to a kingfisher brilliance. But the Navy was not alone in this revelry. The bon ton of the civil society too arrived in big numbers to join in the celebrations.
Hosts and guests
MTV VJ Nikhil Chinnappa and Mini Mathur took to the stage as hosts for the evening with much wit and banter. Nikhil, the much loved darling of the under-twenties, turned out to be an equally-if-not-more loved darling of most over-twenties too. Enthused ladies had him sign autographs on their wrists; some went upto the stage and bear-hugged him. Mini was sweet; much like wine to Nikhil's vinegar. The band from Bangalore, `The Unknowns' played on, belting out tracks that had couples dancing cheek-to-cheek. Old-timers did the waltz, fox trot, jive and cha-cha-cha while the young ones boogey-woogeyed in free style to the mixed beats of the three DJs Vishnu, Manoj and Bryan. The tunes of both the band and the Djs reached a crescendo when one was pitched against the other in a war of sorts, much to the screaming delight of the dancing audience.
`Caliche' - India's own up and coming Spice Girls, interrupted - only to have its three extremely lively dancers give a series of electrifying performances that had the audience riveted and enthralled in turns. Begging for more...
But just as all good things must end, the show also came to a close. But not before the wee hours of Sunday morning did tired heels trudge home. The Officers of INS `Garuda' and the 550 Squadron that organised the event wore smug and happy smiles, for it was a job donewell. And the crowning glory? That without doubt was the Navy Queen pageant that formed the most essential part of the event. But that is quite another story.
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