Swindon Mela 2013   Leave a comment

swindon mela 2013 a

The 2013 Swindon Mela was Saturday and despite the cold and damp it was a good party (2012 write-up here, and 2011 here).  It always starts a bit slow (this was our third one) but a collection of women from various dance groups made the most of the DJ (above) while the crowds slowly filtered in.

swindon mela 2013 Ameer Ali Khan Qawaali Group a

The music is always good, here, and Ameer Ali Khan and his group were a treat.  He’s the guy seated in front of the squeezebox and their sound is sort of a combination of Indian and Cajun (with a smattering of blues and gospel)…very interesting.

The Dhol Enforcement Agency followed. The DEA is a drum and pipe group but very subcontinent (don’t think “USMC band” when you read this).  I am going to seek out some of this stuff as a running soundtrack for Fartlek and speed work.

swindon mela 2013 Dhol Enforcement Agency

The food offerings were better this year and we filled up on some vegetarian pakoras which are sort of like Indian hushpuppies–just substitute chickpeas and spices for the cornmeal. The Cobra lager was ice cold to stanch the heat of the chilli sauce. Yum.

The highlight of the side stage, for me, was the turban tying contest:

swindon mela 2013 turban contest

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