India 2016: Indian Superstars

I loved watching the attention that Derek and DaveRisner received. Each day, every day, a new group of people were mesmerized by these two interesting fellows.

Much like the last time when Derek and I toured India, it seemed all her people thought Derek was a movie star walking in their midst, obviously taking a break from his busy movie schedule. Whether he was standing amongst a throng of over fifty children high-fiving them in Udaipur, playing a traditional indian instrument winning the admiration of its owner outside the Fort Amer in Jaipur, getting doused with colour by hordes of men during Holi in Varanasi, or just acting like a boss driving a tuk-tuk, he owned every bit of his superstar status.

DaveRisner’s magnetism came from a different place. Completely disarming, he made friends everywhere he went. We would find anyone and everyone wanting to talk to him, cos he wanted to talk to them. Whether dancing in a club in Bombay, walking up the ghats in Varanasi, being accosted by salesman in Udaipur and Jaisalmer, touring Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, and meeting the fellow travelers during the Rickshaw Run, DaveRisner was giving out #FreeHugs to all. Not only was he interesting, he was always interested. And therein laid his magic.

As we were making our way back down the cobblestone streets to leave the Mehrangarh Fort in Jodhpur, we came upon two performers to our left playing the drums and a horn, singing what seemed to be traditional Rajistani songs. Derek took the opportunity to play the drums. DaveRisner took the opportunity to speak with the pretty Chilean women. After they were done and gone, I stuck behind to talk with the two performers. Our somewhat quick, but disjointed conversation centered around places of the world. Their affections immediately opened up once they realized I was originally from Kerala. Our time turned on a dime from Q&A to song, singing “kola veri”.

The actual meaning of the Tamil (the predominant language spoken in Tamil Nadu, the state just east of Kerala) word “kolaveri” means “killer rage” or “murder” but the intent of the word had been changed with a song from an old Tamil comedy where the meaning was flipped upside down to intend “why the killer rage?” i.e. “why do you want to hurt me? i’m a good person”… at least that’s how it was explained to me.

In any case, I was feeling it.
My head was groovin’ and soon shakin’ the Indian headshake.
How could I not?
I was being serenaded by two old Indian dudes.

“It’s a beautiful day!
Don’t let it get away!”

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