Java’s take on Indian music
Monday, October 9th in Uncategorized | No comments (Edit)

Had dinner with Jonathan Hollander and the cast of the ‘Battery Dance Company’ last night. Jonathan’s an old friend and is the Artistic Director (I do believe he is the founder as well) of the Company that celebrated thirty years of dance earlier this year. It was a nice reunion and the members of his troupe are all very cool and extremely friendly. The performance will be at the Bishop’s College auditorium on October 10 – that’s tomorrow – at 7.30 pm. There will also be a matinee performance at 3.00 pm at the same venue. Entrance is free, but you will need to get a pass – available at the American Center, or, if you have the good fortune to have a contact like the Dancer to get the one(s) you need – no problem. The Company will also be conducting dance workshops at the Dutch Burgher Union on October 11 and 12 – I’m not sure of the times, but a call to the American Center should sort it out for those of you who would like to participate. Thankfully, Java decided to give the dinner a miss, so things went very smoothly – until I got home, that is!

Heeey maaan! Dat was sooommme boring-ass dinner you were at tonight, huh? Ah reeealy felt like ah should com over an liven tings up a bit, but ah know where yo head be at, so ah stayed in da background and be checkin tings out.

That was so very considerate of you Java – thanks man! 

Sheeet maan, no problem bro. Ah ain’t gonna embarrass da shit outta you – da Dancer, she won ever forgive ma ass f ah do dat sheet – an I shuure don wanna make her mad wit ma ass – dig? But wen dose tree musicians star to play dat sheet – pretendin it be ‘Indian’ music – dats wen ah nearly burst tru an made mah appearance. Fuuuck maaan – dat shit get on Java’s nerves. Jus you imagine – one cat on geetar –geeetarr maaan, sheet! Indian music???? Den dat maan on flute – tootin like an amateur maan, an dat tablist – fuuuck!!!

Words failed him – I think. And it’s not often that Java is at a loss for words. Java’s a freak for Indian music – has been for a while. Likes to tell folk he is an ‘aficionado’ – says he likes the way the word sounds! 

Yo know how it be, right maan? Dat sheet don soun good to af-i-ci-o-naa-doos like uuus. How da fuuuck did yo handle dat sheet maan? 

I tuned them out. I was too busy rapping with Lydia and Mafaano. And Jonathan kept me occupied with his questions and his reminiscing. But I know what you mean man – they sounded …… well, like you said they did. 

Yo be right-on bro. An let me tell yo dis. Ah ain’t controlling maself no more f yo show up at dat so-called ‘Indian’ res-tau-rant, at dat ho-tel wit dat Sha Jahan buildin name. Food weren’t all dat bad, but…….sheet maan!!! 

I could see Java’s point – and his disapproval was penetrating – to put it mildly, so I decided to ‘let it be’.

Awrighty den. Let’s get dat sheet outta our heads maan and lighten up. What say? 

He gets out a bud and with his practised skill and his lightening touch, has one of his ‘specials’ all rolled, ready and between his lips in no time at all. A huge cloud of fragrant smoke pours out of his nostrils and mouth, obliterating his features for an instant. He passes it over and heads for the sound. I recognize the melody instantly. One of my very old favourites. Bismillah Khan’s shenai and V.G.Jog’s violin sound divine, as Mahapurush Mishra’s tabla accompaniment joins in to set the rythmn for Ragas: Midnight and Spring.  

Now yo hear dis maaan – some reeeal-ass Indian music.

Java takes a deep hit and lies back immersed in the beauty of the moment – and so do I.