I’ve loved Hindustani classical music from the days of my youth. I haven’t thought through to why it appeals to me. I wish to know now, so I picked up a book by Vijay Prakash Singha, and read the introduction this morning. I'm excited that I'd soon know the basics of the genre.
I've been to a three Hindustani concerts over the last two weeks, and listened to maestros sing, play the flute, the tabla, and the sitar: The Gundecha Brothers, Chaurasia, Shubha Mudgal, Shahid Parvez, Zakir Hussain, Niladri Kumar. How shall I describe the experience? After the slow and elaborate buildup, the melody comes at you in waves, lifts you up, and takes you away to where you've not been before. In the end you're alone on a high place, unglued from the concerns you carried into the concert hall. You ride home still still on a high plane.
I'm going to another concert tomorrow, the sitar again, played by Ustad Rashid Khan, and his shishya (student) Nagesh Adgaonkar.
It is getting warm in the mornings now, than in the last weeks during which I've been enjoying the chill. It is still dark for most part of my morning walk, which I do with my eyes on the ground ever since I saw a short thin snake wiggle across my path a couple of years ago. (The snake stopped when it sensed me and it appeared to wail without sound, shaking its head side to side in the air.) I walk noting shadows splashed on pools of yellow light. The shadows please me, intrigue me, with assertions of their past, and presence: shadows of walls and poles, shadows of trees dead and living.
The entire length of the street is empty at the time, except for the sudden appearance of a servant walking a pair of beige and black labradors; a woman who comes walking in her sleeping clothes, a pet mongrel running sometimes at her heels but most often ahead of her; and a group of three that walks by in which the only man who speaks is a tall old man of considerable bulk. Two days ago, his group passed my gate when I stepped out, and for no apparent reason he said a throaty “good morning, sir.”
My maid has perfected a brew of coffee that I like best. It is my weekday prize after the walk. On Sundays I walk late, and I've promised myself to marble cake hereon, with cafe au lait, double shot, at the Cafe Noir in UB City.
I'm curious how hot the coming summer will get.