Archive for the ‘Kharagpur’ Category

After the Madness-Poetry and Love

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

Wedding Arch

After the party/concert at IIT we walked back to the Alumni House where we were staying and were welcomed by a beautiful wedding arch. The last guests were leaving the function room. We were excited to see an Indian wedding but almost all the people were gone.

As we were leaving we met a gentleman dressed in normal street clothing. It turned out he was the father of the bride who had already returned home and changed. The happy couple was eating privately in a back room now that the guests had left (I guess for the couple the party is for socializing not eating!). He wanted to introduce us to the couple and we asked him not to disturb them after such a long day. They must have been tired.

The conversation turned to his passion, writing poetry. He had spent most of his life studying and then teaching physics and math (at IIT) and in his retirement was dedicating himself to poetry. Inspired by Shelley, Tagore and Frost he had published a full volume of poetry and he wanted to give it to us. He asked if we could stay here for a moment and rode home and back to give us his book. We were so honored that he would spend so much time with us on such a special night.

with the poet - Shyamal Chakrabarti

He wanted his book to make the journey to the States but not in an envelope. His desire was to share it and we were happy to oblige.

autographing - "The Grasshopper's Dream and Other Poems"

His poetry is clever, humorous, imaginative and full of metaphors and stories. It opens with a moving tribute to his deceased sister:

You came and yet you eluded us. And as if to tell this truth, you left before our very eyes casting a fleeting shade. I will never know if your diffidence was feigned or real; for your brisk steps on the grass spread sadness all around. Raindrops, then, were trickling down the tree leaves, and the forest was wet with heavenly tears as you vanished gently into the moist air to no one’s great alarm.

Our conversation lasted long enough for us to catch the newlyweds as they exited their first meal as husband and wife!

Newlyweds in Kharagpur!

Mazel tov!

Mazel tov!

Kharagpur-Jan. 21, 2010

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The longest train platform in the world!

Kharagpur is a small town that is famous for the longest train platform in the world and their world renowned technological university IIT (Indian Institute of Technology). One person explained it this way “it’s like Harvard, MIT and Caltech (Academic home of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory) put into one school!”


Crowd Crush as the doors open

All those brilliant young people, studying, studying, studying, stuck in a small town, wanting a release from their serious, intense, all consuming work…what could be better than a festival?…a festival with music and dancing!!!

Pandemonium was the word from the beginning of the night as the crowd crushed its way in as the doors opened. They were rowdy and having lots of fun! The party was just starting on the first day of the festival – which, by the way, is one of the biggest at a school in all of India (told to us proudly by the organizers).

Student hosts at IIT

When Gilad asked them to get up and sing and dance, that what they did – and with such gusto!

Gilad on stage - with drum...that's a festival!

Gilad put his loop machine on so he could be free to go up to the audience and get them dancing…

The view from the stage

Once Gilad got out there it was hard to stop him (actually nobody tried!). Girls were blowing kisses, dudes were dancing and all hell broke loose when he leaned over and started doling out kisses, hugs and high fives.

Ah yes, rock and roll…oops, I mean jazz in India!

Check out this video to get a picture of ┬áthe fun we had in Kharagpur…I especially like the headless dancing Gilad at 6:40!

Here are some of those screaming, happy people:

Leaving Kharagpur: