Monday, October 10, 2005

Scent of a woman...

Ra(in)hman Concert

Girls (women?) always manage to smell sweet. Even when they're standing drenched in
rain, after a long long day, standing under a tiny makeshift structure made of tin
sheets with about fifteen smelly idiots, just because it's pouring outside and there's no other

How did I find out? Well, that's a long story...

The string begins about 2 weeks back, when Rajesh started the yo-yo attitude going..Yo-yo attitude of course reads as hip-hop. To do something very "happening" every weekend. We'd missed that MLTR concert, and so had to make up for it somehow.

And that's precisely when AR Rahman, the prodigious Indian music director and singer
decided to visit Bangalore. Tickets (standing) cost 500. Now when you are nearing the end of the month, it's quite a fortune. But Rajesh, ever the management man, pushed the idea on the first
of the month, and with the salary safely homed into the account, I was ok with the
show. So were Jason and Vipin. Simon opted out, and Collins said he was not
interested. Joseph said it was too much to cough up for AR Rahman, but a gentle coax
and he was in the net.

Rajesh was in charge of buying the tickets.

I was chatting with Himani, my friend, on Friday (the concert was on Saturday), and she asked me what plans I had for the weekend. I mentioned that I was going for this concert and then she too wanted to join. Can I get tickets for her friend and herself? You can never say no when a girl
asks sweetly, and Yes, of course I could get tickets for them. I called up Rajesh and he arranged for two more tickets.

There was a motor show too, in an adjacent venue, on the same day. Joseph and I decided to visit there too, and so we set off pretty early. Some of the machines on display really were awesome. A BMW 7 series car was the one that drew the maximum attention. We weren't allowed even to touch it. Then there was this Opel sedan, that was loaded with speakers that the speakers took up the boot and the backseat space. It really knocked the ears and the brains out.

We reached the venue of the concert at around 5 30. We'd anticipated a lot of
traffic blocks, but had few.The place was crawling with babes, and that precisely is
the reason we reached the place so early. The only spoiler was that my stomach was troubling me.
I needed to go to the loo, and unfortunately, there was none within the near vicinity. Now, this was really a bad situation.We met Joseph's colleague, who wouldn't speak a word of malayalam even though she was a malayali. We gaped at the 1500 and 2500 and 10000 rupee ticket crowd and shook our heads dismally at the 500 rupee crowd. Wonderful world (but the tummy nagged).

And then,it rained...!
The clouds just burst open, as if they were ripped. It was no drizzle. It just rained and rained and rained.
There was absolutely no place to run. We were trapped (?) in an open ground, and it was
pouring. We sought refuge under a small tree. Guys and gals clinging to each other
in the rain, Joseph and I nudging each other to look this way and that, and hurray,
my gastronomic emergency just got forgotten by itself too.

But hey, Himani and Anita hadn't reached yet...The rain subsided a bit, and we were able to walk around..But a look at the skies and you knew that things were not really going to be very pleasant.

Himani and Anita came, and I handed out the tickets.

And of course, it rained again. This time it was a burst, and after about 15 mins there was respite.

We called the yo-yo gang who were coming in Jason's car. They were still a long way off, so we decided to get inside, and "babewatch" there.

We all got inside..and damn!!

It was a BIG open ground, and me not being part of the tallest beings that walked on earth, could not even see the stage!!I dont know about the rest, but I did feel a bit like crying. And then, to add to the misery, it started raining again.


You know, after a threshold of misery, you really break and start seeing everything in a funny angle.
I started laughing, and just couldn't stop. All of us were laughing at what was happening.


Himani and Anita decided to stick to a corner of the ground, while Joseph and I decided to explore the "water bodies". :)

We were angry too, do not know at what..maybe that the organizers did not make any announcements about the show. Everything was silent on that front. We were left cold, wet, and very crestfallen.

They made some announcement then, Darius, the DJ, saying something about Bangalore crowd being very sportive and stuff.
We just got more pissed off...These guys actually expected us to stand and wait in the rain, when we were wondering when they'd decide to cancel the show..after all, shah rukh khan had done that pretty decently and rescheduled his show..why couldn't these guys do it?HUMPH!!

Grumpy faces everywhere..Jason was calling every now and then asking the status, and we were quite frustrated that we had to be in this shower while they drove in that car, all dry and cozy.
We assured him that we had a shelter, and yeah come soon, or he was gonna miss the part of AR Rahman landing on the stage in a chopper. They bought it too. :)

Himani and Anita left, they were sure that the show would be rescheduled.

Joseph and I stood in the rain, like two scarecrows, wet to the bone. Jason and others reached then, holding an umbrella and stuff, all dry, all wide smiles. And then the rain stopped too.

Yes, the show was about to begin.Rajesh, Vipin and Jason went out for a walk, I think to explore the possibilities of getting into the 1000 rupee class somehow. The joke goes that Vipin spoilt the whole act when he gave the guard the wrong ticket, while the other too pretended that they had friends inside who had the tickets. Well, it didn't work, and they came back.

However,Rajesh and Vipin, after sometime, DID manage to get into the 10000 class.

We were totally frustrated now, and then the show started.

The first song was "Fanaa". A very "josheela" song, and hey, it really did lift our spirits!!

There was some public display of affection happening nearby, and since I really couldn't see anything that was happening on the stage, I decided to just hear the song and enjoy the visuals here.

After a couple of songs, we saw some movement on one side, people running here and there. Police had decided that since there weren't enough people up front, they'll allow all of us to stand in the 10000 class area. WOW! That was cool!!

There were chest high fences erected between each class, and we had to jump over them. The ground was all dirty, what with the rain and mud. We looked as if we were running some cross country steeplechase marathon, jumping over the fences, into a ditch, splashing water and mud, jumping a fence again...And finally we were quite close to the stage.
That's finally made the whole day worthwhile.

The concert was really really good. I wouldn't venture into supelatives, because I thought that the sound system lacked the "oomph" factor. The beats hitting hard on your chest sensation was missing.

But the singers were excellent, and the orchestra really did well. The flutist and of course Sivamani on the drums. There was a solo of his, on the drums, which was a real knocker.
The flutist did the the theme music of the movie "Bombay" and that rocked.
AR Rahman rose and his high pitch always is amazing. There was a small cute chorus group too.

Other singers were harihara, Chitra, Shankar mahadevan, Sukhwinder, ALka, Madhuri, Sadhna...and some more...

When he belted out his hits the audience rocked, swayed and sang.

And the song "ghanana ghanana" did bring the rain in again.

And by the time he sang Vande maataram, it was pouring, which acterd as a kind of booster to the mood...Wonderful, truly , wonderful...

Rain...rain again...We ran in the rain, there was no shelter.

It was 12, and we even stopped near the food court for a food parcel. But the puny guy had the nerve to tell us that he required food coupons..Hell...

We ran...It was when we reached behind a generator that we stopped. Hey, there was some hot air blowing...heaven.."if there's a heaven on earth, it is here, it is here, behind this old generator..

The rain did slow down a bit, and after a vain attempt at rescuing a jeep whose wheels had sunk in the muck, we reached the parking lot...And it rained again.

Clearly, Joseph could not drive, and hey, is that a small tent nearby? We ran to it, and there were already about fifteen people in there, under a small tin sheet roof, brazing themselves against the rain.

There was this girl too, with two of her college mates, all smiles and yes, smelling sweet!! :)

We had to stand in there for about an hour, before making way home, freezing, raindrops hitting hard on the face, and reached home, half dead of cold and the rain.

Had a hot-hot bath, and Jason had brought some food..A warm ending to a wet wet day!!

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