Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Heading out to India

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!!