Still very transitional, but settling in a bit. Today we move to a new hotel just down the street while we wait for our house to get ready. Another five days . . .
I’ve had two vocal lessons with Umakantji. They were superb. I was incredibly nervous for the first one and my singing was awful. I was out of tune and I even slipped out of the raga a few times, but I sang much better in the second lesson. He was really pressing me on intonation. The tuning precision of Dhrupad is just astonishing.
We have found a house and the good news is that it’s brand new and there’s an amazing pool and workout center/health club literally two doors down. That will be important for our family as physical fitness is a major part of our lives. The bad news is that the house is 18 kilometers from my teacher’s school. That means I’ll have to hire a driver. (No way am I driving here; too dangerous!) The commute isn’t ideal, but it’s a pretty smooth road, so only about a half hour. But we couldn’t find anything closer. At any rate, I’m looking forward to having an office space so I can get back to composing. I’m also looking forward to a more civilized practice space. I’ve been singing in the hotel bathroom for the past week. It’s clean, but still . . .
But other than the expected stomach troubles, we’re basically doing okay. The girls have been amazingly patient with all the shuffling around, etc. The general filth of the public spaces of much of India is still hard for me to take, even though this is my fourth visit. The private spaces are typically very clean, but the streets are just disgusting. It’s a complex problem, but living in a new, clean house in a nice neighborhood will help a lot in terms of dealing with it.