Last few weeks ...

Ok .. spate of laziness .. pure laziness .. was the cause of my inactivity for the last few weeks. So, anyways lots happened in the last few weeks … I will start with the one that I am most excited about.

1. Finalized Date of Departure from Johannesburg: My stint in Johannesburg is going to end after a period of close to one year. And I have to say that it has been lots of fun, learning and broadening of my horizon/perspective. Tickets booked and I am now counting days ...

Now back to chronological order.

2. Carmen (Ballet): I am a complete novice to Ballet … so I decided to try that out. And I must say that its an experience that one should experience. Coz I hadn’t seen anything like that before. Live music .. wonderful dance and in all an experience that I was completely mesmerizing. Here is some cut-paste material about the ballet. “The saga of Carmen and Don José is one theatre’s most fiery love stories, based on an original story by Prosper Mérimée and later adapted as an opera by Georges Bizet. Now this tale of tragic love comes to the stage in a sensual ballet version by choreographer Veronica Paeper. Carmen captures all the fiery heat and passion of Spain in a ballet highlighted by spectacular pas de deux that chart the unfolding story of love, pain and loss, and blends classical ballet with the dances of Spain in a ballet of lavish entertainment and excitement.”

3. Indiaday Celebrations: The week after the Independence Day was the India Day celebrations at the Brightwater Commons in Johannesburg. It was good to see so many Indians in one place … mostly “desi” Indians .. if you know what I mean .. The program was nice … with performances by Local Indians here covering the culture and dance of Major Indian States … Lots of color and lots of lively music.

4. Avaniavittam: I had my first Avaniavittam in a foreign land. And I went off absolutely wonderfully. It was conducted by local Vadhiar Mama (Mahadevan Iyer). Thanks to him - I feel that it was conducted in such a detailed manner that I would rarely have such an experience even in India. I also had a peaceful Gayatri 1008 japam on the next day. Overall it was a peaceful experience.

5. Visit to the “actual” Rooftop Market at Rosebank: I have been to the African Craft Market before but I somehow had missed the rooftop market there every time I went there before. It was a wonderful experience. The place was bustling with activity and there were so many stalls selling all kind of stuff from craft to collectables to food items. I felt that that it was a nice way to pass sometime and pick up some interesting stuff …

6. Back to Back movies and other movies I felt like I should get back to college days where we used to go for back-to-back movies. So I was able to do that when I saw “Salt” and “We are Family” back-to-back. It was nice experience given both movies were decent and tolerable. Also saw some other movies … Aashaayen … Peepli Live … Grown ups … and some others.

7. Airtel Champions League Cricket matches: It was a wonderful experience as we went for couple of matches till now. One in Wanderers where I was able to see the God himself in flesh and blood… Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar. And he was playing so well … and when it was looked all well, he got out and some more quick wickets saw Mumbai Indian lose the match. Then I saw one yesterday .. Bangalore .. at Centurion it was also fun to see some big names again … Kumble, Dravid, Kallis apart from others. It was a one sided match which saw Bangalore getting to Gayana’s score in 11 just overs. We managed to get some autographs and not to mention photographs. Got one more coming up Chennai … Dhoni and his men .. lets see what they do.

A big event that is coming up .. which is going to culminate my stay in Johannesburg .. Is my forthcoming visit to Krugar National Park. I am now looking forward to that one.

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