27 Jun 2007

El Sur: Meanderings on the Southern Passage. Part II.

Inside the plane, the hours stretch ahead and merged together with an unwavering indeterminacy.

To this traveler crossing the great expanse of continents, an article "Save the Last Dance" in the onboard flight magazine “Going Places” heralds the impeding arrival of Buenos Aires like a shimmering mirage of the promised land of milk and honey. The article highlighted the tango revival and renaissance in Buenos Aires, the reason for transporting myself along the southern passage to the other side of the world.

I found an interesting tidbit in the article about Carlos Gardel, a name synonymous with tango music. Carlos Gardel is THE Tango Superstar of mythical proportions - Elvis Presley, Beatles and Frank Sinatra all rolled into one. Gardel perished in a plane crash when his plane caught fire in Medellin, Colombia in 1935. He occupies an unassailable place in the hearts of Argentines, together with Evita Peron, Diego Maradona and myriad patron saints adopted by the people.

Gardel’s tomb is at the Chacarita Cemetery in Buenos Aires, buried next to his mother. His tomb is a shrine that is to this day covered with flowers and offerings.

The article says among the many plaques that decorate the place, there was an inscription dated 1984 “From Medellin, Columbia, Gustavo Gaviria Jaramillo brings you this message of admiration”. Gustavo Gaviria of the Columbian Medellin Cartel, used to be number two in cocaine trafficking with his cousin Pablo Escobar until he was killed by police on 11 August 1990.

My thoughts hopscotched back to my Papa & Mama, close kin and friends once again left behind. The sentiments are contained in the above card “The Journey of a Thousand Miles…”, handmade by a close friend. Enclosed inside are the 2nd half of the saying and well-wishes by her and another friend. It is symbolic of a friendship spanning over twenty years and 6 different countries between the three of us at different stages of our lives. It is symbolic of all friends in my life, past and present.

To my family and friends, I am sharing this part of my life with tango for now. But with you remain where my heart is.

free hit counter script