I wondered what I would do this evening after a day’s work. I opened my email at 5pm and had an invitation for a Norwegian musical evening at the British School by a Norwegian friend from the 60’s, Arne Fjortoft. I called him immediately at 5 and said I will come. I got the best seats!!!
I did not have a vehicle to take me home to change and shower, so I walked over to the venue from my office about a hundred meters away and met a mutual friend and sat with him. I Chatted with Mano Chanmugam, who I had not met in decades, and exchanged pleasantries before settling in to an enchanting evening of music.
I was hoping for some Norwegian folk songs from the three musicians but instead was treated more to their version of English language American country music, and then the soul sounds of Soundarie David Rodrigo really got it going with a selection of old well known soul music and sprinkling of pop music from her female choir of 20. It was the first time I had heard them and was pleasantly surprised at their talent and they also sang together with the Norwegian trio for a while.
Soon after, I went to the Norwegian Ambassador’s residence which is right opposite where I live. I was the only guest who lived so close to the cocktail party venue. I chatted with many I knew like Bhavani from CPA and Ismeth’s wife and many I introduced myself to who knew of me, like Sanjiv Gardiner and Jehan Mendis, a relative, Orania and Mohan’s son who I was introduced to by Bhavani and only then realized who he was as I had met his mom earlier when I was walked up the stairs to the show.
Talked to artists, diplomats, and avoided the political types like KJ and Dayasiri, Sumathiran, Nimal Siripala and the NGO types like Jehan Perera, Pakiasothy and the Pafferel guy and a host of likeminded. Chatted with the host’s husband who was returning to Oslo in a week and the Ambsassador herself was leaving in a few weeks, after a record 6 years as deputy and then head. Her position will be filled by another lady.
The food and wine was great, and I only sampled the cheeses at the end, before walking across the road, home about 10pm. The music was a three piece jazz type band to keep things humming along. These places sure do pack out with a motley collection, all talking nonsense.