So I’m TOTALLY in India, leaving this post from an internet cafe. The internet’s not so bad here, although the folks running the place don’t know much about the computer’s they’re supporting. That gets a little frustrating.
So I’m learning Raag Miyan Ki Todi right now, a sweet, sad sounding raag with a flat 2nd, 3rd, and 6th, and a rarely used 5th. I’ve had one hour lessons with Khansahib each morning I’ve been here, and have practiced or hung out after then. Khansahib gave a private concert a few nights ago in the home of the owner of Hindustan Computer Associates, this FILTHY RICH dude who threw a party just for the sake of throwing a party. He had a river flowing through his house, and a big 5 ft x 5 ft portrait of himself and his family… So apparently, the wealthy folks in Delhi have NO IDEA what to do with their money, so they buy super big houses, and STUFF to put in it. It’s crazy. There is a separation between the rich and the poor in the states, but I get the feeling the gap in India is MUCH MUCH WIDER. The concert was really nice, he played a long piece in Shyam Kalyan, a light piece in Kamaj, and then a mix of pieces in Bhairavi. His bharaivi songs are all sooooo sweet sounding, so it was cool hearing him perform all these songs that I’ve heard on CDs so many times.
Last night we all went out for dosa. “We all” being Khansahib, his wife, another student of his who’s in town, Neeraj, and my other sitar teacher from Michigan, Rajanji. He’s in Delhi right now, too. CRAZY. Rajanji studied with Khansahib’s father some time ago, so he’s become like friends of the family. It was cool hanging out with my two sitar teachers. And the food was sooooo good!! Damn. Food is not a LOT different here than it is in restaurants in the states, meaning you get the same stuff, dosa, idli, uttapum at south indian restaurants, but it tastes SOOO DIFFERENT. Different enough to wish you could have it like EVERY DAY. We all got different dosa’s, and shared among everyone, so we could all taste the different types of dosa. Auntie got this paneer masala dosa that was my favorite among them all. I got regular run-of-the-mill paper dosa, and it was awesome. The dosa was soooo thin, and crispy. And the potato stuffing was good.
I’ve been walking a lot while i’m out here. Khansahib’s house is about a 25-30 minute walk from the hotel I’m staying at. So I’ve gotten up at about 7a each morning, either gone to the temple that’s closeby, or getting some morning practice in before my lesson, and heading out to my lesson at about 9a. I remember the last time I was here, I was apprehensive to even crossing the roads, cause the traffic on the roads is a lot like a water flowing down a white-water rafting path. It comes and goes in furious looking waves… Lol. But this time, after crossing the roads for a few days, only then did I remember last time I ever though twice about it. It’s been nice getting around on my own, and being here and doing everything I need to do for myself, by myself. It’s on.
I’m going to gujurat this weekend, to see my dad’s brother and my mom’s sister, both of whom I haven’t seen since 1985. That’s 20 years ago. CRAZY. I’ll be going from Friday morning to Monday evening, so that’ll be nice, too. While I’m out there, I’m gonna drop my sitar off with the guy who made it for me to get it “tuned up.” Sweeeeeeeeeet.
I’ll try to leave another lengthy post next time i get a minute at a cafe. IT’S ON.