Sunday, July 20, 2008
alight, digital or analogue, mela
In the heart of the nasturtium surely the sun is in residence.
On the radio I hear a presenter say: "...it's coming up to 8 minutes past nine". And I feel certain that she is watching a clock with hands rather than a digital clock. And I think how much I prefer the former, where you can see and more easily visualize the flow of time, to the digital clock which, shows only one point in time, at a time.
As I go out of the house this afternoon, I hear drums and chanting. The sound grows louder as I cross the Grove, and I guess that something is happening in Calverley Ground, the larger of the two parks in the heart of Tunbridge Wells. It is a mela. And the sounds I am hearing are "Four by Four Bhangra and Dohl drummers from northern India - Traditional bhangra dancing ... fused with Hip Hop," says the programme. What is a mela? I didn't know, but I do now, having, I admit, had to resort to Google to find out. It is a sort of fair, a gathering of people, maybe for religious, maybe for cultural or commercial purposes. It is a word of Sanskrit origin and is used in the Indian subcontinent, but only relatively recently in the UK. The programme, which the sponsors handed out did not explain the word, leaving the dancers and bands, the stage, the amplifiers and numerous stalls selling food from distant corners of the world to speak for themselves. "Celebrating the diversity of Tunbridge Wells through music food and dance" says the programme, which concludes with Bloco Fogo Samba from Brazil.