Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Forgive me, Reader, for I have sinned (sin-shmin - they say Zoroaster or Zarathushtra, if you like, came up with the concept of 'guilt', and therefore, as a by-product, sin). It has been four weeks since my last confession/rant. I've known what I want to write about for ages now, but things have been tight - what with my peripatetic life getting in the way of this virtual(ly) reality shabang - with one 'incident' following closely on the heels of another till this poor, addled brain of mine was rendered incapable of deciding what I wanted to 'say' next.
I planned, originally, to talk about how disgusting the concert-going public in Ahmedabad is. IIM-A had their annual noise fest, Chaos, last month, and there was a 'rock competition' (sadly, there weren't any large {rolling or otherwise} stones around, which I could hurl at the excuses which pass off for musicians these days, but that's another kettle of miscellaneous creepy-crawlies, as the inimitable Terry Pratchett would say) at the RJMCEI, running late into the night. Bands from all over the place came down 'like wolves on the fold, and their cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold' (not really, they weren't, but I like that Byron chap).
The lousy local bands got the crowd going with their 'OC's which sounded like much-pilfered tunes, but when the Bombay and Delhi bands came on, they were booed off stage, with the audience chanting something to the effect of 'bandh karo ye atyachaar', 'get off stage, Madarchod!' and my favourite, 'WE DON'T WANT ORIGINALS! PLAY SOME FUCKIN' COVERS, YAAR!'. Nowhere in the world, apart from here, is this particular war cry used to lay low a creative artist. I was indignant and furious initially, and wanted to yell back at this disgusting crowd to go back to fucking their mothers, since that's about all they seem equipped to do, but I realised that one (ok, two, maybe - Jasdeep would've joined in) against 400 isn't exactly the best odds in the world.
I could go on about this, but other, more important news has reached these ears. Friends of mine in B'lore - two friends, in seperate incidents - have had a really harrowing time lately. One had her car followed, spat upon and hit by a stone (before the dumb ch** on the bike tried to punch her in the face, all the while calling her names in Kannada), and the other saw his friends get bashed up when they tried to stop a bunch of goons from hittting (NOT just hitting on) their female friends outside a pub. What the hell is this all about? We live in factious times, this much we know, but this is surreal and disgusting beyond belief.
It's almost as if we're living under siege - and it isn't 'terror' of the kind that played itself out in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and Delhi either. The danger lies in extremes. Of any, every and all kinds. I can sound as jingoistic about secularism as my neighbour in Karnataka can about the righteousness and need for the Ram Sene. Moderation is what is called for. Temperance in all we say and do. Otherwise, 'they' will be as justified in sending 'us' saffron flags as 'we' were in sending 'them' pink chaddis. It's tough to walk this talk, but we can try to live and let live, can't we, even though we'd much rather live and let die?
What scares me senseless is the everydayness of the attackers - it's the people on the street - people like you and me! Can you imagine the horrors of living in a city where you don't know where the next attack is coming from? The rickshawallah? The paanwallah? That car-load of dicks who just drove past you, hooting? And what are we meant to do to make it go away? I think that school of ancient Greek philosophers was onto something - they held that the world disappeared if you closed your eyes. It came back into existence when you opened them. I'm keeping mine closed for a while - wake me up when this is over, yeah?