Thursday, April 16, 2015

What do Barbie Girl, Coconuts and a Palace Have in Common?

Videos of Mysore India

What do Barbie Girl, coconuts and a palace have in common? Coconuts and a palace? For some of you maybe not so hard to guess, but... Barbie Girl? Well, believe it or not they can all happen at the same time in only one place, Mysore.

A Palace

Mysore is a very popular destination in India among yogis from around the world because it is the home to many great yoga teachers, but outside of the yoga community Mysore is also well known for its beautiful palace.

Last year while I was practicing ashtanga vinyasa yoga in Mysore I decided to do a video of the city to portray the Mysore Palace and other areas of interest around the city, including Chamundi Hills.

A hyperlapse video of Mysore, India

When I visited the palace to shoot the videos I found something very unusual so I decided to leave most of the palace recordings for another video.

This was a really fun project and it took me a few days to complete. I asked my friend Christelle to give me a ride around the city in her scooter so I could record the videos while she was driving. Luckily she is very patient, I had to ask her for second ride around the city cause I was not very satisfied with the first videos. Well, I was not very satisfied the second time either but I didn't dare to ask her again, and I know I can keep going forever trying to make it perfect.

I was holding the iPhone in my hand with a tripod and I used an elastic hair band and a cord to tie it to my wrist, just in case it I would drop it. It worked pretty well. I used an iPhone app called Hyperlapse which is pretty cool and it is used exactly for that, to create a hyperlapse video.

Holding iPhone with a tripod


One of the first things that got me really impressed the first time that I visited India was the way the local open the coconuts, I had never seen anything like that before although coconuts are very popular in my country, Ecuador.

In India the locals hold the coconut on one hand while with a machete in their other hand they start to slice open it. It looks as if they are just about to chop a finger off. Fortunately I've never seen or heard of anything like that happening before. Just imagine, these brave men open hundreds of coconuts in the same way every day!

In Mysore coconuts are like gods' nectar for the ashtangi yogis. There is nothing like going to your favorite coconut man after an intense morning ashtanga yoga practice to replenish your electrolytes. Mysore wouldn't be Mysore without its coconut men and one of the things that these yogis miss the most after leaving Mysore is their daily dose of coconut water.

So at the same time while we were driving around the city to record the previous video I decided to recorded some videos to show how the locals open coconuts in Mysore. I actually wanted to record a video like this since the very first time that I visited India! If you've been to Mysore before see if you can spot your coconut man in the video.

Video of Indian men opening coconuts in Mysore

Barbie Girl

The day that I visited the Mysore Palace for the first video I found the local police rehearsing for the 2014 Mysore Dasara Festival. That was a nice surprise, but the biggest surprise was to hear the song the police band was rehearsing, this was something very unusual.

Believe it or not the song was Barbie Girl! Imagine that, the police playing "I'm a Barbie Girl," isn't that hilarious? But I must admit, it sounded great! The guys of the Mysore Police Band are really good. Check the drummer by the end of the video, he's so into it.

Video of the Mysore Police rehearsing Barbie Girl

BTW, it looks as if the band was playing all the time while the police was doing their march in front of the Mysore Palace. These are actually different shots that I put together using the background sound of the first video.

I recorded all these videos using my iPhone 5S and edited them directly on the iPhone using iMovie. I know, they are not very professional but I think they are fun to watch. I've seen them hundreds of times and I find it hard to choose my favorite.

And why not sharing one last video that I recorded in September 2013, on a random day while walking with some friends around Mysore city center. I love the way this man move his feet.

Video of an Indian man dancing during a local festival in Mysore, India

I hope you've enjoyed watching these videos, but if you don't have the time or a good enough internet connection to watch them now you can save this blog post to read later in Thanks for sharing!


  1. Marco, these videos are amazing! and completely take me back to Mysore. Its is funny though that the police chose 'Barbie Girl' for their parade! oh well, thats what makes it entertaining. loved the coconut video..I spotted 'my regular' guy at Gokulam..the one with the beard. Think his name was Raju? Nice stuff.

    1. I'm happy to hear that you liked the videos Shivangi, I had so much fun recording them, specially the one with the Mysore police playing Barbie Girl :-)

      I actually asked the name of each coconut man to include them in the video but I lost my notes and couldn't remember any of them :-/ I guess you are right, he is probably Raju, and if not his name is probably Kumar, such a popular name in Mysore ;-)

  2. Hahahaha... this is awesome!!!! barbie girl! and the drummer is so cute!!! :)
    Keep sharing your amazing journeys with us!

    1. Haaaaaa, it still makes me smile ;-) did you notice when he dropped the drum stick? So funny. Thank you Lakshya! xxx

  3. Dear Marco,

    This post is so refreshing. I love Mysore. It's so much peaceful and sweet. The people, food and tall coconut trees are my favorite here.
    I love how you enjoy every moment in Mysore and anywhere for that matter.
    Yoga is a peaceful and powerful tool.
    Wish everyone forgot their differences and just sit down for yoga.
    Wish I too could learn those tough poses.
    Thank you.