|Rajashree Gore & I on the T2 terminal of the |
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport
Just two weeks prior to this referendum, I happened to be in Scotland for a programme organised by the Marathi Mandal of Scotland, Glasgow on the account of their Ganesh Festival celebrations. I had been to Scotland once before but only for a brief period of two days.
Rajashree Gore, talented singer and colleague was accompanying me on this trip. Our Emirates flight was to Glasgow with a brief halt at Dubai.
I was aware of the general unrest brewing in Scotland due to my previous trip to Aberdeen last year. At the time, I was told by the Marathi speaking Scottish citizens that Scotland had a party called the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) which they had interestingly compared with Raj Thackeray's MNS.
This time around the atmosphere in Scotland was definitely politically charged with houses, establishments sporting a 'YES' or a 'NO THANKS' sign on their facades. I am kicking my leg for not taking at least one picture of the boards. I do pride myself on being politically aware but missed out the significance of such a vital photograph.
|A Street in Aberdeen|
The next day Mr Shinde took us for a drive to Inverness, a scenic town to the northwest of Aberdeen. Following are some of the pictures that I clicked in and around Inverness.
|On the way to Inverness|
|Vishwas Shinde, Rajashree and I in Inverness|
|The River Ness in Inverness|
Scotland is extremely serene. If you allow yourself the luxury of not thinking, you can virtually experience time stopping. We stopped by this lake and that is exactly the feeling that I got.
|A lake in Scotland|
Our next visit to Scotland was to Urquhart Castle, which is again a glowing symbol of the fierce Scottish National pride. Read the wikipedia article on Urquhart Castle to know more about it. One is compelled to compare their preservation of monuments with ours. And even the serene atmosphere for a minute disturbs us, when we think about the irreverence we show towards our national monuments.
|Even the remains and the ruins are well cared for.|
|The Lonely Bagpiper (Catch the video below)|
What fascinated me at the Castle Urquhart was the presence of a sole bagpiper playing a melancholy tune. I took a video on my iphone. I think one of my best candid catches of the trip.
|Prashant Kurle's depiction of Ganapati as Sir William Wallace.|
|Performing in Glasgow|
We returned to Glasgow to give our performance. The programme was titled Eka Sangeetkarachi Mushaphiri (Wanderings of a Music Composer). Among other songs, I talked about the Marathi Abhimaangeet. There were no native Scots in the auditorium and yet as I spoke about the song, I got the feeling that the desire to sustain and preserve a language and a culture sometimes overtakes economic compulsions and is a much more powerful emotion. It would be a serious mistake to disregard or even dismiss emotions as being irrational or illogical. Sanity does not always reside in logic. As Alfred North Whitehead so rightly puts it.
"Logic is the soul of wit, and not wisdom. That is why wit is so funny."
|After the performance with Dhananjay Modak and Rajashree Gore|
The Marathi Abhimaan Geet received a rousing response in Glasgow. People rose to their feet to clap and some of them had tears in their eyes. There were a few Scottish technicians in the auditorium. I wonder if they could identify Marathi Asmita with the Scottish Asmita!
The next day we travelled to the Scottish highlands and also took a tour of a Scotch distillery - Glengoyne. Apart from the signboards of YES and NO, THANKS, nothing reminded us of politics.
|The Glengoyne Distillery|
|At the Glengoyne Distillery|
|The Scottish Highlands|
|With Rajashree Gore & Joe Walters|
As my friend Yashodhan Gokhale wrote on his facebook wall, not a single bus is burnt, there is no sign of slightest of violence even in face of such politically charged atmosphere.
That is a sign of political maturity. I wish we displayed at least a fraction of it. Perhaps we will someday.
Looking back I feel that we live in interesting times and are witnesses of some great history unfolding. The only hitch is that we are not aware of it. The awareness might turn us from witnesses to those who shape history albeit in a small or even miniscule manner. On a personal note, the trip to Scotland reiterated my belief that music travels beyond the realm of entertainment.
© Kaushal S. Inamdar, 2014