Monday, June 14, 2010

Ash cloud

I had the 'good fortune' of being in the UK during the ash cloud megavaganza..why not... where there is action in the world..there you will find me with my Veena strumming away to glory. I reached UK for my COLOURS OF VEENA tour. My Mridangam artiste was awaiting his Visa from the UK consulate and was scheduled to arrive a couple of days after my departure. And well, that never happened because the UK consulate closed for a week for their easter break and when they re opened, the volcano in ice land had other plans for me. I was destined to play that tour with a rare Veena Tabla combo and that I did. Much to my pleasant surprise, the sync was so good that the concerts were a huge success.
Then came the last hill to climb..will the ash cloud disperse when i wanted to go back home after the tour? well, you will have to wait for six months , said one. Maybe a couple of months, said another. Maybe , a year said some. I thought, Gosh, what did i get myself into...Have you seen the film "Athithi tum kub jaogi"...I thought my story would become like that.
But god was on my side and the ash cloud cleared up for about a week and I reached home safe and sound. from Ash to blue skies...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Travails of a traveling musician

Friends have been asking me to update my blog periodically. I thought that instead of writing something that you all already know, i will write about the travails of a traveling musician. In my 24 years of traveling, there has not been one dull moment. Taking the Veena from one room to another itself offers innumerable opportunities for the person carrying it to slip somewhere..Imagine traveling all over the globe with it in cars, trains, buses, planes, vans, conveyer belts,escalators and what not!!

Early this week, I finished my concert in Mysore and was driving back to Bangalore late at night. We were traveling by a Getz car-Diesel CRDI engine..the drive was smooth and the weather was awesome...sleep tempted our eyelids as we approached the city of chennapatna which is almost midway between Mysore and Bangalore. We were running out of diesel and so the driver pulled into a Petrol bunk. In the sleepy state that everyone was in, none noticed that it was PETROL that was being filled into the gas tank.
Very content after filling the tank, we drove on in the highway with GNB's stimulating voice coloring the background.

In 2 mins the car jerked to a halt right in the middle of the highway with all heavy duty vehicles zooming past in full speed.It was a little past midnight and I was in my concert attire with the Veena on my lap!! As we were still figuring out why the car had stopped, my husband took control of the situation and called HYUNDAI service station and they were so efficient that they said that they will send a vehicle for help asap. Meanwhile we waved at quite a few vehicles zipping past asking for a ride and finally found a suitable car in which all of us could squeeze in with baggage et all and we reached Bangalore by 2am. Meanwhile, the Hyundai service vehicle found my car with the driver in chennapatna and drained out all the Petrol from the tank and then filled in deisel and re started the car. Luck was on our side and so the car behaved well and started. The driver then drove the car back to Bangalore and reached home by 4am..
Hozzat for a start??