Updated: Apr 12, 2020
A long train ride of several gastronomical delights and filled with interesting characters - followed by a foot-tapping show in Delhi where we debuted new songs from the upcoming album
Uttar Bharat Darshan Tour could well have been just a one off gig at the YP foundation birthday. But then thanks to the tenacious persistence of our managers we prefixed and suffixed a gig on either side and voila! We had a tour. Also unlike other Bangalore to Delhi by Rajdhani is a whopper of an experience. Chiefly gastronomical. How, you ask?
Well from the time you step in to the time you step off, you are either eating, drinking, preparing to eat, or preparing to drink. Honest. They stuff you with so much food and drink that you’re ready to burst when you reach your destination. Sample this: no sooner than you have settled in with your (tonnes of) luggage in the nooks and crannies of the compartment, you are handed soup sticks, butter, salt and pepper and a cup of tomato broth. Then they come round for seconds. The 3 course meal comes next. Breads, rice, chicken and a daal. Of course, a choice of dessert: ice cream or rasgullas. Take your pic. As you’re chomping through your main course, they come round asking if you’d like Upma or Omelets for breakfast the next day.
[Photo] One good turn... ... deserves another! The twists and turns of Indian Railways.
Naturally, they wake really early and are yelling ‘Chai Chai’ brandishing flasks of water (and tea bags, creamers, sugar, biscuits and toffees) in your sleep-ridden face at 7am. As you plow through the breakfast casserole, they come around asking if you wish vegetarian or non for your lunch. Its ridiculous. And thoroughly enjoyable. We met some nice people on the train, notable among them the Astrologer to an erstwhile Chief Minister, a Pandit named Shri Lakshman Prasad Shastry, of Vidisha (a small town near Bhopal) who was so taken by the impromptu jam in the coach that he swore we would be hosted at his home town in a show unlike any other where folks would come from 50 villages surrounding. We look forward to that!
Accommodation in Delhi was at the home of YP Dude-in-chief Zafar Khurshid, who Zuffered in silence has the Swarathma boys took over his home and hearth for the next three days. Constant supplies of Biriyani made its way into the innards of the band, while hapless household help tried their best to retain some semblance of order. But the hospitality was truly memorable, and we cherish the experience. Q’Ba was familiar territory and so was Yeashu, the sound-in-charge who had everything setup and lined up for us. It was a real pleasure working with him again, as it was working with his crew of boys who were always around to lend a helping hand.
[Photo] Bade Miyan Chhote Miyan - Epiphones before the Q'Ba Show
While the show itself was not exactly packed to the rafters, there was a smallish appreciative bunch who responded quite warmly to the three new songs we debuted on the tour “Ghum” (Lost), “Tibet” (an instrumental) and “Topi Walleh” (an ode to the Slimy Indian Politician).
The highlight was meeting a gentleman who is putting together a folk-music festival in Rajasthan. Fingers crossed, we’re desperate to be a part of it!