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Back from a refreshing concert-cum-sightseeing 5-day trip to Dubai.

First things first. We played a concert for Indian Fine Arts, Dubai on February 18th. The organizers took great care of us, and the event itself was very well put together. Full house crowd. The concert went for three hours. We were accompanied by senior local mridanga vidwan Sri Govindarajan and Sriraam Subbaraman, seasoned Kanjira player also residing in Dubai. As such wherever we do play, we like to present music that is completely classical, and it must be said that in Dubai the crowd was quite knowledgeable, and we did not need to dilute the contents of our presentation. Thank you Indian Fine Arts, Dubai for having us, and of course for the lovely flowers which stayed fresh for the rest of our trip in our room.

About the sightseeing, it was the usual stuff…Dubai Mall, Gold Souk, Museum, Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building), Burj Al Arab (where Federer and Agassi played a game on the helipad), the desert safari etc. The tremendously impressive landscaping throughout the city….green grass everywhere, flowers… do they do it in a desert? Mind boggling. And such clean roads. Also learned that the Dubai branch of a South Indian hotel had to shut down for sometime after the Dubai Municipality guys found a cockroach somewhere in the premises, and this was grossly below their hygiene standards.

What made the trip truly special was the fact that we were able to connect with old friends from music class and school, people we had not met for the last 15-20 years. Most of us reconnected over Facebook. And it was amazing, reliving old memories, chatting about the good old days. It was fantastic!

Posting some concert pictures here. Courtesy, again, a wonderful friend!

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