Yesterday evening, the God himself descended in Calcutta, armed with his instruments, the rains signaling his arrival and ceasing at his descent, darkness enveloping a crowd of thousands waiting for a mere glimpse, uproar at his first syllable, adrenalin rushing through the throbbing veins at the first hint of music. That was A.R. Rahman at Calcutta!
What happened on the stage in the next few hours was magic. Maybe see through at times, mesmerizing mostly. But what happened in the crowd around us was a different matter altogether. That too was just so out of the world!
Bang ahead of us was a couple who just couldn't get enough of each other. She seemed to be eating all the time, attracting the bees-like-hawkers (who were allowed to roam freely in the entire stadium, selling everything from 'cheeps', lemon 'peshaal' signaling special lemon tea, cool water and badaam and were guilty of the criminal offence of interjecting the maestro's music with their cries of product advertising!!). Her beau, oblivious to how much he was spending, couldn't seem to get himself to concentrate on the stage, is all I can say.
One row ahead of us to our left, sat a trio of the most boring young guys I have ever come across. They didn't clap for more than 3 seconds at a stretch, with gaps of at least half an hour between each such exercise. It almost felt like they had been punished and were made to sit through the entire event. Even if Rahman himself had come to them, they wouldn't have uttered a cheer or enthusiastic hoot! I just hope they had free tickets to the show, because otherwise they've genuinely wasted their bucks!
And behind was a family with such levels of intelligence, I should have congratulated them. The boy was shouting to his dad for chewing gum in the middle of a sufi song when the whole crowd was swaying in the musical magic. Once, another one of them was completely unaware of the fact that it was their cell phone which was ringing loudly. And at one time when the sound fell really low due to some technical glitch for a few seconds, this man shouted from nearly the last row of the stadium "Raise the volume!". Seriously, Sir? You really think the organizers can hear you from this far? His voice decibels barely managed to reach the next 15 rows of people, I think!
When Rahman played out his crowd-favourite Jai Ho!, this man next to me, stood in the attention stance. I wish he knew Jai Ho is NOT our National Anthem. He could have crooned it aloud and fist pumped the air a little. But alas!