Saturday, August 27, 2005
My favorite town for the way buskers are almost official is London that has areas marked for them at some underground station, though with the bombs and terrorists, perhaps that won't last very long! They would never corss the metal detectors.
Last night we went to buskers festival. This annual festival is held in Ferrara, about 50 km from Bologna, and it brings street artists from all over Europe and sometimes from beyond, to be treated as artists and not just persons trying to earn a living. Ferrara is a beautiful city and the Estense castle in the city centre is a jewel. The whole central part of Ferrara has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO.
For four hours we went around, every ten meters there was a different artist and the city was teeming with tourists. A mother and daughter duo from France, a group of Spanish girls singing and dancing flammenco, magicians and clowns, dancers from Brazil, trios playing classical music, jazz artists, tarroc card readers, and even a girl who claimed to tell your future by looking in your eyes and had a long queue of persons waiting to look in her eyes. It was impossible to see all of them, there were so many.
The pictures below are from Ferrara visit yesterday.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Marco wants to send a rakhi to his girl friend. I explained to him that it wouldn't be right. No, he said, it won't be a normal rakhi that a boy gets from his sister, it will be something else, something very special.
Shweta telephoned and said that I will get my rakhi next time we meet. Perhaps, this is good, not just celebrating a festival but accepting the spirit behind it, and it does not really matter when we actually do it.
In our Indian association of Bologna, we are already used to this. Holi and Deewali are celebrated according to the availability of the hall, possibly around the actual dates that these festivals are being celebrated in India, but if that is not possible, we are not unduly bothered!
Manish, Sonia's husband, will be coming here on 24 September. Cynthia and Aniket (Mithoo) say that they might plan a holiday in Italy.
All the pictures are from Riju's visit to Bologna & Venice last month.
Monday, August 15, 2005
A cold rainy morning
It is already two weeks since Riju came. From his computer, I took some pictures of Vidhu dada, Preeta bhabhi and Srishti. I have never met Preeta bhabhi and Srishti and this is the first time I saw them in pictures properly.
There is another news. Bukul, who is now living in Australia, is planning to get married to Toni in March 2006 and settle down in Bangalore.
This has been a long weekend for me since 15 August is a national holiday in Italy (it is some religious festivity linked to Madonna). On Saturday, I was in Rimini with my friend Mariangela. Yesterday, our friends in Bologna, Rajesh and Shweta, came for lunch. Finally today I am alone. It should be a day of complete relaxation and I am going to watch Parineeta. There is no need even to cook since enough is leftover from yesterday for today's lunch and dinner. Tomorrow, Marco and Nadia will be back. They have gone to Bibione for a week.
Tony, Madhu didi and Satish in Hydrabad
Preeta bhabhi, Vidhu dada & Srishti in Belapahad
Riju, Marco and Brando in Bologna
Saturday, August 06, 2005
Little monkey with the mother
Watching Cortona from the base of the 700 meters high hill is like looking at a little monkey holding on tightly to mother's tummy, afraid of falling down. The houses look as if they are going to come crashing down on your head any time. Walking around in the town gives a strange feeling as if I am a monkey moving around at the top of trees. In between the houses, I can see the empty space and the far away valley below.
I was there only for a day for a meeting. We arrived late at night and slept in a monastery. Early in the morning, I woke up and decided to take a look at the city before the meeting started. In the main square of the city, a flock of English tourists was waiting for their bus. In the square in front of the municipality, there was a big card-board piece of water melon for a festival later in the day. In fact, all Italian cities seem to be busy with summer festivals. The thing that I liked most about Cortona was looking at the stairs going up and down, ending in small dead-ends or finishing at the edge of the hill into nothingness.
Once the meeting started, there was no break till very late in the night and then we started back our journey to be back in Bologna.
Riju went back on last Sunday but it seems a long time ago. Time seems to rush past so quickly. I did manage to complete a Hindi story recently - Tumhara Patra. It is influenced by American writer Pat Conroy, who writes about tyrannical fathers and children who carry the scars of their childhood in their souls, never really coming to terms with them.
The water melon for the summer festival of Cortona
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