Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Kashmera's Show

We awoke and had breakfast in the courtyard of the old mansion. We were staying at the extreme North End of Goa. Kashmera was staying and performing at the very Southern tip of Goa, at the Intercontinental hotel. We decided to leave with our driver Alex for the day, drive towards the South and eventually arrive at the Intercontinental. We brought our best clothes with us so that we could take shower in Kash’s room and change before the show.

Goa is beautiful. It has lots of beaches, very quaint homes, lush jungles and mountains. On our drive towards the south we stopped in the capital city to buy some CD’s. Alex’s had a very nice jeep like vehicle with a great sound system and we listened to lots of Indian Music on our way. The journey took us through village after village.

We finally stopped at Historical Portuguese Museum. It was comprised of about 10 houses that have been restored. An apparently quite rich Goan not only sponsored the restoration but also has donated a huge collection of antique everyday items to the museum, which fills the homes with interesting items. The houses varied from a large mansion with a private chapel to home of a Brahman Priest. They all lived together in harmony.

Our guide was a very pretty Goan woman. She was excellent and was a delight to be with. At one point she showed us a wooden doll like wooden toy. It simulated two people having sex. This is the way that sex was explained to children. Our guide was probably about 25 years old. She was Christian yet she had an arranged marriage. The custom is for not only Hindus to have arranged marriages in Goa. She said that parents are very conservative and her mother had never had a discussion with her about sex. She had no idea what was happening on her wedding night. She now has a 5 year old daughter and plans to explain the facts of live to her. Progress is being made. She also said she divorced her husband who, she said drank too much. She would like to remarry but needs to find a man that will accept her daughter.

We continued our drive down toward the south of Goa. It was a several hour drive but very interesting. We finally arrived at the southern tip and the Intercontinental Hotel. We went to Kashmera’s room. She was about to have a rehearsal for her show, and we chatted for awhile until she left. We then showered and changed into our good clothes. Kash returned from the rehearsal and started to get ready for the show. She brought with her from Mumbai, a manager, a makeup artist and a woman that does her hair. We watched her get prepared. It was fascinating to watch as they applied her makeup. She has beautiful features to begin with and the object was to make her up so that under the glare of lights, her makeup won’t run and her features can be seen from the farthest table. It was fun to watch as different cosmetics were applied and glitter was attached to her eyelids. Finally a “Fix It Spray” was applied. While this was happening her hair was being worked upon. She was to have several changes of clothes and wigs in the show.

We all left her room, like an entourage heading to the venue and backstage with her. The show was outdoors with the audience at tables eating and drinking. The show was the highlight of a Bridgestone Tire rewards event. We got to see the Japanese Manager award the regional stores for the best performance. We cheered with the rest of the crowd as the Ahemdabad Good Fit Tyre won the championship and came to the stage accompanied by the ever popular hit: Jai Ho. It is amazing what some wine will do for you. We had lots of food to eat and watched the show.

Kashmera was the star of the show. She started out, as a disguised as a man in a review sort of looking like a worker in overhauls. She then took off the overhauls showing the real Kash. The audience (mostly men) went crazy as she danced her Bollywood numbers. She is a great dancer and everyone was taking pictures and movies of her. She did several numbers and at the end went into the audience dancing with the happy Bridgestone group. She definitely brought the audience to their feet. During the show it began to rain. We were in our nice clothes and just stayed outside and enjoyed the warm rain. In Bollywood movies there are always dance numbers where they are singing and dancing in the rain as their clothes get soaked. Here we were doing the same. It was like we were extras in a movie. Because it was warm we didn’t get chilled. After the show we thanked Kashmera, changed our clothes and headed back to Northern Goa, to our heritage accommodations. It was raining all the way, and our driver Alex was exceptional – no way would I drive at night in the rain in India. In fact I wouldn’t drive in the daytime if it was dry.

At night many cars and trucks don’t use their lights and the roads are narrow. It was quite the trip. We made it. Great day!

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