Chennai: Concerts, Coffee, Chaos

I’ve been in Chennai for a week already, and am settling into a groove now that the jet lag has passed. Pictured above was my first (and certainly not my last!) South Indian coffee, which I had with breakfast the first morning I was here.

I have a simple room in Mylapore (with reliable wifi, which is nice), and have been walking the streets of the area every day, trying to get familiar with the roads and the landmarks and the general vibe. Chennai is a typical bustling Indian city, with ridiculous traffic and a chaotic assortment of almost everything, but it also has a strange fondness for rather imposing concrete flyovers which loom over several of its main roads.

I’ve been following my teacher (Prof. Sankaran) around to all his concerts, carrying his drum when needed, and am consistently amazed at his strength and stamina playing these epic shows, especially considering he turned 75 this year! The concert last night, for instance, was almost 4 hours long! And the one tonight was a more typical length of 2 1/2 hours – and that’s continuous, as there’s no intermission.

When I’m not exploring the city or spending time with the guru, I’ve been up on the roof of my homestay practicing. It feels good to be back in India…