Saturday, April 03, 2004

Friday nights 

Friday evening. Expansive rooftop surrounded by coconut trees and neighboring terraces. Garlands of marigolds and candlelit stairs . Cushions and mattresses on floor, samosas and popadoms on low covered table. There is beer, also. And beautiful sunkissed happy faces enjoying the ragas a quartet is sending into the still night, the murmur of quiet talk and warm smiles rising into the soft air, as children weave in and out of the seated bodies and gentle contentment settles. After the band, the DJ conjures songs from decades recent and months past from his iMac as the beat pulses out of strong speakers and sweating dancing bodies move on straw mats for hours. Or what seemed like hours. Sweaty-haired and sated, we walk into the night a little before midnight, with broad smiles and tired limbs.

Friday night is the big "party" night for ashtangis, since their Saturday is the traditional day of rest. As such, preceding night lends itself to staying up a little later (10pm, woohoo!!), indulging a little more, eating a little heavier. I usually do, anyway. Last night was a going-away dinner at Tina's and a couple of movie screenings at student homes and also the Greek couple's last night in town. How quickly their three weeks passed. We had late-night snacks and beer at the Green Hotel and watched the thunderstorm approach and arrive and drove back in another downpour. By eleven. One thing about the rain I've seen, thus far: it lasts for a while. I kind of expected it to pour and then depart, much like it does in Greece on the rare occasion that it does deign to rain. Here, it has lasted sometimes hours and into the morning. Invested in a 250 Rupee skyblue rainsuit from Krishna Tailor's (tailor who has been sewing and creating and recreating clothing for students since the old neighborhood, who brought his livelihood to Gokulam when the shala moved), which I keep under the seat of my moped, Mr. Scooty.

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