TGI Shookravaar. (Thank God It’s Friday)
It was evening and I was up in my room with Joe when Michael came up telling us we had to come down quickly with our instruments, that he had been invited into one of the (slum) homes in the lane. With guitar and dulcimer in hand we strummed down four flights and out onto the street and then a two minute walk into a one room shelter. We had to crouch down to enter the small door and inside, a single bright light bulb illuminated dirty cloths hanging everywhere they could hang. Beds were stacked over each other, plus three bicycles which took up valuable space, rested near a small red fridge. Not much more personal possessions in this cave like dwelling were evident. Everything was dusty looking and cleanliness was not something that was being honoured there.
Mike sat on the floor with three young Indian boys. I can’t tell you their ages but somewhere between 12 to 16 and one young girl of about 10. Joe and I started up a song and we played it through for applause. Then they all wanted to strum the instruments, to which we were most obliging. One young boy asked me (non verbally) if he could put my dulcimer on is lap, which I let, and gave him my pick and let him experiment with the sounds while I soaked in the setting.
A young father walked in with a three month old baby in his arms. I stood up and stretched out my arms to hold the baby and he gently handed the child to me. It felt like I was holding air, the babe was so light. But she looked quietly, but intensely at the strange looking face with glasses and a beard and white skin smiling at her, trying to make sense of this apparition. Mike also asked to hold the child and it was passed to him. What a delight.
After letting the kids play for a while we left with this little spice of India in our hearts.
Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.