My first Indian train lila in quite some today. Amazingly, Govardhan has a daily train to Jaipur, which so far is a bit slow but fairly uneventful, in contrast to my recollections of previous train experiences here. The rest of the satsang gang is joining me by car later for an evening at Jaipur’s Diggi Palace, then they are off to Nathdwara, while I will head in 2 days over to Delhi for my last bit of program before back to Boston.
In Delhi I am planning to take a pakhawaj lesson with Mohan Shyam Sharma ji, Shyamdas’ old buddy and renowned as one of India’s very top masters of the ancient Indian pakhawaj drum. It’s funny, I never was drawn so much to the pakhawaj, but in the last week during a few of our home kirtans Shyamdas’ old pakhawaj was handy and we needed some thal so I played it a bit while Ishwari or Vraja Gopi were singing—and I suddenly fell into a very sweet sense of the rhythm and possibility of the instrument. In my own utterly clueless way, of course, hence the desire for a lesson before I pick up too many (more) bad habits!
Panditji Mohan Shyam came to play some music at Shyamdas’ birthday celebration, we reconnected, and then I guess someone (Jena?) mentioned to him that I might want to take a lesson with him, and the other day Vallabhdas called me over and handed me the phone; Panditji was inviting me to take lessons with him while in Delhi in a few days. Acha, tike! So it shall be—and a sweet and fitting way to finish my brief trip here, with a brief immersion into the soul of Indian beats and rhythms.
Panditji is also performing in Delhi this Friday evening and invited me to attend, so I think I will aim to take a car from Jaipur that morning in time to join for that. Coordinating all this with no working mobile phone feels very old school, but just fine.