“And You? When will you begin that long journey into yourself? “
I don’t know what I seek, i vaguely know it; my heart knows it, but it doesn’t tell me what is it that I seek- it just takes me to the path towards what I am seeking. And so I travel, to find what I seek!
This brings me to all the adventures of my Europe tour 2018!
During the tour we mostly had home stays and that’s why this tour stands out to be one of the best ever!
As we reached Berlin, we were greeted by fascinating people, Dr Wahi, Mrs Indu Wahi and their son Simit. Dr Wahi has been a discerning listener of my music - since my first video till now he has an evaluation for each of my rendition ! I too was surprised how minutely the audience listens to your music !
I would like to be like Dr Wahi when I am 84 years of age! A rtd. research professor at Berlin University, being around Dr Wahi felt as if he spiced up Berlin by his chutpatta stories of Banaras where he grew up. His timely humour and wittiness had all of us in splits throughout our stay!
Mrs Indu Wahi’s organisational abilities and home management skills were like that of a Rajasthani queen, I joke not! Loved watching her displays - whether it was a yummy dish that she prepared, her paintings or her flowers. She gracefully moved around her little palace as she did some of the most ordinary chores!
The Wahis had a guest from India, Geetaji who punctuated every sitaution with a shayri or a Kavita ( or could make one ) ! How did she do that?! Life is a poetry, indeed :)
My first concert of the tour was at Under The Mango Tree, Berlin. Ms Mini Kapur has a lovely art gallery in the heart of Berlin that displays the works of painters and artistes across the globe! We had a lovely turn out of Indian Music lovers from in and around the city. With this concert the tone was set for the rest of the tour!
Home Concert at Dr Wahi and Mrs Indu Wahi :
Home concerts are intimate, warm and casual! The Wahis invited all the music lovers in their circle and needless to mention that this concert was super fun!
I had requests to sing Mero allah and some folk nos, some Sufi songs! Mrs Wahi a trained Kathak dancer while she was in Banaras, also danced as we performed a hori!
In the end, Kartik and our sax player friend Steven joined in and we got the performance to a crescendo - a little video!
Flavours of India Festival :
How on earth can you imagine an Indian classical festival in Ibiza? Not a concert, a Festival?
As a classical artiste, it’s heartening to know how many students of Indian classical music are non- Indians and how they spread the timeless beauty of this musical tradition passionately wherever they are!
Saigo Dicenta and Mafalada Mas,
the two people behind this festival magnificently curated and executed this festival.
Saigo came to pick us up in his camper van and got us to his country home - away from all the shor ie the party hub of Ibiza ! His home was nestled between hills and trees by a winding road with a car or two passing by in an hour!
We had two houseful concerts at the same venue that speaks volumes about the existing interest level in Indian classical music from non- Indian audience!
The cherry on the top of our Ibiza trip was a MaatiBaani gig at the famous San Juan Market! Check out this video :
The little girl dancing is the daughter of our hosts Saigo and Alba- clearly she is Shakti!
Between all these concerts, we got to explore this super club culture island and it’s beaches with our friends!
Is any of or Europe trip ever complete without a ‘ Hello’ to Holland ? No!
Mahesvari, the founder of Desiyup and my dear friend in association with Devika organized a concert at LaakTheatre, The Hague.
In this concert, I presented a mix of classical and semi classical compositions. I could feel the joy of the audience as we performed and as the Hindustani Sarnami tradition goes- I received an “Inaam” from the audience, that was cute !
The second concert of Holland was in Rotterdam for the prestigious Rotterdam Partners - an organisation that promotes the wonderful city of Rotterdam. We were performed at this event - all thanks to Edo De Ronde, a musician who also is the business manager at Rotterdam Partners.
Having been visiting this great city since 2015, Rotterdam is in no ways similar to Amsterdam - it has its own strong identity and beauty!
A port city which was almost completely demolished in World War 2, Rotterdam has resurrected itself to one of the most liveable cities of Europe and the city is quite an architectural marvel! We love going back to Rottersam for its open spaces, cultural diversity, ease of commute and ofcourse, friends !
From unknown to known, from strangers to friends and from nothingness to come back with great memories, these are few of my favourite things about travel. Did I mention we did 7 concerts in 12 days? 🙏🏼
This tour wouldn’t have been possible without our supremely talented friend Amit Mishra who accompanied me on Tabla in all the concerts and my partner in every big and small crime, Kartik.