Drumming It Up
When it’s humid and hot out the mrdanga drums don’t always play so well, especially the large side of the drum. It could end up being very slack. The djembe are, however, more hail and hardy, so I asked one of our resident monks to fetch my own, just in case the Bengali mrdanga drums are not up to snuff and are too few and far between.
My concern for music was to provide for the Festival of Chariots, this is kirtan, totally outdoors. And sound did bounce off the high rise walls quite successfully as the temple domed chariots rolled down Yonge Street. My voice was microphoned, drums played in perfect time. I couldn’t resist using an old tune from the 70’s sung by an African American, Dinanath.
In their royal ride, the deities of Krishna, his brother Balarama, and sister, Subadra, as usual, made a strong presence, each lavishly adorned on their respective chariot. Unique about this day is the walking that all the comers are obliged to take on Yonge Street as they yank simultaneously on thick ropes attached to one chariot.
Once reaching Queen’s Quay, the waterfront street, the procession culminates to merge with Festival of India held on Centre Island which is just a piece of heaven. Wish you were all here.