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Travel Blog-Day 10

This is a blog about my 36-day trip through Nepal, India, and a little bit of China.  I’ll make one post roughly every week until it’s all finished.

Day 10: Varanasi

I saw the guy who helped Rob from Cambridge get his room.  He told me after I left, he brought him food and Rob was just gone.  He hadn’t seen him since.

Existential disconnect!

I was invited today to go to the house of and meet Dr. V. Balaji.  He is the chair of the music department at Benares Hindu University.  Very interesting home.  His “studio” is a puja room.  Dr. Balaji has a large number of shrines in this room, most of which are to Kali-the Destroyer.  He kept talking full blast, with a mouthful of paan.  I couldn’t understand most of what was being said.  He had the usual blather about music expressing emotions.  To “prove” it he sang. Dr. V. Balaji says this is sadness and sings, and then Dr. V. Balaji says now this is happiness and sings more.  He proved the Buddhist concept of “Emptiness” to me, or the Stravinsky statement that “Music expresses nothing.”  Nothing he sang sounded like it was expressing what he was saying.  I’m certain it did to him, and probably to most Indian musicians it would’ve too, but to a Westerner not brought up in that culture, why would it?

Categories: Travel
  1. December 6, 2011 at 10:26 PM

    Hi Ken Walicki, Thanks for telling about your tip to Nepal and to Varanasi. God bless you.

  2. Goofyfoot
    December 4, 2011 at 10:29 PM

    I’m just assuming that there wasn’t even a guitar to be found. Why is it that whenever people start to explain a subjective attachment that they have towards their artwork, that it always comes off as being frothy? I like hearing Roma street musicians and each time, there is typically a fiddler along with an accordionist so I contribute around 2 euro’s. Anyway, I personally might have seen this Indian doctor musician whole situation as being somewhat comical. I’m learning to play the alto recorder.

  1. December 11, 2011 at 5:03 PM

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