I write to you tonight exhausted and thoroughly humbled by the Bollywood dance class that I just joined. First, let me say that it’s quite a workout. Second, I thought I had rhythm, but apparently I don’t. And third, my middle-aged hips, shoulders, hands and feet can’t all go in different directions to a quarter beat the way the instructor wants them to! I have never felt more like a flapping fish than I did tonight. If you want a listen to the song that we’re working on, download “Chiggi Wiggi” from the Bollywood movie “Blue”. It has a great beat and I could have fun freelancing to it, but my homework is to get the hips to hop and the body to roll in the manner prescribed by Vikram, dance guru extraordinaire.
The good news is this: I didn’t have to twist too many arms to convince a few friends to join me – sometimes it just takes one person to say “hey, jump out of a plane with me” and unexpected volunteers line up. And our efforts are all very timely. If you watched or read about the Grammy Awards this week, you may have noticed that an Indian composer won Best Motion Picture Song for “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire. The best and most succinct translation of the title that I’ve come across is “hallelujah” – which is exactly what I will proclaim when, and if, I manage to not look so foolish going Bollywood!
A quick update on my Burns Night Supper speech to the laddies: It went far better than my Bollywood dance class. For those of you unfamiliar with the event, it’s an occasion to celebrate all that is Scottish, in particular, the poet Robert Burns of Auld Lang Syne fame. You eat Scottish food, drink Scotch, read Burns, and roast the lassies and the laddies. A gentleman does the former and a gentlelady does the latter. I was the lucky lass who accepted an invitation to celebrate the men:
I was nervous at first, relaxed in the middle, and didn’t want to give up the mike by the end! I tried to be funny, suggestively saucy and sincere and it all seemed to work. And Jim didn’t look embarrassed – the greatest sign of success. Afterwards, we danced Scottish line dances. Thankfully, all body parts go in the same direction in this genre:
Jim laughed at me when I told him the other day that I JUST noticed, after posting so many pictures of myself on this blog that I had a large nose and a mouth that never seems to shut!
I scored BEEF this week, thanks to my how-to-survive-Delhi diva, and new friend, Sanny. She called me on Sunday to let me know that her muslim butcher was at the house hawking Holy Cow. I’m not totally convinced that it’s NOT beefalo (water buffalo) – but it’s close and I’m in tenderloin heaven! I’ve never had such a large or fresh piece of meat lay on my kitchen counter. My vegetarian friends may not want to look:
I cut it into filets, a nice flank, and soup bits. I’m dreaming of Beef Stroganoff, my favorite comfort food – BBQ’d flank sliced on top of a nice salad – a simple filet, perfection on my plate…
Abstinence has its advantages – as long as it’s short term!
And a quick note on Haiti: My lovely daughter and her equally lovely friend (Sanny’s daughter) have huge hearts and the spirit it takes to put those hearts to practical use: They have spent two weekends selling home-made baked goods on the street corner to raise money for the victims in Haiti. I think the kids have raised about 25 dollars so far – not bad when you consider that the items are priced to be affordable to the far lower purchasing power of the average local salary.
I’m off to Varanasi with a girlfriend on Thursday. We’re escaping for 36 hours. If you no nothing of this place – just wait – I can’t wait to share it…