“So will you relocate to Delhi?”
Our friend asked before seeing us off after our three-day stay and attempt to explore the Delhi urban sprawl.
The trip was no means a recce of Delhi, though we were relatively open to re-look at Delhi with a fresh pair of eyes. (But relocation is not in cards for sure.)
The Delhi versus Mumbai question has been a good fodder for profound debates and bar sprawls. From as profound as ‘Delhi has History, Mumbai has Civilisation’ to as mundane as ‘the size of my toilet in Delhi is same as the total size of your 1-BHK flat in Mumbai’. Bar sprawls should indeed be for better reasons.
Nevertheless, the point here is not about Delhi versus Mumbai. This was just a weekend break, catching up with friends, soak into some history/art/culture/music offerings, sip some beer, and have good food. And when it comes to performing arts and cultural offerings, perhaps Delhi scores over Mumbai.
So when another friend suggested the World Percussion Festival at Nehru Park for the first evening, it sounded perfect. The day was planned around that.
Nehru Park had a fine festival ambience with many curios and artefacts stalls around. Before the actual performance started, local musicians entertained the crowd with their drums, even inviting people to participate. Clowns and stilt walkers amused children.
World Percussion Festival was organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and supported by Times of India. The lineup was bands from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Belgium (and Israel and Russia for the next day). Though we enjoyed Ravi Bandhu band from Sri Lanka, the DDS Belgium was a bit let down. Single set of instruments can be monotonous.
The Indonesia team was a fairly interesting ensemble with a range of traditional instruments, but then the evening drizzle turned to a shower.
Soon it was raindrops playing percussion on the plastic sheet that covered the video-shoot equipment area. And people scrambled to find shelter from the unseasonal rain. Our hostess had thoughtfully carried umbrellas and we spend a few more minutes trying to admire the Indonesian performance but were back on our feet soon to our next hangout—a Himalayan restaurant.
Glimpses from the festival at Nehru Park.