Monday, 29 March 2010

Riding A Magic Bus

Text: Arati,
Photos: Hari


The Magic Bus


We rode through Malwa on a Magic Bus - levitating and flying - cutting through clear, transparent blue days - leaving a wake of arid landscapes in gritty brown and shrubs on a fast current behind us.

We rode this white and red Magic Bus, with pink, plastic sparkled seats upholstered in maroon with orange and green swirls, baby pink glitter walls, shiny bright yellow curtains...we all rode, the singers, the accompanists and audience, all crammed within, with bursting helium hearts, buoyant on songs, music, transported from one 'ajab shahar' (wondrous land) to the next.

We rode our Magic Bus through Malwa, weaving through small towns of narrow, cobbled streets, with trellised, dilapidated homes of exquisitely carved beauty, through intense samosa, kachori, jalebi smells that wafted into our stratosphere, through the 'haats' (markets) of kaleidoscopic colors into vast open spaces dotted with mud villages and thatch roofs, grazing goats and indolent cows, crossing herds of gangly camels with babies, tall , peering into our raucous bus with a mild gaze even while we all rapturously clicked away on our digital cams...

We rode this Magic Bus in a symphony of never ending songs, to the strumming of the tamburas, the percuss ions of dholaks, manjiras and kartaals...Our singers buoyed by our unquenchable passion, sang with beaming faces, hoarse voices, singing each others' musics, easily, boisterously, in same shared spaces - in a same shared, common voice - the musics of Malwa, Rajasthan, Kutch, merging into one music, one song, same song of love and loving, of searches, of riding a ride of life, poised and laughing on top.


Moora Lala and Shabnam

KaluRam, MooraLala and Anand

Shabnam in her truest form!

Manzil Kids Jamming!

Mukhtiyar Ali serenading

We rode such a Magic Bus, alighting only to sing more, love more, share more, with all those who received us, fed, sheltered and nourished our neglected physical selves, in love - all encompassing, infinitely universal, to lead us to platforms under stars, where the unending mela again resumed - singers on the stage, we - one with our singers, singing inside, till the music was no longer contained, brimmed over and spilled out, first from our drumming fingers, tapping feet, swaying heads to people moving in front of the stage, sides of stage, in dances of complete, intoxicated abandon " Sahib Ne Bhang Pilayee..."

3 comments:

PRITI said...

Lovely Pics and it adds colour to the blog. But your language had already put these pics in my imagination so seeing those pics on your blog gave me a feeling of Deja vu. But they are a lovely addition to the blogs.

Mita ALL said...

ARATI > This is just AMAZING. Thank you Thank You Thank You for putting the magic into words, so beautifully and exactly. Took me right back there and made me relive the magic of it all.

Lovely to see the pics as well.

Wish we could click and hear the music of the jam sessions!!!!

Arati said...

Thanks both! Mita - just you wait, and you shall have it with a click!