Posts Tagged ‘Performance art’
We have recently returned from a short visit to Delhi and are a little home sick. So a couple of weekends ago we decided to go to the Stern Grove Festival for Kailash Kher’s group Kailasa. The thought of soaking in the coolness of Stern Grove listening to Tauba Tauba sounded fantastic after Delhi’s grueling heat and mugginess.
What better way to celebrate July 4th than with the most American of art forms – Jazz. And the Fillmore Street Jazz Festival does the celebration with gusto. This year it was spread across eight or so blocks on Fillmore street, four main performance stages, and many smaller performances going on all along the street and in Jazz clubs lining Fillmore.
In 300 BCE, it is said, lived a thief, a kind of a highway robber called Valmiki. One day he tried to rob a sadhu, a wandering holy man, who had nothing to offer him so he gave him a mantra ‘Mara’. When Valmiki , in his distracted moments chanted it, he realised he was not saying mara-mara-mara but rama-rama-rama and that’s when he decided to write down the story of Lord Rama into an epic called Ramayana.
Are you a San Franciscan? Do you stay away from the wharf because you consider it to be touristy?
Tell me this – what is not to like at the waterfront – one of the best views as far as eyes can see, and loaded with history too. Yes, the touristy stores. They are there everywhere including Chinatown. They have large banners in front of them screaming “touristy”, so not too hard to avoid, right? And the performance artists, they are amusing if not fascinating.
We had just stepped off the rickshaw when a young boy selling charms approached us. He was too young to have a street-smart swagger and walked towards us with the timidity of someone new to the job. A smile eased his hesitation and he stepped closer. ‘Hello…Want to see dead body?’ he said, grinning ingratiatingly. Casual and breezy…
Here is what happened. I was in Jaipur last spring, visiting family. And a trip to Jaipur is not complete without a customary trip to the shops of Johari Bazaar, jeweler’s market. I wanted to buy some chunaris, colorful cotton/silk drapes worn like shawls or scarves. Jaipuri chunaris, particularly the tie and dye, Bandhej (or bandhani) style are fabulous.
So, I was in this small shop, lit with fluorescent light. I had already picked up half a dozen chunaris to share with friends and family. In our excitement we had managed to give away the fact that we were out of towners. This is when our enthusiastic salesman got particularly creative. I am paraphrasing but this is what he said – “Sis, just check out our sarees. You are hardly going to see these in Delhi. I am not going to ask you to buy them. Just see how gorgeous they can be”.
This is something fascinating about California – it is littered with ghost towns, small towns that sprang up and disappeared during the glorious days of its mining era – between 1850s to early 1900s. Miners came from all parts of the world in search of the gold in the hills of California.
Last autumn, when we decided to go on a long road trip, from Bay Area to Las Vegas, it only seemed appropriate to visit Calico ghost town, which was on our way.
We had started early from Bay Area and had arrived at Calico ghost town about 4. Even here, 150 miles away from Zabriskie Point of Amargosa Range in Death Valley, the mountains retain some of the unusual colors of gold and amber. It had appeared more amber in the light of the setting sun.