Friday, October 2, 2009
My first traditional Kathak solo is just 28 days away ... yes, I am counting the days. I remember when I was counting how many months were left ... where has the time flown? I don't even know what to write about this exactly ... I'm practicing whatever I can, however best I can, and am waiting for the day that Guru ji sees what I've been working on, and gives me feedback ... i.e. changes it all. Guru ji had said that when choosing pieces for the solo, there should be one piece that is a risk, and very challenging for you. I'm trying to figure out which piece that is for me, because at this point, they all feel like they're over my head. (Sigh!) Keep plugging away ... and it'll fall into place at some point.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
I'll be heading out to India day after tomorrow. Naturally I haven't packed a single thing yet. Me, Kingsuk and Labonee will be going via Emirates to Kolkata. In our 7 hour layover in Dubai, we're going to hop out and do dinner with Smita :-) I'm looking forward to that.
And then .... the craziness will begin! Labonee and I will be in India for three weeks with Guru ji, training for our upcoming solos (Oct 30th for me, Nov 22nd for her).
A general schedule of the day will be waking up at 6am, practicing for two hours (footwork, w/o ghungroo), and then doing breakfast with Guru ji at 8am, when we have chai, samosas, toast, and fruit -- while planning out the rest of the day.
At 10 am begins the real practice. Guru ji dons his black sweatshirt and sweatpants in the 100 degree Kolkata weather, puts on his ankle weights, and starts going up and down the three storied house we live in (third story being the roof). He does this continually for about 2 hours ... no A/C, and the fans are switched off. In the meantime, we are dancing downstairs -- he can hear us throughout, and will yell at us if we start slacking or just messing up altogether. He periodically will start playing the tabla and dancing at crazy high speeds, expecting us to emulate, and we will just stare at him blankly, and he'll continue his stair climbing. By the end of two hours, the floor has been wiped down several times from puddles of sweat, and exhaustion doesn't even begin to describe how we feel. Mind you, I am telling you this based on the time I went to India in the winter, when it wasn't even that warm ... I really can't imagine how I'm supposed to dance in that heat.
So then we'll shower, eat lunch together, and go onto our daily errands ... this time Labonee and I have to get a lot of costumes made -- both for ourselves, as well as the costumes for the 'Sita Haran' that the Chitresh Das Dance Company is putting on in the end of September. And you know how it is in India ... getting one task done takes the whole day.
In the evening, we have another class ... this one shorter, but not necessarily less intense. This is followed by another shower, dinner, and then downtime before collapsing to sleep. The 'downtime' is the only time I used to ever have to call Kingsuk, when he would be in America and I was out there ... we never talked more than 5-10 minutes. This time, Kingsuk will be in Kolkata for the first 10 days at his mother's place, so that won't be so much of an issue.
Anyway, I'm very excited about the journey ahead. I'm praying that I don't injure myself from the extreme dancing, and come back strong, and ready to conquer my solo!!
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I got punched in the nose yesterday when rehearsing the battle scene of Jatayu and Ravana. Seibi didi was emphatically 'cutting off my wing' with an imaginary sword clutched in her fist ... as I dove under her to dodge the blow ... but in all the movement and excitement, her fist came down on my nose ... HARD.
At least if we had been rehearsing the Surupnakha scene, it would have been a story worth sharing. Anyway, no harm done. I just had a throbbing nose and head yesterday ... nothing a little icing and two Motrins couldn't take care of.
Today my shoulders are killing me from flapping around like a bird so much.
Thursday, April 30, 2009
I just went to the IFFLA closing night film & gala ... if you go back to the beginning of my blog, the festival where Provoked was premiering was the same festival ... this year, though, I was there sans-film :-( But here's to hoping that next year, I will have a film in tow with me! (fingers crossed)
The closing night film was a documentary called 'Yes Madam, Sir,' on the life of India's first woman police officer, Dr. Kiran Bedi. I heard the subject, and dreaded having to attend this film ... but I figured, a) it's a documentary, I should broaden my knowledge of such films and b) I should attend this event. The film was to be followed by a Q & A of the director and by Kiran Bedi herself.
Within minutes of the movie, I was hooked. Kiran Bedi was the symbol of courage and daring acts. But as the film developed, you saw that not only was she a damn gutsy woman, but of incredible belief in doing GOOD -- in the most averse conditions. And constantly, the Indian police is putting her down, at every step of the way.
I really, really recommend that everyone see this film when it is theatrically released in India, the U.S. and Australia. If India had more people like Kiran Bedi, we would have so much more to be proud of in our motherland.
Monday, April 13, 2009
We just celebrated King's 30th birthday this weekend. I had planned a semi-surprise birthday party for him ... 'semi' in the sense that he thought we were all going out to dinner for his birthday. In actuality, I had rented a sailboat for the afternoon, and a bunch of our friends and family from out-of-town were also coming to party it up for the big three-oh.
Unfortunately for me, when the pre-partying began the night before (Friday), I hadn't eaten all day -- because I'm stupid and sometimes forget or get too lazy to eat -- and three drinks later got so drunk that I don't remember the rest of the night. I do remember getting sick, and unfortunately still felt deathly ill the next morning as well -- only two hours prior to the boat party.
Apparently, the night before, Samir accidentally let it slip that we're going on a boat the next day. I was just happy the surprise lasted as long as it did. Besides, with surprises, it's just a matter of timing ... he was still surprised when he found out the night before!
An hour before the boat party, I will still feeling really sick -- lying comatose on the couch, unable to ingest any sort of solids or liquids. The boat party seemed impossible -- I contemplated if it would be so bad if I wasn't at my husband's birthday party? I mean, there would be 24 more people on the boat -- after a half hour, people would probably even forget that I wasn't there.
But then Shashank busted out his prescription pad, and wrote Kutu a prescription for the MAGIC PILL. $9 a pop, but worth every penny. I painstakingly took a bite of the burrito they had picked up for me, and took the anti-nausea medicine with some Coke. Samir, who had been lying in the same condition in the room next to me, had taken the pill ten minutes earlier, and was now chowing down on his burrito and making plans for the rest of the day. They were all claiming the pill was magic, but I far from believed it.
Ten minutes went by. I still felt like death. Another ten minutes went by, and I got sick again. And then, like magic, it was all gone. I was back to my normal self, but with a slight headache. I got up off the couch and announced, 'I should make that spinach & artichoke dip now.' I began preparing for the party as if nothing was ever wrong with me ... it was totally unbelievable. I even caught myself dancing a bit as I walked into my closet to choose my outfit for the day!
So, for those of you who have ever had a horrible, dreadful, 'wish I were dead instead' hangover -- this MAGIC PILL (Zofran) is the way to go! I have never appreciated medical science the way I did that morning ... maybe the only other close second was when I had pink eye.
Oh, and no more partying/socializing/entertaining for us anymore. If you see that the Brahma's have temporarily disappeared into oblivion, you know the reason why.
Friday, April 10, 2009
I feel guilty for not writing in my blog ... it's not even that my life has been uninteresting in the last year or so ... on the contrary, it's been very exciting and filled with a lot of activities. So from now on, I will write more often in this blog ... more like a journal, and won't feel compelled to have an interesting story or anecdote to share before writing.
On a side note, my 6 year old nephew Iain has his own blog! He seriously logs on himself and publishes posts! Man, if he can do it, so can I!