As Non Stop Bhangra marks ten years of throwing this event in San Francisco, best viagra ampoule what better way to celebrate than by showcasing our regulars — those stalwart folks who have danced with us month after month, best cialis salve year after year. We asked several of our long-time NSBers to share their memories of their first Non Stop Bhangra. What beautiful stories they told us! It’s our honor and pleasure to introduce you to these wonderful people, stuff and share their stories with you.
First time: NSB 75 (November 2011)
“My first NSB was the second to last at the Rickshaw Stop. I came with a friend who was part Pakistani/Thai. I l loved the music, the dance show, and the chance to dance crazy by myself!
I keep coming back for the chance to dress in Indian outfits (Don’t care what people think. Friends keep giving them to me and I need to wear them somehow), to dance with friends and with people I don’t know.
I also perform at Sunday Streets in San Francisco monthly to help promote NSB. I’ve seen people that I talked to at that event coming to NSB and to class, and it brings me joy.”
First time: NSB 45 (April 2009)[Read all of Jaspreet and his wife Harneet's story here]
“I heard about this super awesome celebration that happens every month in the city from a few friends and that was heaven for all Bhangra fans….
I was expecting NSB to be a bunch of peeps playing desi Punjabi beats and a dhol maybe, but I hadn’t expected for sure what I actually experienced. Seeing Jimmy playing Punjabi songs made me amazed and NSB team teaching Bhangra moves to their fans was amazing. Super awesome beats and great music…. I have been coming back to NSB every month. You guys are like extended family and every time I am there I feel a part of NSB, not a guest who is just there to enjoy the night! There is so much warmth in your smiles, in the music – and of course bhangra. NSB has given a new meaning to my Bhangra nights – nothing else now compares or beats the bars that you guys have set up! When I am at NSB, I just forget everything else and it’s the greatest stress-buster and it’s one of the most popular events in the city.
Post my wedding, I took my wife to NSB once and since then she has been hooked to it too. I don’t have one reason to not come back, this place is so much fun. I have introduced NSB to some of my friends who never did a bhangra dance before but now they are fans of NSB.”
Yesnia and Amber
First time: NSB 87 (November 2012)
“My grandmother lives near Public Works, and we visit her every weekend. One night while visiting her we heard music on the street; we looked out and saw the Baraat Mob passing by below her window. Of course, we all wanted to know ‘what was that??’
My mom had been watching a soap opera from Brazil called ‘India — A Love Story’ and she was hooked! She loved the music, and all the bright colors. So when I looked up online and found out about Non Stop Bhangra, my mom insisted that we had to attend — and that we had to go dressed Indian style!
That first time we went, we joined the Baraat Mob, and then we stayed at Public Works until it closed! Nowadays, we only stay until about 12:30 or 1, but we dance, and dance! My mom is in her late sixties and has had two knee replacements, and she’s always in a little bit of pain afterwards, but it’s worth it because she loves it so much.
And I’m really grateful too: NSB has given my mom new joy in life; I haven’t seen her so into something for a long, long time. And it’s a wonderful chance for us to have some mother-daughter bonding. Mom makes Indian-style clothes for us, and shops for jewelry and colorful scarves for us to wear, and we have our own little party as we get ready for the evening. She’s even gotten her nose pierced! She’s made a lot of friends and created a social life and network amongst some of the regulars. She loves the popularity, attention, and warm responses she’s gotten. She incorporates the style into her daily life and clothing preference. As far as myself, I have made some friends there too and I try to invite and always advertise the event — I show all my friends pictures and give them info and invitations.”
“It makes me very happy,” Yesnia adds as Amber tells me their story. “NSB makes me feel younger.”
First time: NSB 35 (May 2008)
“…It was love at first sight! What a show! I had a great time and I was literally very happy. I was so enamored with joy that I forgot where I had parked my car. I just could not recollect where I had parked my car. It took us well over 20 minutes and a couple of rounds around the Rickshaw Stop to find my car parked in the lot adjacent to it .
The music (especially in its original format of live dance performances and rap/riddim performances followed by main DJ show), the crowd, and all around happiness without the typical pretenses of a regular club made me keep coming again and again.”
First time: sometime in the summer of 2009
I had always been interested in Bhangra music. After I moved to Bay Area, I wondered if there were any interesting Punjabi Bhangra music/dance events I could go to? I did some research and Voila! I found you!!
I can remember all the excitement I experienced my first time. It was such a feeling that it kept me coming back to the NSB party again and again, my entire time in the Bay. I made a lot of friends at NSB….
First time: sometime in the winter of 2008/2009
“Frankly, I was expecting someone typical would be playing even more typical music, big groups would be dominating the floor and smaller crowds would be standing abortively near the bar….and I would just be judging. But WHOA!! What did I see… A group of radiant, diverse females teaching the basic of Bhangra dance to the entire floor….making them comfortable and ready for the storm to come. Everyone was following them irrespective of being a pro, first timers or non-dancers… just everyone. The exuberance amongst the crowd could be felt. What’s next…and there comes a rapper and a drummer fusing the vocals with thumps of reggae and Punjabi music…the adrenaline was rushing by now to keep the crowd going for the rest of the night (next morning indeed). For the rest of the night, there was no boundary between the crowd and the Dholrhythmers, everyone was dancing with everyone. I think that one thing makes this place so unique – the bonding between the people and NSB. I knew this was that place!!”
First time: NSB 48 (July 2009)
Since then, he’s only missed 2 NSBs! [Read all of Parwaz's story here]
“I moved to the Bay Area because of family but before moving here I knew where I would be spending the 3rd Saturday of every month. I remember I moved here on 5th July and I had 18th July 2009 in my mind before I got here.
I have always loved dancing and I used to go to various clubs in Chandigarh and Delhi but there was never one place that would play pure Bhangra music. NSB is unique in that sense. The first time I was at NSB, Jimmy was DJing and he played a song by Surjit Bindrakhia and I couldn’t make sense of that — how does a white guy know about Bindrakhia?! That was a realization for me that music is a universal language.”
First time: 2010[Read all of Taylor's story here]
“I walked into the Rickshaw Stop into a wall of sweat. It was 2010, and my friend Margee had invited me to meet her at NSB for a night of dancing. I was excited. I had seen Bhangra once on stage in Boston. I had heard about Non-Stop Bhangra. And this was the first time I had the chance to experience it. I felt immediately caught up in a feeling of freedom and happiness, and I just danced. I couldn’t stop dancing and didn’t want to. I ceased caring that my hair and clothes were drenched with sweat as we struggled to find room to move among hundreds of bouncing bodies packed into a tiny rectangular space. I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun in my life.”
First time: 2006[Read all of Kim's story here]
“…walking home late from Market Street one day, I noticed a group of diverse looking young people at the corner of Fell and Franklin Streets. My first thought was, “Ooo! International Party? What’s going on?!” because I wanted to join! I found out about the Non-stop Bhangra monthly party that night. I didn’t go that night, but vowed to come back and check it out. I did come back and I haven’t stopped coming in over 8 years.
The first night I went to Rickshaw, I was in love with the international vibe, the bar reminded me of New York, the people were nice and welcoming, and I got hit on! Often! … Rickshaw was my happy place.”
First time: NSB 77 (Jan 2012)
Our first NSB at the Public Works! [Read all of Salim's story here]
“It was one amazing feeling when we entered the area with our shoulders bouncing and arms high in the air, where the party was staged and there was no looking back. Being a novice at the art form then, I barely knew the steps though it was fun getting into the groove and picking up the nitty gritty dance details from everyone around and laying them down the best I could. Classy songs, wonderful folks, Bhangra in the air, what else could you ask for? And we definitely had way more fun than expected! Jimmy, Ravi and J. Boogie knew the best what they were doing with the music that night.. was a hella lotta fun… All we had to say was Burrrrrahhhhhhhhhhh! … Thanks to NSB, I got an addiction to cherish in life -— king size!”
Sally and Ron
First time: way back sometime in our Rickshaw Stop days[Read all of Sally and Ron's story here]
“We read about [NSB] either online or in the newspaper. NSB sounded different. It sounded fun. It sounded diverse. Right up our alley.
The article said we didn’t have to know Bhangra dancing but it would be taught. So, we just showed up and BAMM! We caught the NSB bug. We absolutely LOVED IT! We couldn’t get enough of it. Women wearing beautiful costumes and bracelets. Rhythms galore. Beats by Jimmie Love. The way Vicki teaches and talks you through it. The rappers, two brothers from another mother. And you can’t forget Ravi on the dhol!… We loved it so much we started to bring friends. They all had an amazing time.”
First time: NSB 1 (2004)!!
Our very first event! It’s so fun to remember how different it was back then. [Read all of Gayatri's story here]
“My impression of the first NSB was interesting. I remember thinking we were the only people there that were not aunties, or uncles, or some relative of the promoters! It was hilarious, but since we both were used to Punjabi family parties it was somewhat comforting!
I also remember that there was no bar, but instead a foldable plastic table with a nice lady pouring rum and coke into paper cups. It was almost reminiscent of a school dance but with alcohol! Although everything looked a bit makeshift, the music was good and the vibes were nice so we decided to come back……almost every month for 10 yrs!!!!”
(And Gayatri brought along her friend Deepak, who has also been coming to NSB almost every month since NSB #1!)
First time: NSB 33 (March 2008)[Read all of Harpreet's story here]
“It was at Rickshaw Stop at that time and I still remember the song that was being played when I first walked in. It was ‘Petrol’ by Miss Pooja & Preet Brar and the best thing was that it wasn’t one of those remixes that totally destroy the original song. It was spiced up with some good beats that made the song even better. I looked around and saw mostly non-punjabis dancing to this Punjabi song with awesome Bhangra beats. I looked up to where the DJ stand was and saw this white guy, so the first thought that came to my mind was that he must have played it by mistake or something. But the next song was an old school Punjabi track, ‘Truck’ by Surinder Shinda, followed by more Bhangra hits. I along with my friends danced non-stop for more than an hour and kept dancing after short breaks for more than 3 hours. It was the best party experience ever.”
First time: 2009
“I first heard about NSB via Facebook. I generally enjoyed Punjabi music and heard this was one of a kind experience in SF – true, true, true!
My first experience was pure raw energy, happiness and smiles – the music was and is simply amazing. The fusion of Bhangra with a bit of R&B beats simply got me dancing.
The reason I always come back to NSB is simply because of the peace and joy the music gives me – a complete high! It’s been a great 5 years!”
First time: NSB 5 (June 2005)
“I do not remember how I heard about NSB… at the time I was exploring all kinds of music new to me and was going to Dhamaal, Electric Vardo, etc. events regularly. I had been going out for years but I had never been to an event where *everyone* was dancing, no one was standing around “looking cool”. People were happy, energetic, sweaty, friendly. I LOVED the dance, LOVED the music and was hooked! I’ve been coming out ever since and always get excited to take new people. It is my *favorite* dance party!!!!!”
Sheela and Vinod
First time: 2007
“We…heard about the monthly event at Rickshaw Stop and if memory serves, we attended our first NSB in 2007 and have continued to follow your journey since. We even introduced our kids to bhangra when you had a family event at the Rickshaw Stop in 2010. We have also introduced our friends to NSB and I know it’s an event that brings friends from different cultures together. We were also fortunate to be part of NSB#100 celebration in 2014. No celebration is complete without bhangra! Thank you for helping us celebrate Vinod’s milestone birthday!
Continue to do what you do best and thank you for giving people a platform to perform, come together and create memories. May you be blessed with more creativity and continue to spread joy through dance!”
First time: 2004
Amo has been around since the very beginning! He’s a dear, long-time friend of NSB and Dholrhythms. Here’s his story:
“Vicki was one of the first people I met in San Francisco back in May 2004. I had just relocated from London and needed to get my Bhangra fix.
After some googling I found Dholrhythms dance classes in the city. I went along one evening expecting to find a classic bhangra team. It was quite the surprise to find a group of girls, mostly non-Punjabi, practicing dance moves. My friends would never believe me–a bunch of non–Punjabis jumping to the sounds of Bindrakhia and Punjabi MC!
I stuck around as I thought this was a really fun group, and also my wife who was still back in London would find this to be a blast. She actually joined the dance troupe for a while. We became great friends with Jimmy, Suman and Vicki.
It wasn’t long before the collective organized itself into NSB and quickly it became a must-attend feature. The early days were very eclectic with belly dancers, MCs, and live painting. This was very different from the Bhangra scene in the UK. I remember one night dancing to a classic tune with a huge Rastafarian, a tiny Asian girl and a Blonde girl; it was a great night and echoed one of my favorite songs that no matter where Punjabis go in the world they always leave behind their good vibes!
The NSB nights just got better and better: the heat in the Rickshaw Stop was intense; the bounce from Mista Chatman and Mandeep Sethi was contagious. I actually miss the Rickshaw but Public Works allows so many more people to enjoy the night. The early energy has not extinguished and even if I can’t make it out to every event I will at least try and make it for 30 mins to see the group in action and reflect on why the Bhangra scene in SF is simply the best. The team has actually made it a global event where any stereotypes can be left at the door; this is about sharing great music with great people.”
Some of these stories brought tears to my eyes; some of them made me laugh out loud. All of them made me smile. Thanks to everyone who has shared their memories with us, and thanks to all of you who come out and share your joy and enthusiasm and love of dance and music with the NSB community. Without you, we wouldn’t have made it to our ten year anniversary. So come on out to NSB 106, to dance and celebrate ten years of our bhangra joy in the Bay Area!
Photo of Ken, Vicki, and Parwaz by Fletcher Oakes Photography
Photo of Dilpreet and Neeti courtesy of Dilpreet Singh
Photos of Salim and friends courtesy of Salim Ali Khan
Photo of Ram and Vicki courtesy of Ram Iyengar
Photo of Allison courtesy of Allison McGuire
Photo collage of Sheela and Vinod courtesy of Sheela Agarwal and Vinod Sirimalle
All other photos by Odell Hussey Photography