Meet Sarojini Nagar’s ‘thriller’ copy of Michael Jackson
Dancing in the middle of the Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar market, Pankaj Rawat, a social media influencer, has gone viral for his unique freestyle dance moves and sing along act that has received more than 1.7 million views. But, does Rawat find it to be cringe or is it an expression of his fearlessness?
Do you have the courage to dance your heart out in the middle of a public street even if you know your impromptu choreography is cringe? Well, not everyone will say yes to this. But, you might have come across or liked the dance reels of Ghaziabad-based Pankaj Rawat, who grooves to peppy numbers in crowded markets. What for? To seek attention!
“In all honesty, I dance in crowded markets for fun,” says the 20-year-old, who has so far received more than 1.7 million views on his Instagram video shot at the ever-so-buzzy Sarojini Nagar market. He’s a social media influencer by profession, and recalls, “When I was living in Uttarakhand, three years ago, I came to know that Sarojini Nagar is the most crowded market in Delhi. This is why when I came to Delhi, to live with my sister... I knew this place has to be my target.”
Referring to his act of “market dances”, Rawat remembers how he first dared to step up and record it in his hometown, Khatima (Uttarakhand). “When I thought of dancing in busy markets, I first chose the Khatima Sabji Mandi in November 2022. Contrary to what one might think, the shoppers there were a lot more supportive than those I have come across in Delhi,” shares Rawat, whose sole motive behind recording his dance reel mania was to “bring smiles on people’s face”.
Determined to continue his gimmick without worrying about scorns and smirks of passersby he encounters, he says, “I do not care if people are laughing with me or on me. If they are laughing, even for a minute (upon seeing me dance), my purpose is solved. Onlookers might consider me stupid, but they are surely not as courageous as me to act stupid with me even, even for a second.... This one time, an old lady saw me dancing in Sarojini Nagar, and she was so happy that she joined in. This has happened quite often as people feel the urge to join me when I dance. But maybe their fear of getting judged by others holds them back.”
With his unique freestyle dance form, Rawat has always believed to have his own way of dancing that has not been inspired by any dancer though he admires Michael Jackson and Hrithik Roshan for their way of dancing, but if only everybody had the same spirit to life and dancing like him. “In March this year, a group of men spotted me in Sarojini Nagar and I was dancing in my own zone when they unnecessarily began to hit me, and got into a physical fight. I made a narrow escape that day but never understood how my dancing was affecting them in any way,” shares Rawat.
He, however, continues to live by the motto: Kuchh toh log kahenge, logon ka kaam hai kehna. “I will continue to post such videos because I want to make a name for myself. I want everybody to recognise me by my face, hence I’ve taken the unusual route of marketing myself (as a brand). Otherwise, my aim is to become a singer, some day!”
Author tweets @maishascribbles