May 12, Thursday Evening.
I went down to have my first meal in India (other than the energy bars Jim Akers gave me to bring along—thanks, Jim!), and the restaurant was closed for another half hour. But two men sitting in the lobby said it would open in a half hour and that there would be music. I went back to my room and video-called Jennifer, Aidan, and Kellen. My first Skype video call from India. What a joy!
Then, I went back down at 7:30, and it turned out that the two men were the musicians,
and they were playing sitar and the tabla. Wow! The restaurant was divided into two sections, and most of the people were in one section, away from the musicians and near the buffet, where they tried to lead me. But I said I wanted to be by the music. So, I ended up being the only person in the area close to them. What blissful, meditative, exciting music the sitar is, and such a beautiful instrument. I talked with them in between pieces and they let me play the sitar.
and the sitar by Ruknuddin Bakhsh. Ruknuddin’s teacher’s name is Ustad Shahid Parvez, a very famous sitarist, on the level of Ravi Shankar. They don’t have any recordings yet, but tomorrow night will bring me a couple cds of their teachers.