Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Emerald Isle Diaries - 9

It’s my last evening at the Isle and this is the last post from the Isle. But this isn’t the last page from the diary. I have to write a few more pages on it and that will happen from India.

The good friend arrived much later than the expected time due to some technical snag with the aircraft. And, as usual, much has happened since then. Planned, unplanned and foiled plans. Let me tell you about a couple of them.

Friday evening brought in a major experience of the ‘Rock’ side of Sri Lanka. Chaga took us to meet some of her friends who are into ‘real rock’ music and the two of us were delighted way beyond our expectations. She had mentioned about it earlier and I had thought it will be a bunch of guys having some fun together. What we experienced was a bunch of highly professional and accomplished musicians inside a dark and great sounding studio, having some fun together.

The band is called ‘Sage Merlyn’ and it consists of 3 fat and happy brothers. One with his awesome throaty (Louis Armstrongish) vocals, another at the lead guitar with extremely some extremely taut guitaring and the third one at the keyboards. When we waked in, they had just started playing a solid rock rendition of ‘Sandman’ (America), which is originally on the softer side. As the evening unfurled, guys kept joining them on different instruments and it became one long trip for everyone who was present there, including us. The famous Sri Lankan Arrack in the red color case kept going down our throats as the atmosphere kept going high.

They sang their renditions of some great tracks but what bowled me over completely was how they turned a sentimental number like ‘Diamonds and Rust’ (Joan Baez) in a powerful rock number. I’ve never been to a better night-club in my life. A couple of hours later, I had joined them on vocals for a few numbers by Cat Stevans and the personal favorite ‘Dust in the Wind’ (Kansas).

The early morning trip to Sigiriya Fort and Minnariya Tank (a natural reservoir) forced us to leave the music and those three happy and high brothers.

The long awaited trip to Sigiriya / Minnariya Tank began at 7:45 am from the hotel lobby. Sigiriya is an ancient fortress built by an insecure King on the top of a mountain and Minnariya Tank is a natural reservoir famous for its elephants. Both these places are close to each other and the plan was to cover them both with one night’s stay at the guest house near the fortress.

The trip ended in the hotel lobby at 10 am of the same day and the stupidity of the driver assigned to us by the car-hire company was responsible for it. I don’t want to get into the frustrations of those 2 hours over here. I had to cancel the trip to get some peace of mind for the two of us.

Since then, it has largely been a shopping based weekend with a dip in the pool. Magical Laphroig, purchse of some good DVDs and India’s smashing victory over Australia has been the high points.

I haven’t given up on the plans climbing up the fort and going to the reservoir. It shall happen in my next trip to the island, which will be soon.

The photograph above is of the vocalist of Sage Merlyn.


alien said...

all we are just dust in the wind...


meraj said...

and i forgot to mention that i got an forever invitation from the Fat and Happy Sages to join them whenever i'm in Colombo on a friday night.

its a great feeling to have an invitation such as this.


Chaga said...

Hey, he called last Friday night to check if we were already on our way. He definitely expected you too.