ASHTANGA YOGA IS 99 PERCENT PRACTICE....
and one percent Richard Freeman*
The Indian Independence Day Parade took place today -- four days after the fact.
It coincided with the Air and War, er Water Show, in which 'Merica's military might makes pretty patterns and scares ducks over Oak Street Beach.
I loathe the annual weekend-long ad for the military industrial complex.
They begin rehearsing on Thursday at noon, which involves flying directly over my house. It sounds like a war zone -- Iraq anyone? Afghanistan? Beirut? -- and windows rattle and the cat takes cover in the closet...where he's been ever since.
But this year things are different.
This year a pre-show radio broadcast at some beachfront restaurant resulted in the reconciliation of my favorite radio team of all time -- Steve Dahl and Garry Meier.
If you don't know who they are, well, you know who they spawned; Howard Stern and everyone who came after. Whatever innovations you may think they made, S & G, who teamed up in the late 1970's, were there first.
They broke up in 1993, and it was as hard to take as my parents' divorce. I knew both of them and talked to both of them about it (for one of my first post-college published articles, ever) and was utterly devastated.
They haven't really spoken since.
Due to a dispute over a contract (negotiated by his agent-wife) Garry broke up with his most recent partner, the conservative Roe Conn, in 2004. He's been off the air ever since.
Apparently he *just happened* to be eating at the restaurant where Steve was doing the remote, and decided to go over and talk. He stayed for the entire show.
I'm ecstatic. If this can happen, why, anything is possible.
For the Sun-Times' account of things go here.
To hear Friday's show, go to Steve Dahl's website.
Dorian Black and I went to the Indian Independence Day Parade today, since he lives a block away from Chicago's Little India and I'll use any excuse to dress up and have a dosa or two. I'd asked him to wear the blue khadi kurta I had made for him in Mysore, but apparently the pajama pants don't fit properly. So he wore the black and orange print button-down shirt I had made for him instead. I wore the blue outfit you see in my profile picture, complete with bindi, ankle bracelets, bangles, and a flower in my hair. Either my bindi was upside-down or I was pulling it off, because much staring was there... and later a man at the Palestinian bakery asked whether I was Indian or Pakistani.
"Neither," said I, rolling my eyes. "I'm Bangladeshi."
Dorian was using the cane because his hip has been hurting of late. He was not keen to stand around in the cloying humidity listening to the overamplified music with the subcontinental hordes who'd driven in from the suburbs, and I was craving chai. So we went into Sukhadia's Sweets. After getting the chai ($2.79 for two), he pointed to some stools facing the window. "We should sit there," he said. So we sat in the AC and sipped steaming chai and watched the parade. Awesome. We even had our own, nearly-private bathroom.
It was like watching a Cubs game at one of those rooftop clubs -- except the drinks weren't free.
There were green, saffron and white floats for banks and politicians and Muslims and Hindus and Methodists and politicians and banks and airlines and sweet shops and banks and politicians and people from Kerala and Punjab and a Sikh float topped by a large photo of fedora-sporting revolutionary Bhagat Singh.
At one point I heard my friend, the poet and activist Ifti Nasim, announcing something-or-other at the review stand. I ran to the door so I could go out to say hi to him -- and it was locked. I came back inside and noticed that the entire staff had disappeared.
"Oh, they all left to watch the parade," said D.
But when their float came by, it was empty.
And no, I did not dip into the pani puri or Mysore pak while they were gone.
One of the floats was for an upcoming Indian pop concert, and featured a bunch of young hipster guys in sunglasses jumping up and down. Apparently they were dancing. The float was bouncing like crazy, and it looked like it was about to collapse.
"That's a Frankie Goes to Hollywood disaster waiting to happen," I said, referring to FGTH's 1984 concert at Chicago's old Bismarck Theatre, where the crowd danced so hard the floor caved in.
"More like Frankie Goes to Bollywood," said Dorian, without missing a beat.
Maybe we should get our own radio show, too.
*Some background: Guruji is fond of saying that "Yoga is 99 percent practice, one percent theory," and Mr. Freeman is an excellent senior ashtanga teacher who holds many degrees and is incredibly well-versed in yogic philosophy.