Monthly Archive for September, 2011

Rosario & Alan – Delhi, plegaria insomne.

“Delhi, plegaria insomne” means “Delhi, sleepless prayer”. Here are three poems in Delhi settings (one in Spanish & two in Hindi with Spanish subtitles), enjoy!

(If you can not see this video, try this version here).

Alan Meller & Rosario Concha are the first ever Chileans to study at Indian Universities at post-graduate level; Rosario recently completed her Masters in Sociology at Jawarhalal Nehru University, Delhi, while Alan is still working on a Ph D at Delhi University, comparing  modern Indian & Spanish Literature.

They are not your ordinary University students! It took them years, applying from Santiago, to be accepted at these prestigious Indian Universities.

I was fortunate to meet Alan & Rosario in Vashisht Village, a place they visit regularly, taking the long winding road up into the Himalayas from Delhi.

Alan Meller wrote: “Maybe I would include two references about this video.  One is that we worked  (production, camera, sound and editing)  with the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts and Communication (New Delhi) and the other, that the two poems written in Hindi (the one in the temple and the one given in paper in Jama Masjid) were translated by two teachers from Delhi University”.

(poems/video copyright Alan Meller & Rosario Concha 2011).

(music from the film Delhi-6 copyright Tseries Music ).


Jama Masjid (Wikipedia) “The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (the ‘World-reflecting Mosque’), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1628 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road.

Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication New Delhi “Started in 2003, the Sri Aurobindo Centre for Arts & Communication (SACAC) is an autonomous non-profit institution for creative learning in arts and communication. We are a unit of Sri Aurobindo Society, Puducherry”.

Delhi University (Wikipedia) “is a central university situated in Delhi, India and is funded by Government of India. Established in 1922, it offers courses at the undergraduate and post-graduate level”.

Jawarhalal Nehru University (Wikipedia) “also known as JNU, is located in New Delhi, the capital of India. It is mainly a research oriented postgraduate University”.



Paul Leake & Kailash Ray Interviews I of III

Video interview with Paul Leake & Kailash Ray, Part I of III; interviewer Arthur Mandelbaum; Phuket, Thailand, July 2011,  length 19:24. Tabla Paul’s account of how he became a student of North Indian Classical music, who his teachers were and where he studied.

Samsara is time devouring. Everyone is busy and has obligations. It was difficult to find the time and a conducive place to interview Tabla Paul and Kailash Ray for The Flower Raj and for posterity.  The perfect circumstances for them to tell the stories of how they became musicians in the North Indian Classical tradition manifested in July 2011 in Phuket, Thailand.

I interviewed them with the small hand held Flip HD Camcorder. The voice behind the camera is mine, a long time friend of all involved.

The video has three sections. Part I (this video)  is Tabla Paul’s account of how he became a student of North Indian Classical music, who his teachers were and where he studied.

Part II will be Kailash Ray’s story of how he came to the sarod  (a lifetime love affair), who his teachers were and where he studied.

Part III consists of repartee between Tabla Paul and Kailash Ray evoked by the ‘audience’  member Sitar Andy, who was there at the beginning [the 1960s] as well.

Paul was still recovering form a serious thumb injury and Kailash Ray’s sarod was in need of repair at the time of the interview. Hopefully, a video of them playing together as well as more stories will be forthcoming. ( by Arthur Mandelbaum 2011).


Tabla Paul Leake playing with Michael Bocian (audio with images).

The Flower Raj Original Music Sampler listen to Tabla Paul & other original music tracks (audio playlist).

Tara Bir Singh – “Nepal Sitar” (Amazon USA).

The Mind’s Ear, Larry Porter Tabla Trio (Paul Leake on tabla).

Uday Shankar Wikipedia.

Pandit Kamalesh Maitra (Culturebase).

Pandit Kamalesh Maitra (Amazon CD).

Mahapurush Mishra (Magic of Juju)

Pandit Jnan Prakash Ghosh (Wikipedia).

Ustad Keramat Khan (sadly no links found).

Ballygunge (Wikipedia).


La Vallée des Dieux

Goshale Village Houses - Maisons traditionelles de la vallee de Kullu.La vallée de Koulou (KULU) en Inde se trouve au pied du Haut Himalaya, à une altitude qui varie entre 1300 et 2500 mètres. La rivière Béas y serpente entre des forêts de cèdres, de chênes verts et des vergers de pommiers, ces derniers étant la richesse de ses riverains, après le tourisme. Le climat y est agréable, semblable à celui de la Provence. Sa population est une des ethnies les plus originales de l’Inde, avec ses villages disséminés dans les montagnes et ses cultures en terrasses. L’été, en plus des pommes, on y trouve le riz que l’altitude a rendu rouge, le maïs et les haricots, rouges eux aussi ! En hiver, il y a la neige qui ensevelit l,orge et le blé déjà plantes.!

Vashisht Village in WinterDans le creux de cette vallée, il n’est pas bien difficile de quitter les grands centres de tourisme comme Manali, , un petit chef-lieu au climat tempéré. Il attire de nos jours des millions de touristes indiens pendant les vacances scolaires du pays, en mai et juin, ainsi que pas mal d’étrangers. Mais le dépaysement n’est jamais très loin : il suffit de faire de courtes randonnées sur les chemins pédestres traversant des forêts magnifiques pour se retrouver au cœur d’une tradition millénaire caractérisée par une population au langage particulier. Nous sommes, en effet, au milieu d’un croisement d’ethnies : indo-aryennes, aryennes et mongoloïdes. Ces derniers sont descendus au cours des siècles des hauts plateaux himalayens, limitrophes de la vallée par le nord, l’ancienne partie ouest du Tibet.

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