Week 1 Happened

Today is as good as any to begin a blog post I should have begun 3 weeks ago.

My adventuring includes concerts, observing sitar and tabla lessons, singing in Hindi, transcribing Sanskrit chants, and of course incense. Sticks and sticks of incense. Or, agarbhatti, if you will. I am learning ever so slowly.

The most fascinating parts are getting to sing, play, and transcribe songs and learning about the symbols that make up the wonderful, colorful, and beautiful Hindu culture. I find it difficult to write about what I do, for I do such a wide variety of tasks. I also feel very insufficient to write about these things, for I know so little still.

I have good news to report on the commuting front. I have passed no less than four cyclists at this point. I hope someone is breaking out the champagne (or at least the bottled water) as this is read, for, as someone who bikes astonishingly slowly, we have now discovered people that move slower than me OR we will have to concede that I am making actual, physical improvement. For the sake of my tender and haughty pride, let’s say it is the second. Oh, and I do not plan on telling you how frequently I am passed by hipster cyclists, legs pumping, backs hunched, eyes bored, and of course I know at once that they are better than me. In everything. From growing beer in their bathtub to scoring a vintage find at a thrift store.

I have made one other commuting discovery. This is that you do not get to meet attractive, hipster Prince Charmings on wheels as you casually cycle by him. All my dreams of a healthy, wealthy husband must be postponed. When I bike my concentration is 100% on the potholes in the road, 100% on the lookout for suddenly-opened car doors, and 100% on the traffic around me. I never can seem to have a balanced concentration. I cannot multi-think and pedal at the same time, apparently.

My internship is going. It is going so fast. Like a roller coaster. There are bits where you catch your breath and look around and in that moment your brain begins to think, “Gee, I feel like I should be doing something! Look at all this extra time I-..” And then I find myself hurtling around a corner as I try to take in the emotional theory of sitar pedagogy. (To explain roughly: there are pieces and scales designated for specific times of day and certain moods, within Indian classical music.)

One of the tasks I have been doing is going to the library and reading. Or going to the beach and reading when the weather’s nice. I assure you this is necessary and highly informative. It is in this way that I have learned that a raag, राग (a piece of music, or a scale) is a deliberate and careful exploration of a mood or specific ambience. Contrast this to Western classical music, which in the Romantic era aimed to impress or create a mood or emotion within the audience. Research is quite satisfying and I find it rather interesting.

I don’t know what people want to hear about. Usually I write to amuse myself, but I understand some of your may have questions. I can answer questions. And yes, I have some awkward tan lines, in answer to that burning question.

Basically, summers in the city: top-notch.

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