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Breaking into the world arena with B-boy Arif Cover Picture

Breaking into the world arena with B-boy Arif: Hip Hop Homeland

B-boy Flying Machine on pushing boundaries and flipping into the big league.

This is no funky disco dance. This is breakdance or breaking, and breaking a few bones while doing extreme routines is part of the deal. But hey, what’s a few cracked bones or torn ligaments when the destination is the world stage someday.

If it weren’t for the Red Bull BC 2005 national B-boying championship, Arif Chaudri a.k.a Flying Machine would’ve been reduced to doing cartwheels and handstands with no street cred in the gullies of his chawl in Jogeshwari.

Instead, the Beast Mode crewmember broke into the big league representing the country in South Korea for the competition’s Asian Pacific leg, thanks to his gritty persistence.

“After seeing the BC videos and other YouTube videos, I knew this is what I wanted to do,” says Flying Machine.

International B-boys such as RoxRite and Thesis are like the Led Zeppelins and Beatles in his world.

So when RoxRite lifted FM’s hand on stage declaring him as the best in the country, it was a flying moment for this dance machine.

He finds fellow dancers Ninja and Sonic to be inspirations as well.

A jam in 2011 had pulled him further into the scene.

“There was a jam called Cypherholics where I got to meet and see the B-boys of the Lokhadwala area,” FM says.

Interestingly, there’s a steady stream of talents and the cult of b-boying has fared rather well from the metros to smaller towns where the practitioners are growing in number. Crews such as Freak N Stylz, Kings United and Roc Fresh have already vanquished some of their counterparts in the international arena.

With a trip to the UK in the pipeline, this self taught breaker hopes to crank up his moves for the world championships someday.

FM was with the Funky Disorders crew where some personal issues had broken up the arrangement.

Says FM, “Beast Mode happened after we (Ninja, Sonic and Mik 62) decided to start a crew consisting of not just b-boys but also all style hip hop dancers, BMX riders, skateboarders, beat boxers, football free stylers.”

They roped in their hyper active friends into the Beast Mode crew that is other wise called Born Ethical Abilities on Streets.

Winning the Red Bull national cypher and subsequent South Korean gig was good enough to allay whatever doubts his family had.

“After the BC event they started believing in me,” he says.

FM is all about his techniques and since he’s airborne and springing around most of the time, the flying part of his nickname has been justified.

Says FM, “I came up with flips first. Since I do a lot of flips I named myself flying machine. But what else can a flying machine do, I had thought.”

His stage persona had kind of morphed into a character for him.

“The flying part is an approach to all the techniques that I use and flying machine is like a character for me,” he adds.

So is this a career choice for this tough nut?

“I’ll be doing this till my body supports it,” FM, a school dropout, asserts.

Arif is featured in Hip Hop Homeland, a series about India's underground hip hop scene.


By Mohan KK