Wednesday, April 21, 2010 the care of a Princess

April 1st ??

I'm in Jammu today via a overnight sleeper (should be, impossible-to-sleep-on) bus... as usual Inder screwed up the plans and we almost had to ride in a seat-only bus, but Khitish (from Orissa) arranged a bus (with efficiency and speed) and saved the day. All the Europeans were partying in our area at the back of the bus... I was exhausted from our "One Night Stand" show the night before (which went really good...we decorated the room and it looked very high techs even though it was completely hilariously low tech...the "taxi drivers" and 4 or their friends came and enjoyed the show...definitely a new exciting kind of art for them to experience!), so I curled up in the corner and tried to sleep but only got a bit of sleep...

Once we arrived at 4 am, there was a large sign welcoming Art Karavan to Jammu, but no one was at the hotel to let us in.... sooooo, an hour later, we fell into our rooms, exhausted... but I was so filthy and my shoes and jeans so disgusting that I washed my clothes and myself and put fingernail and toenail polish on to hide future dirt...

We went on a tour of some ancient palaces, forts and temples today... (more about it later... I'm too tired to even type much)... and in 1 1/2 hours we are going to some dinner/performance evening (I'm going to die trying to sit and watch a bunch of acts!!) However, the food and organization of this stop is best of the Karavan and the rooms are very nice and people friendly... Unfortunately, we're only here today and tomorrow and then take a 10-hour bus to Srinagar (in Kashmir on the Pakistani border) where we stay till the 12th...

The flowers here in Jammu and Shimla are like our spring flowers and the weather about the same, too, so I'm sharing your good weather feelings. This area actually looks alot like the Appalacian Mountains... and a lot of it is very wealthy (Punjab... where all "our Ohio" Indian business people come from) and obviously are WAY WAY ahead of the rest of India as far as putting together hotels, restaurants and gas stations... In Shimla they actually FINE people for littering and smoking on the street!! Unreal....most places don't even have trashcans anywhere!!


Didn't take the time to write up our Jammu experience, but in brief, we were treated to three days of royal treatment (literally!) by our hostess Jyoti Singh (granddaughter of Maharaja Singh who ruled the area until the '40s and Independence). So, technically, she's not a Princess, but she still owns? has access to? some of the royal houses/museums/etc...and is an artist.

During our whirlwind stay in Jammu, Jyoti provided the most delicious food yet during Karavan served at the royal palace turned museum along with music, entertainment and interesting people and conversation. (We were SUPPOSED to show our work, but since Inder didn't pass that info along in a timely fashion, few of us were prepared to present)

However, we got to know Jyoti and two of her good friends and artists, Manjari from Delhi (ceramics, paintings, saw wildly colorful photos of her house) and Vennu Shah, an interesting and articulate artist and person. they're going to be in Srinagar doing a workshop so we hope to see them again.

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