A newbie in South India

Madame and I have just returned from a two-week adventure in South India, mostly in Kerala. When I say ‘adventure’ it’s not like we were backpacking or in any way roughing it. And South India is a lot easier for first timers like us than the north. But still it felt like an adventure to us. Even being on the roads in India (with an expert driver) qualifies for the word ‘adventure’ and a few other words besides.

It was a fascinating trip and we met nothing but kindness, great service and warmth from people everywhere.

Here are a few scenes from the trip.

I’ve always liked Indian music since the first time I heard it (courtesy of George Harrison on Sergeant Pepper) but never really understood the rhythmic and melodic structures. I thought it would be nice if, during the trip, I had the change to meet musicians and maybe get a small insight but wasn’t that optimistic about it happening. However after speaking to the house band in our hotel in Kochin, our last stop, I found a tabla player who gave me three lessons. A demanding but patient teacher, and a highly skilled player since childhood, meeting Ravish Shet was a treat that rounded off the holiday in a way I’d never have dared to expect. During the second lesson someone nearby produced a guitar and I was able to jam with Ravish. We left with the promise he’d play tablas on some recordings for me. As a goodbye he let me record a short, breathtaking, improvisation.

For my first time in India it was an amazing trip. If you’d like to explore any more here are a few links:

1 thought on “A newbie in South India”

  1. Glad you had a great time in India. We have never used a tour company – just the Rough Guide, the internet and the phone.

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