Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Texas Folk Festival - June 12!

Ah! What a colourful Sunday it was! Got up at 12 noon, went and spent the next 3 hours in Kishan’s room. We had all planned a trip to visit the Texas folk festival happening right here in San Antonio.

Ten of us left the hotel at 4.45 p.m. and reached the venue after changing 2 buses. We were hit by colour, fun and frolic for the next 3 hours. Amazing fun! What liveliness! What energy around the place!

Got hold of the entry tickets and prowled around for a while, digesting the animation and colour at the festival. Grabbed a coke as it was blazing hot and then all of us took turns taking snaps at different spots inside the festival ground. We attended a small classroom, where an anchor ran us through a session where he explained how schools and classrooms worked centuries ago in Texas. There was even paper and quil ink on the tables that we were seated in. We had to write out our names in calligraphic versions on that paper using that quil ink. I just managed to write out the first letter of my name; just couldn’t hold that quil pen!

After this class, we cut wood! There was a huge axe in the middle of that foyer and we took turns cutting the wooded pieces strewn around the place. We then realized how tough it must have been for those guys in that era, cutting axe for a livelihood. And here we are, complaining about faulty air-conditioning systems in office! Get real!

The highlight of the festival had to be the next stop we made. There was this small hut where a man was playing some scintillating music with a wooden instrument that had 6 strings on it. We went into that shack and had an amazing musical composition. He patiently taught us the basics of using that instrument and we played it all in unison. It was as if, all of us were attending a music class. Simply breathtaking instrument! And then he removed another instrument that resembled a santoor! Not to miss, we took turns to play that instrument as well and when my turn came, the trainer remarked,” I like the way this kid is playing it”. Well, I was just shaking my head as if I was a expert at playing that instrument with my head movements synchronized with my hand movements etc!

And then, the belly dancers!Oops! All of them were amazing! Simply too good and so was the music. Fast, furious and the way these girls were moving on stage, sure did get all of us going! Can’t blame us, the girls were awesome, both to look at and at their dance! There was one girl who was especially good, in a lovely green attire. I thought I was the only one eyeing here, only to discover later that everyone who had come with me there was eyeing her as well. Hell, competition everywhere! Inside office, outside office!

Scouted around the rest of the festival, saw the Tower of America, tons of flags, a small museum and finally returned to the hotel by 9 p.m. Went with Ashwin to buy some groceries, returned and spent time in room no.1111 till 1 a.m. Vaishnavi was leaving back to India, and it was her send off. Had some terrific Indian grub that she had made for everybody! Sang my heart out too!