If you have all the above packed in a single weekend, is there anything else that you could ask for. While Sonu Nigam was fun and entertainment, Parasailing was a bit of adventure, Strand book festival was a ritual and Girish Karnad play enacted by Arundhati Nag was a treat.
Sonu Nigam show at my office was the only planned activity for this weekend. Knowing my organization they manage such events beautifully and plus a feeling of show being performed for you, made it almost mandatory for me to attend this show. Show started and finished at the given time, though most of us would have wanted it to go on for some more time. I am not going to talk about Sonu’s singing abilities and his energy to keep the huge crowd energized throughout the performance, but I sincerely hope he could have dressed better for the occasion. Wearing a jeans which was torn at 17 places, in a corporate kind of environment seemed out of place and also did not go well with my image of Sonu Nigam the singer. The hairstyle, covering his whole face, gave an impression of ‘a desperate attempt to look cool’. May be I am an old fashioned, but I would have preferred a more decent look. Another thing that he could have done without were the 6 side dancers who came in between some of the songs wearing some absurd clothes, doing the same movements in all kinds of songs. Another observation that I had, which I also had at a Alka Yagnik and Kumar Sanu show couple of years again in my office was that the artist have to know a bit of their audience. While they may not have any knowledge about the corporate world, but when you are coming to perform for a select audience, you need to know them better and if you have not made any efforts to know, at least do not show your ignorance.
Parasailing happened ex-tempore when I was going through a friend’s blog and quickly checked with a couple of friends if they would be interested in going. Parasailing in Bangalore is done by a couple of adventure tourism companies, but the basic infrastructure and the actual execution is done by the same set of people, at a place called Hoskote, which is about 30 kms from Bangalore, in a huge barren piece of land, which almost seems in the middle of nowhere. The organizers own a jeep, a helmet and two pieces of parachutes / balloons and the ropeware required for parasailing. 3-4 guys manage the show in the field. The cost of each round is Rs 350/- which you can pay at the venue. I had a small chat with the driver of the jeep and he said they do about 200 rides over a weekend and have a track record of no accidents. Both these organizations do not do any explicit publicity and are probably banking on ‘word of mouth’ publicity and a bit if internet marketing. A small thought that came up in my mind is that these guys are doing brisk business, give no receipts for the money they take and are probably not advertising as they may be required to adhere to certain health and safety regulations. I am not sure if they had a first aid kit, but no other medical aid was close by in case of a mis-happening. And was just wondering if they pay taxes on all the money that they make, infact I had the same question in my mind for the ‘Bangalore Walks’ as well. I just hope these guys are being good citizens.
Strand book festival is more or less a ritual for me every time it happens in Bangalore. After the parasailing, in my dirty jeans only, I went to the Chinnaswamy stadium where the book festival is happening this time. Spent a couple of hours picking up some books and met a few friends with whom the rest of the evening had to be charted out. The highlight of yesterday’s visit was meeting Vidya Veerkar, the owner of Strand and sharing with her some of my views on ‘Book Reading’ events in Bangalore.
After Strand four of us went to Rangashankara to watch ‘Bikhare Bimb’ , a play by Girish Karnad, featuring Arundhati Nag. This is the first time I watched Arundhati perform, though I always admired her for giving Bangalore a counterpart of Prithvi in Mumbai and NSD in Delhi. As expected the play was good and I was amazed by Arundhati’s performance. It was a single person play and she kept the audience engrossed for two hours, yes, single handedly. Her experience in acting showed when she beautifully handled a forgotten dialogue and gave it a hilarious twist. My perception of her was a Kannadiga actor, but her Hindi pronunciation was flawless and it was nice to hear the ‘Shudhha’ Hindi after a long time. Like I mentioned in my ‘Vividh Bharti’ post, wish there were some more channels that kept the purity of a language intact, no matter what the language is.
Other than this, wrote an ex-tempore poem while chatting with a friend and read few pages of the book I am reading. How would it be if all weekends were so fulfilling, and may be even a few weekdays, how often do we forget that weekdays are also days in our lives?
Colorful Umbrella / Prasailing Image source – Shutterstock