[Camping near Kahjaraho, we experienced an amazing sitar recital in the tree-lit gardens of a “posh” hotel which thrilled me. The sound of a lone piper coming out of the dark in the mild Indian night to start the concert, stirred my Highland blood. It was a “highlight” – as was using the “superb toilet” in the hotel afterwards!]
SATURDAY 11TH DECEMBER, 1976 – Part Two
“At about 6 o’clock we trooped into village (dark by now) then got cycle rickshaws (tricycles) down to posh hotel – Chandalla Hotel. In the grounds there was a sitar recital. Little platform or terrace in middle of lawn with trees around – lit up; chairs on 3 sides and small table covered in cloth on 4th side where sitar player and drummer sat. In front was a boy with an earthenware pot and beside him was a low ivory inlaid wooden table with bowl of pink flowers. Behind them all were lovely pink flowered bushes.
Manager announced waiter who played great tunes on his pot – made about 3 different sounds. Then silence and gradually a pipe was heard growing louder across the field – really beautiful; then the young waiter appeared playing his pipe and stood by the side of the others (tractor chose same moment to trundle by! In fact added to the countryside shepherd effect of the young piper). A great highlight for me.
Then the piper and drummer played together. Afterwards the sitar player and drummer played together – superb Indian sounds – musician sat in yoga position – his whole self seemd to be put into performance. We went up to them afterwards and looked at sitar and played the drum.
Went into hotel when finished and used superb toilet! Only Chris and Nikki stayed there to drink! Rest of us walked down to the village and sat outside a restaurant – very pleasant – Sally and Mark had competition to see who could eat the most. Looked on enviously.
(Rickshaw boys rode beside as we walked back, asking us to try riding them. Worried when found out Di wasn’t married).”