Saturday, February 21, 2009

A memorable Weekend in Bangalore

As long as I can recall Bangalore has always been the place where I spent some fun filled moments of my life and this last weekend in Bangalore was another one. I spent some great moments and that includes the Iron Maiden concert with Binny. I also spent time with Minu and Sanjeev. I was meeting Minu for the first time. Minu has been a loyal reader of my blog for sometime. She took me by surprise as I had no idea that she would be the little girl riding around in a Reva. Then there was JP my principal I have been visiting regularly since 2005, Benji my friend who moved several months ago to Bangalore from Chennai and of course Binny and family with whom I stay whenever I go to Bangalore.

The events in reverse chronological order.

But first the Iron Maiden concert. Being an audiophile I must say that I didn't like the sound of the concert. I first thought it was because Iron Maiden could have used equipment in India but then didn't they bring it with them on their plane. With three lead guitarists the wailing sounds only drowned each other. The lead solo's were not distinctly audible. My favourites "Alexander the Great" and "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son" weren't played but "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" a song that I like was performed. It was a joy to see the indefatigable and forever-smiling Steve Harris, the bassist with his one-of-a-kind bass sound, Bruce Dickinson the enthusiastic vocalist and Dave Murray one of the lead guitarist play their parts so well. Earlier Lauren Harris, Steve Harris's daughter performed with her own band but many in the audience were simply showing her the finger. Her bassist annoyed with the gestures reciprocated with obsence gestures at the crowds.

Other bands seemed just ok. Parikrama was the last band to go on stage before Maiden came on. They were surprisingly good particularly their vocalist but with seven or eight members they were too big for a band. Tabla and violin were lousy additions although the violinist seemed to strike a chord with the audience once. Vocalist also spoke well to the crowd about Iron Maiden.

By the way here is "Alexander the Great" being performed live by an Egyptian Heavy Metal band. A surprisingly very good live performance from the Egyptians who are performing in a closed hall. It is sad that I couldn't find even this clarity in the live performance in Bangalore. The classic song is such a difficult one but the Egyptians perform it outrageously easy. Just check the original with this one. The singer could have shown some more passion and professionalism and may not replace Dickinson but just check out the instrumentalists. The solo guitar piece which in the original was done with two guitarists is being done with one guitarist and accompanied by the drums and bass sounded just great. Even this clarity of audio that I see in this amateur handheld cam video I did not get at the concert.

Earlier that day I spent the morning and afternoon at Minu's place. Her husband Sanjeev was an interesting person too. Minu sang, cooked Aalu Paaranthas and conversed on so many topics that we never were running out of things to speak on. Best of all on the return trip she let me drive her Reva and it felt so good. The Reva is not so tiny or crammed-up as viewed from the outside.

The previous day at my Principal's place was so refreshing. It felt so happy meeting the 79 year old Mrs.Peters who had tonnes to tell me about teachers, school mates and other friends as much as I had to tell her. Her husband is 85 and what a joy he radiates from his personality.

Before visiting JP I shopped at S P Road. Binny was right. S P Road is Bangalore's equivalent of Ritchie Street in Chennai. Did I get the DVI-D cable I was searching for? You bed I did.

And what a joy to take the autos in Bangalore. Except for one everyone else used the Autorickshaw meter without any question or fare bargaining. Auto drivers are polite and don't mind if you don't have a rupee or two rupees less to pay if you run out of change. What to say then of asking more than the meter fare.

Meeting my friend Benji and his family in Ulsoor on Saturday morning was another joy. Being an avid "walker" (he averages 100 km per month) Benji has invited me for trekking later in May. Let me see if I can make it.

A memorable trip. For other pics and some interesting ones check out the side bar which will take you to the pics on Picasa.

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