Monday, September 28, 2009


I’ve discovered a whole new world of music through Samy’s indie rock playlist Autumn 2009. Groups such as +/-, Paper Route, Former Child Stars, Seamus and I realize how much I continue love music, especially new music, and could never live without it. A continuing passion to add to basketball, farmers markets and living an extraordinary life.

This past weekend has been loads of fun as we are now into the festival season in India. I started out Friday evening by going to the American Embassy School, to see a performance of my most very favorite play in the world, “Our Town”. Yes, I’ve seen this play performed numerous times, watched videos of performances and read the play so many times, that I do know a lot of the script. (I once performed one of the monologues in an acting class). However to see this performed in India, with a diverse cast of children from all over the world, made it quite special. For example, George Gibbs was played by an Indian student, the milk man was instead a milk woman named Rosie and the Stage Manager, instead of being one person was performed by three people, two female students and an Indian student with a British accent. At first I thought what is this, but as I got used to it, I thought how brilliant.

I love this play because although it is about a “simpler” time in the United States, the early 1900’s, it still maintains relevance today. The fact that we’re always rushing around and don’t truly look “hard” enough at life and really see one another, the fact that much of the time we suffer and don’t truly enjoy what we’ve been given. I most love one of the last monologues by the stage manager about how there’s something eternal in our bones, but we don’t take it out and look at it very often and don’t even realize it. The young woman who performed this was just great, very comfortable in her body and with being on stage.

My Saturday was not a typical basketball Saturday as there was a tournament going on at both the American Embassy School, where I play and at the YMCA where I coach. I ended up going to the New Delhi Railway Station to buy some tickets for my friends Cindy, Melissa and I so that we can go to the Pushkar Camel Festival at the end of October. It’s always an adventure to go the train station and fortunately they have a special section for International people to buy tickets. Although I was told that I couldn’t buy the tickets for all of us, because I didn’t have everyone’s passport, the man at the greeting desk said I’ll do you a special favor and let you buy the tickets and then present your passports on the train. The person that I actually purchased the tickets from didn’t seem at all bothered by this, so I really wonder, but that is India.

The train stations in India are just a mass of people and at some point I need to take pictures. People everywhere, sleeping, talking, eating, seems unorganized but like other things in India it all seems to work.

In the evening I went to Chitra’s, a National Trust volunteer, for some song, company and food. It’s so lovely to be invited to the home of an Indian, perfect hosts. I spoke with the children of another guest and recruited them to come to the YMCA for basketball. It’s so special when I can mix my b-ball passion in with interest in just learning and absorbing Indian culture. Chitra’s husband is a phenomenal origami maker and he had made an elephant, dog, etc. which I thought were made of clay-unbelievable. My colleagues Allan and Margaret from the UK were also in attendance and Allan sang a song and Margaret played a keyboard.

On Sunday I went to Dellihut which is one of the treasures of New Delhi. It is owned by the Indian government and every few weeks a new group of crafters come in to display and sell their wares. This next few weeks many of the crafters are from NGOs that fall under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment who I work for. The products are just outstanding, beautiful and although some of it is repetitive the majority consist of items that one wants to take home. It’s so difficult for me because I do own many of the things that I would buy again, but those things are in storage at my friend’s house in Connecticut.

The evening consisted of cultural performances from mainly children who have a number of disabilities. At National Trust we talk about “discoverabilities” and these children certainly showed that through music, dance and theatre. There was one little boy with, maybe club feet, not entirely sure, but he just stole the show with his dancing, couldn’t stand still, another young man, who has an intellectual disability, donned sunglasses and was dancing like Michael Jackson. I was smiling the entire time and at the end joined them all on stage to jump around. This all helped me to be connected with the population that I’m ultimately working with, but don’t get to regularly see because of the actual work that I’m doing. So important for me to be connected though with the reality, which in this particular night was so very joyous.

Tonight is the end of a nine day holiday with the blowing up of these effigies. I can’t wait to see this as I’ve seen the actual effigies in a number of locations around Delhi. Big faces with gigantic moustaches made out of paper mache. India is so much full of celebration.

Finally, there is the love that is developing in my personal life. It’s so very sweet and loving. It’s what I’ve wanted and longed for, for a very long time. It’s growing on a daily basis and it is so very mutual. This love makes me smile and very comfortable and I’ll continue to write more about this for a long time to come.

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