Saturday, January 29, 2005

atlanta snow day 2005: january 29, 2005

Finally, the wait is over. Given the strange weather favouring the lower markings on the temperature scale over the last few days, it was no real surprise to wake up today to a grey sky mirrored by snow -- adorning cars, the road. And a generous mix of ice, sludge and all else in between. Cold, too.

Felt nice to sit on the couch with a warm cup of instant coffee and watch Concert for George (the complete version). Eric Clapton makes the most endearing honest host ever! And his humility is evident from the way he generously lets every performer have the stage without any need for one-upmanship. The concert began with a three-part Indian-tinged performance: the first piece composed by Pt Ravi Shankar was wonderfully performed by Anoushka Shankar accompanied by Tanmay Bose on tabalaa (unfortunately, the West hasn't seemed to have mastered the art of miking a tabalaa). The second act was Jeff Lynne performing The Inner Light. The final act was another Ravi Shankar composition -- as I had feared/expected it was a fragmented best-of mélange/hodge-podge of the East and the West. The performance had a few interesting moments, and Anoushka Shankar's conducting (unfortunately) provided a few laughs. Among the Indian instrumentalists were familiar faces like Pt Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (the mohan viiNaa gets billed as "slide guitar" on the DVD credits) and Snehashish Mazumdar. The post-intermission session was packed with Harrison songs (and one Carl Perkins number). All nicely done. And the calm finale gave the proceedings the perfect icing. All this was mixed with wonderful shots of the interior expanse of the Royal Albert Hall. Which leaves me with the extras-loaded Disc Two.

Thanks to A and S who undertook the task of de-icing a car, I was treated to some interesting sights around parts of the city. The beauty of the ice and snow counterpointed the dangerous driving spots. As we parked outside San Francisco Coffee in the Highlands, we indulged in a little childish exercise of shattering the ice on the car and inundating each other with crumbs. A knowledge of physics helped me appreciate the spread of cracks from the point of impact. And later in the evening, I discover a new use for a cantaloupe (hint: more crack patterns).

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