I spent three unforgettable days and nights in Rio 28-30 March while attending the IBSA ( India Brasil South Africa- alliance) meeting. I stayed in my favourite Meridian Hotel on the legendary beach of Copacabana. It is not just the sea or the sand. It is the brasilian spirit which makes this place vibrant and unique. Two rituals i follow at the beach; early morning walk from Meridien hotel to the copacabana fort ; and drinking chopp( draft beer) at the pavement kiosk on the beach after midnight listening to the sentimental songs of Brazilian FM radio and the music of the waves of Eemanja the sea goddess.
The copabana beach is in full bloom on new year eve with a million brasilians in white tee shirts( white for good luck in the new yr), drinking beer and dancing to live music in 4-5 different stages set on the beach itself.
The third ritual outside Copacabana is the visit to the bar called as Garota da Ipanema ( girl from ipanema ) made famous by the poet vinicius de moraes. yet another indulgence is the churasscaria rodizio ( barbecue restaurant typical of brasil) and unlimited eating of all kinds of meat. Someone commented" how can a Hindu eat meat of the cow which is sacred?"I responded
" yes.. the Indian cow is sacred.. not the Brasilian one "
Copacabana makes me feel at home and drives me crazy .