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    All These Colors Tour: India Part 45

    Sunday, October 28, 2012
    Delhi, India

    A squalid back lane in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    Ramakrishna Mission auditorium in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    As usual, I got a really late start today, heading out of the Hotel Krishna around 5:30 pm. over to a concert I saw advertised at the Ramakrishna Mission, just West of the Main Bazaar in Paharganj. I arrived just in the nick of time to catch a performance by Sufi singer Janah Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, accompanied by a backup singer and two tabla players. Having never heard of the man before, I just showed up for lack of anything better to do, other than walk around and snap photos, like always. This Mukhtiyar man is a really talented singer with a light, soaring voice and a very happy, crowd-pleasing demeanor. He’s the total opposite of Pandit Pran Nath, a Hindustani classical singer with a very austere and severe voice, a teacher of the Kirana Gharana school, and one of my favorite vocalists of all time.

    Janah Mir Mukhtiyar Ali performs at Ramakrishna Mission auditorium in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    Carriers of the Green Sheet ply the back lanes of the Main Bazaar in Paharganj, Delhi, India.

    In a piece on Pran Nath, Alexander Keefe perfectly described the difference: “Some ragas are light-footed maidens dancing through springtime, at play on swings in the flowered groves along the Yamuna riverbank; Pandit Pran Nath’s are cremation grounds, the blue-black color of smoke rising softly from the smoldering log of a sadhu’s fire, the moon on the mountainside.” After about 45 minutes of Mukhtiyar, my stomach protested all of the colorful aural puffery and demanded to be filled, so I recalled that the Brown Bread Bakery has a location in Paharganj and headed over there for a plate of their delicious pasta and baguette slices. Afterward, I ran across two of those guys who carry around a sheet to collect donations while blasting tunes from a radio. I’m not sure what exactly the funds are for, but I contributed for the right to shoot a short clip.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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