I watch them competing, hunched over the board, and I smile to myself. I remember my sister, and the intense concentration of our summer games. I'm glad some things just don't change.
So if your family is addicted to restaurant food, go to Crawford Market and take a look at Tasty Spices on Lane 1. Maybe you'll re-create that strange restaurant magic at home, and have everyone asking for more!
Once the dates and places were keyed into the computer, here's what it produced - an analysis of the two charts, and a recommendation. The report starts with a little disclaimer:
"It should be understood", says the disclaimer, "that marriage is pre-ordained by Almighty Providence, and actually one has no control at all over the selection of one's partner in life". Some other very sensible advice on the disclaimer: "Astrology is only capable of indicating tendencies and potentials. The user of this service should treat these predictions with due discretion".
Vedic Astrology is a practical sort of thing - it determines the compatibility of horoscopes by checking whether the couple is mentally and sexually compatible, whether the marriage will bring luck or prosperity, whether the attraction in the relationship will last, whether the bride and groom will live long, and of course, whether they will have children. A reasonable recipe, actually, for a successful marriage.
The methodology is complex, but primarily includes an analysis of the major gunas (characteristics) of a person. The assumption is, of course, that the position of the stars and planets at the time of your birth influences your gunas.
There's a scoring system to see how well the gunas of the man and woman match. If you don't make the minimum cut-off (18 points), then the match is not considered very good. An average "acceptable" level is 18 - 24 matching gunas, but the higher the score, the better the marriage. Scores of 32 or above indicate that the marriage will do really well.
I don't know if Anne's horoscope matching was correct, or whether she figured out new secrets for great client-vendor relationships. But I'm hoping it will give her a couple of anecdotes at least, for her next presentation!
Apart from horoscope matching, you can also get a glimpse into the future - a 20-year prediction costs 700 rupees and tells you everything you want to know about yourself, year by year. What's more, this is a multi-lingual service. You can order the prediction in Gujarati, Hindi or English. While I waited at the shop, several prosperous looking people came in for future predictions, and remedies for current problems. They got neatly stapled printouts, with advice on what lucky stones to wear, what mantras to chant, what prayers to offer, and what colours to wear.
Me, I prefer not knowing the future. My grandmom had a simple philosophy - do what you have to do, don't harm others, don't think bad thoughts, and let the future take care of itself. If my future is meant to be good, then it will happen anyway. And if the future's bad, I don't want to ruin the present worrying about it.
Dona herself is a pleasure to watch. She is confident and commands the stage, arresting your attention. But her students are very good as well, and the choreography was vivid, bringing the Great Goddess to life before my eyes.
Now you see why the Blue Frog was such a shock to my system? I went from one world into another!
This is the view from the other side, there is a long bar where you can hang out if you don't have a reservation.
The night we went, there was a band from Holland playing, called the Agog Trio. They had a nice chemistry between them, and came across as a team of friendly, energetic, experimentative players.
The food isn't really anything great, I tried some starters and gave up midway. My Thai Mojito had an interesting kick with ginger and coriander, but it was cloyingly sweet. The service was absolutely super, though.
The Blue Frog is more than just a restaurant that plays music. They have four sound recording labs, as well as music production facilities. They help launch records and they offer artist management services. Quite a welcome addition to the city's music scene.
The May program includes performances by both Indian and internatonal artistes. There's Pratz and the Blues Band from Calcutta, Montreaux Jazz Fest winner Leo Tardin, the interestingly named Silverchops (a jazz band from Pune), Alisha Bhatt (punk rock), Aurora Jane from Australia (funk rock with aboriginal twists), Cap'n Crunch (Mumbai-boy Floyd Fernandes plays what he calls "electro-jazz and clubtronic fusion", whatever that is!), and lots more.
Go check it out. I'm definitely going back there again.