04 August, 2010

"Naturally Inspired" In Edinburgh--Getting ready for Wimbledon 2011

Saskia, Ishaan and I are here in Edinburgh for the 2nd year in succession. After the wet experience we had last year, we were prepared totally with our umbrellas and poncho for Ishaan but what a surprise!!! We have had the best weather here--quite cold for the August we are used to but I am not complaining. After the summer in Delhi and the humidity of the monsoons, I am very happy that I am not sweating at all. Actually, that's not true because I do sweat it out when I finish my hour long tennis every day. Tennis and me? yes--that's one of my "naturally inspired" projects here in Edinburgh as I prepare for Wimbledon 2011!!

I have always loved tennis but never had the nerve to hold a racket and start playing. Something in the air inspired me to start finally after 45yrs 8 months and a couple of days and here I am, trying to replicate Federer and Nadal. Luckily I have a wonderful sparring partner in Kees Nooren, my brother-in-law. But I was quick enough to understand that maybe I would not be able to play as well as Federer or Nadal but I have to admit--for never ever playing the game, it's going quite well and my dreams of competing at the Center Court in Wimbledon might still come true in my next life. If I had not taken up Sitar and Indian Music, maybe I could have picked up a tennis racket and found my calling.

On to serious matters---Saskia and I feel great to have been invited to this wonderful project called "Naturally Inspired". This is an initiative taken by one of the festivals in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Mela festival. We have been put up in a beautiful cottage in the country side of Edinburgh about half hour away from the city. It's an absolutely gorgeous cottage surrounded by mountains and it's wonderful to breathe fresh air. Lovely weather helps and it's great to have some of Saskia's family and friends around since they decided to join us for their summer vacations. Ishaan is having the time of his life--playing with his cousin and friend from the minute he wakes up till they all finally just fall asleep. After a week of residency here, we are supposed to perform our "new creations" on Saturday at the festival and Sunday at the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Saskia and I have indeed been inspired by the beauty of the nature around us and have finished composing 2 beautiful pieces. We have given the names "Bonney Fierey"(meaning Beautiful Fairy in Galic). Not too sure what to call the other one but I suggested that we call it "Amitabh meets Sean Connery" to the other one. Just joking of course. But its a beautiful Scottish song that we are both inspired from and from which we take off into a beautiful Indian folk tune and an Irish Folk tune in the Raga Khamaj that we learnt in 2001 when we are in Galway from one of Ireland's wonderful musicians.

Its just so lovely that we still have these wonderful initiatives taken up by people. Just such a pity that in India, we are still only dealing with negativeness. All we read is about the corruption, be it CWG or some other corrupt politician or sensationalize rapes, murders or gossip about the Bollywood. Is there nothing else that the media can write about? Cricket and Bollywood is all Indian media writes about but wonderful initiatives like the one we are in gets no mention. Too bad but I am happy that the internet still gives us the opportunity to share our experiences with those people who are still interested in our work.

Will share with everyone how the events go this weekend. Till then--Cheers!!