Rahman and the Rain

It was an hour before the AR Rahman concert in Bangalore was supposed to start. And the heavens poured. They poured the way they rarely pour in Bangalore. It was almost like the dude above was making his presence felt. All we needed was a burst of thunder that sounded ominously like, “remember me?”
Well, yes, we did. At that moment all everyone did was remember that one chap above, even the agnostics, even the atheists. The one dude who could perhaps control the weather. Hands subconsciously came together as waterproof jackets let all the water in. As “the only reason I can even hope my cell will survive this is because it’s a Nokia” were the most repeated words. As T-shirts were taken off and nichodofied (if I might Indianize the English language). As the wind pricked your skin, reminding you of Alistair Maclean novels. As a few idiots (yes, there is no other word for it!) left…

Because the rain did stop. The 3D effects planned were in a soup (literally!!) but the show did happen, starting a couple of hours late. But who cared? It was the most amazing exhibition of Bollywood talent ever. From ‘suniyo re’ to ‘taal’, from a classical rendition of ‘humma’ to what would ‘ghanan ghanan’ have been like had it rained in the movie, from Sivamani on the drums to Rahman on the piano, from the Bombay theme to the Baba soundtrack, from Hari Haran to Shankar Mahadevan to Sukhvindar Singh to Alka Yagnik to Chitra to many, many others… From ‘chhaiya chhaiya’ to ‘vande mataram’… There can be no words to describe it all. You just had to be there…

Every song was sung along – Hindi, Tamil,  Telugu, Kannada equivalents. They were right when they said music knew no boundaries and there just couldn’t have been a better demonstration of our ‘unity in diversity’ slogan. If you didn’t know the lyrics (I was particularly clueless about the Baba soundtrack) you just made up your own, language-barriers be damned!! When Sivamani thanked his assistant, the crowd went up in unison. When ‘vande mataram’ played every fist was raised. And when the rains returned, no one cared. All ‘worth-it’ parameters had already been passed…

Yes, the rains did return. They snatched a live ‘dil se’ away from us. But it didn’t matter coz at that point nothing mattered. It was a concert where we waded in a foot of water to get out of the arena, where 7 of us piled on in one auto and paid the auto-waala 450 bucks to take us 15 kilometers. It was a concert where Sudeep, Ankit, Thax, Bansal, Goyal were here. It was a concert where for the first time after Dec 2003, all of us (almost) were together again. It was a concert of going over barricades and standing on chairs. It was a concert that in some sense wouldn’t have been the same, wouldn’t have been as good, wouldn’t have been so memorable without the rain…

Perhaps the guy sitting above, in all his wisdom, knew that already…

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