Saturday, December 04, 2004

Udaipur Mark 2

The French toast was proper French toast mmmmm.
Now that the suspense is out the way I'll tell you why I've got a blister on my finger.
I was walking past a shop looking at the instruments and I saw that they do lessons, so I decided to take a quick sitar lesson, although things in India never seem to quite that straightforward...

The shop I was looking at was shut at the time, when a young man saw me looking at the signs for lessons and led me off to his "brothers" shop. I arranged at this shop to come back in 30 minutes. The young guy, Krishna, suggested we go for a quick tea. I mentioned that I wanted to post a letter so we went for tea and then try to find the postoffice. After whizzing through the streets on the back of his new motorbike, I got to the postoffice. The man said that I couldn't post the CD, as it would get smashed under the stamp to be put on the envelope, even though the CD is in a plastic case. Maybe one day I'll be able to post the CD home. I'll need to get more cardboard and box it up first.

Anyway, as we were quite far from the music shop he suggested we go to the other branch. (It all seems so obvious now in hindsight) So I ended up taking a lesson at a different shop.Later I got a tour round some of Udaipur on the back of Krishna's bike. He wanted 200rps for fuel, I didn't mind paying him for his time as the bike ride was fun, but he insisted it was just to cover his fuel costs, yeah right.

The sitar lessons was good no that I could play anything, but it was interesting to give it a go. I at least learned how to sit with the instrument properly. The hardest bit was that for are supposedly to look only at the back of the neck for the fretting and not peek over the neck to see where your fingers are. Also on your right hand you wear something akin to a paper clip for plucking, it also cuts off your circulation though.

I later walked past the orignal shop and they guy was asking why I didn't turn up, so I explained how I got taken to his other branch but ofcourse he didn't have another branch.
I later bumped into Krishan again, he was wearing red jeans and a blue jumper so easy to spot. I dragged him back to explain to the orignal shopkeeper about what had happened. It turned out he was cousins with the orignal shopkeeper. Well that's what their story was, I'm none the wiser. Still at least I got my sitar lesson in the end.

I also visited another fancy temple and saw the famous lake palace hotel although the lake unfortunately was a bit dried up. Next went to a museum which had grand stained glass windows for the maharaja. At night you could see a distant castle on a hill illuminated but it kinda looked like it was just floating in the night sky.

The next day I decided to visit Shilpgram an arts & crafts village. There was musicians singing and playing.
Also some female musicians swung bells round their arms rythmically clanging all whilst balancing pots on their heads! One man was painting an elephant on the side of his shop. Whilst back at the entrance a large group had begun to perform with lots of dancing and noise.

And in case your wondering where all these places are here's a map.

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