Monday, June 06, 2005

Music,dance and temple concert & swimming - June 4 & 5 weekend!

Saturday was more a case of catching up on lost sleep of Friday night, when all of us retired at around 3.30 a.m.The guys around me got drunk as hell and it got so bad that I had to physically drag Ashwin to his room and put him into bed. He was out, with some 3 rounds or rum, that too, on the rocks!Oof!But it was one helluva happening night, with all of us in the mood!Each one brought out one song better than the other and joined in the chorus.But the highlight was Pavithra who simply stole the show with her solo recital of that time-tested beauty,Killing Me Softly With His Song. Just stirred the deepest cords in me when she sang it with so much of flair and emotion! More numbers crept in with Ashwin,Anand,Vaishnavi & I hitting off on old Hindi songs - deeper ones emanating from our systems as the night advanced! Then on popular demand, Vaishnavi sang that MSS classic, Kurai Ondrum Illai in true carnatic style. She is am amazing singer and that is an understatement! What passion for singing!What energy!What involvement!What brilliance!And most of all, what a firm head on her shoulders!!More was to follow on Sunday!Got to my room with Hari at 2.a.m. and watched the movie, John Malkowitch for a while, before dozing off on the sofa itself.

We spent the rest of Saturday afternoon in the confines of Budget Suites(our hotel). Ashwin and Anand had still not recovered from their hangover of Friday night! Hunted the internet with Sucha for some good deals to NYC all afternoon,but the rates were incredibly exorbitant!Put the idea on hold, till we get a better deal to NYC, let's see. There are some painful roundabout routes, like getting to Philadelphia and then travelling to NYC etc, but have to look at the logistics.Wait and watch for now. Walked down with Sucha to the India store in the evening and bought some terrific Indian food!Slurp!Got back, checked email and watched Hum Tum for a while in Ashwin's room. We slept at 2 a.m. eventually.

Sunday was a very busy day.Woke up all of a sudden at 8.15 a.m and didn't have a clue as to what was going to come in the next few minutes, though pleasant! Got a call from Vaishnavi at 8.25 a.m. asking me what happened to my plans of coming with her to the temple,where she had a recital?I told her that all the cars headed there from our crowd, was full,so I can't make it. She then said that Alpesh is coming and I could hop in but would have to get ready in 5 minutes! That's it!I rushed,had a quick bath and was up in my new,red shirt and cream trouser in less than 5 minutes!Ashwin,Maalvika,Anand and Pavithra came in Ashwin's car while Alpesh,Hari,Vaishnavi,Harita and I went in Alpesh's car. It was a very fast-paced drive,but the countryside outside of San Antonio was very picturesque!Who said, Texas is a boring state?!!

We reached the temple in about half an hour and it was set in the backdrop of some beautiful hills,trees and a sloping road.Really nice place!Got into the temple and did some initial prayers, before Vaishnavi took off. Man!She is an artiste of HIGH calibre!Incredible voice modulation, terrific range of songs(carnatic to hindustani to bhajans!),great versatality,and utmost passion!Loved every single song that she sang and the crowd gathered at the temple instantly became her fan!We joked with her saying that she has an alternative career in singing,and can just chuck her job!

Once the music was done, there was a long discourse on the Ramayana by an elderly gentleman.He was relating the old epic to the current era and it made eminent sense!Quite enthralling,actually.And after all the rituals, we hit the snack room next door. Good Indian food and we gulped it down like starved pigs!Pains of staying away from home country you see!

Got back to the hotel, relaxed and had a brilliant Sunday evening!Swam!Rather, attempted to swim!Had my second swimming class with Anand.And this time, Vijay and Sachin joined in too,with Ashwin chipping in later!It was good fun. I finally managed to learn how to hold my breath under water, practiced kicking the water with my legs for movement holding the bar at the edge of the pool and finally, towards the end of the session, floated a wee bit too!!That gave me a big kick!Learning these two things are the key to swimming and the absolute basics. While I'ven't mastered it,I felt great that I managed to do it in my second session itself! Of course,this time, we guys got lucky in the pool. A lovely blonde was swimming around in a red swimsuit...!

Hit the jacuzzi with flavours of some passive conversation with Ashwin,Sachin and Anand.Finally,walked back to the room slowly,had a shower,and heated up parathas for dinner.Had them with Hari with full flurry and taste!Really enjoyed the dinner!Tried to sleep after that,but ended up helping hurry pack his luggage for his return trip to India!Slept at 4 a.m. eventually!Sigh!