Street Rhythm in Mysore: The Maharaja’s Birthday

Getting to a city tired and sleepy, feet dragging, grabbing a morning chai, no points of reference… Eyes open, bust station, wow! No points of reference, nothing…The eyebrows are heavy and the city is a busy, grey, no contrasting normality. Mysore is moderately frantic, moderately colorful and busy… until a certain extent. Sipping the chai, speaking to my buttons, trying to solve IT problems and such, trying to place myself… Thoughts and time drag, swung by the tedious regular honking of the Indian traffic tradition. That’s when it hit me… The first time was just a whisper. It became a rattle and grew, all bold and intense. It became noise and defined itself into rhythm. This raw, untamed rhythm that invaded the once monotone arteries. Then it gathered with color. I remember jumping outside and spiked by that spectacle in front of me, I just dove… There was a crowd outside, chanting and dancing frantically, like hyperactives in New Orleans. Looking around me, there were colorful people in drag, clumsy giant puppets, that grooved in a ruminating, slow groove and other shy voyeurs… Took my camera, and dove. I bring you the result. A stranger walks into town and the city flash mobs him. That’s how I felt. I didn’t resist, went with the flow and danced the steps the drums taught me. It was the Maharaja’s birthday, they told me. Well, congratulations Maharaja, I think I’ll just enjoy your surprise…


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