Mi Bodeguita del Medio

While my blog is named after a restaurant in Havana I hope to someday visit, here you will find musings, rants, political incorrectness, thoughts on Indian Nationalism, strong straight-forward opinions and tid-bits.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Flamenco is Back!

I'm starting flamenco classes soon which I had kind of left aside since late last year. Yippie :)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Shedding Old Skin

In tight-spaced Barcelona flats, sometimes everything you own can't find suitable space. I recently embarked on a closet-cleanout mission. I was hoping to get rid of a lot of stuff, but was disappointed with myself when the final result of the raid was only about 8 pairs of clothes that came out as "good to be donated." At first I thought that I could give away my Dave Matthews t-shirts without thinking twice about it. And I even took them out and kept them aside, to be taken to the recycle bin. They were sitting outside in the corridor of my flat, in the most "discarded" location possible...when it suddenly hit me! I was about to throw away some of my most cherished memories. Those who knew me in college can vouch for the Dave Matthews fan I used to be.

The concerts weren't just about going and seeing a group perform.... they were a ceremony that you attended with like-minded souls, all too obsessed with the music, just like you. The t-shirts you would wear to the concert, the tailgating for hours in the parking lot listing to DMB music before, the meeting other obsessed DMB fans like you, the talks about a certain line in a certain song that just blew our minds...My partner in crime was Nathan Williams. For college students it was a BIG deal to buy a concert ticket that cost $60. Then, if the group wasn't playing in your hometown, people like us would try and go to nearby shows. I remember twice having driven up to Virginia and once to Alabama to see the band. One time was so special because DMB were playing in their hometown of Charlottsville after many many years. I drove 11 hours (alone!!!!) to and from the concert location in two days: 22 hours, because Nate, my dear friend had lost his drivers' license. How I wanted to strangle him then :) At the end of the day though, we were invincible DMB fans and nothing else mattered but the music.

Its kind of strange that the group stopped mattering to me. A look at those t-shirts which were bought at concerts, marking dates and locations of their summer tours (2000,2001, 2002)... it was finally too much. Therefore, like it or not, since I don't wear t-shirts anymore, someday my kids will : )

Monday, March 17, 2008

Jodhaa Akbar

16th of March, 2008. The day I watched Jodhaa Akbar. A day that will go down in my personal history as having changed something inside me.

This movie has left me spellbound. My sister told me to write down what I feel so I am going to try and do that, but I'm afraid the bulk of my emotions will remain inside me, unable to be formalised as verbal expression.

I was walking down calle Botella in the Raval on Saturday night when I saw a Hindi DVD store and immediately went in and bought the pirated copy of Jodhaa Akbar (the only version available). I'm so glad I did that because watching the movie yesterday has awakened something dormant in my being.

At the moment, I feel as if a ball of pure energy were rolling inside me, gaining size, momentum and consistency with each passing moment, waiting to explode into a torrent of emotions, each atom of which, filling my being with one desire: to reach out and touch my roots. The desire to be in Rajasthan and lose myself in the towns, villages, palaces, lakes and deserts of my beloved land.

Is there a reason I was born a Rajput Jat? The Rajputs hailing from the Kshatriyas, ancient Hindu warriors that defended their kingdom, their people, and faith. It has dawned on me, that in my own way, I have to somehow defend what my ancestors have been preserving for thousands of years, and the fact that so far I haven't dedicated any part of my life to that effect is making me restless.

Its been hard for me to recognise reality coming out of this 3 hour 20 minute cinematic experience; I'm in a daze, unable to grasp where I am, or what my purpose is in being where I am, or even maintain a conversation over 2 minutes long. This film (in spite of being a pirated dvd watched on a home television set in a slightly hungover state), has to be one of the best in my life.

And while I come out of my daze, I recommend everyone to watch this love story of a Rajput princess and the greatest of the Moghul emperors in 16th Century India, for a well spent 3+ hours (although in my case they really just flew by).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Bollywood in Barcelona

I'm going through another Bollywood crazed phase. Yesterday I watched "Bollywood, the Show" at the Tivoli Theatre in Barcelona. It was a spectacular colourful musical extravaganza, and surely quite novel for the Spanish eyes. The theatre with a capacity for 1,643 people, was packed and two and a half hours into the show, all the Catalans were clapping and dancing to the tunes of "Shawa, Shawa" and "It's the Time to Disco." It was really a scene! In fact all the Bollywood groups in Barcelona were in competition a few weeks before as my ex-flatmate who danced at the Masala Club told me. Of the 12-odd Bollywood groups in Barcelona, the winning group accompanied the artists in the finale on stage.

I realised yesterday how much I miss being around Indian stuff. How much I miss my masala dosas. And how much I miss wearing my lehengas and salwaar kameezes. So ofcourse today I've spent a good amount of time downloading Bollywood music and I've made a finding: Bollyrobics. Check it out here.