It has been an insanely long time since I have posted on this blog from India, and there are probably some readers who are used to frequent posts from me wondering if I have caught malaria, dengue fever or a bad case of Delhi Belly. Quite honestly, there were moments I asked myself the same thing. But apart from a general feeling of fatigue and another cold – after Korea -, the silence on this blog has had nothing to do with any of those things. It has had to do with my situation in Delhi, however.
The race track that hosts the Formula One race that I cover for my newspaper is so far out of downtown Delhi where my hotel is located, that it requires in general an hour and a half trip at best to get from door to door. And the only viable method of doing that trip requires taking a metro and a shuttle bus provided by the circuit for journalists. The last shuttle left Delhi every day at 9:00 AM, and that meant me getting up at 7 AM in order to exercise, eat, prepare and take the metro to the shuttle. The return shuttle left at the earliest from the track at 19:15 PM. That meant a huge full day.
Added to that, I had a workload in my job like none I have ever had before. It is an accumulation of six races in eight weeks and also a special report consisting of eight stories by me that was due today and will be published at the end of this week for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. All of this meant that the usual intrepid adventurer that I am decided to buckle down into a life consisting of the usual journalists’ excitement of: Racetrack, metro, shuttle, hotel room. No more.
Having said that, I continued to look and ask about music venues in Delhi, and as far as I could see, there was nothing for me from last Thursday until yesterday. No open mics or open jams, and no likely or obvious venues where I could gate crash. So it was that I accepted my fate for once of living a one-dimensional life.
Still, I was incredibly pleased and lucky with having managed to get to the Turquoise Cottage jam session last Wednesday on my first day in Delhi – despite my flight related exhaustion. And this morning, just when I thought I will have failed to play again in this city and had for the first time failed in a remaining challenge or two that I had set myself this year… I learned that the other branch of the Turquoise Cottage is holding its own Rabbit Session of jam and open mic tonight.
So I am intrepidly running off tonight to see if I can find this new place, take part, eat, play myself and hopefully with others, and then get another half night’s sleep before taking off to Abu Dhabi tomorrow. Can I feel anymore ecstatic about the Turquoise Cottage bookends to my India trip than I do at the moment? No way! Let’s see how it works out tonight. I have no idea when I will be able to get access to a good internet connection to report the results, but I hope it will be tomorrow night in Abu Dhabi. If not, it will be Thursday….