Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Watered down and out

I am told that Roger Waters recently sang some songs in Mumbai. I was there at the concert, but I would not vouch for his presence. I did not see him.
Of course the songs were his; the voice was, too. But one can never trust technology these days. It might just have been a new, big iPod connected to some fancy speakers. And the gent reportedly on stage – I could not see anyone on stage – could easily have been Bah Bling, the Khasi gent from Cherrapunjee in Meghalaya who, according to Shillong lore, has claimed close communion with UFOs. After all, there was a UFO sighting over the Bandra Kurla Complex where Mr Waters was allegedly performing. A large pink pig with graffiti on its body was spotted flying off into the distance.
I saw the flying pig. Seeing is believing for me, and I now believe that pink pigs can fly. Apart from this, I am certain that the queue for the Rs 2000 ticket entry was more than a kilometer long. And that the gentleman with the ‘God made grass’ T-shirt next to me did enjoy some of God’s own produce.
I would have had more faith in Water’s presence at the venue if I had seen anything apart from the backs of people’s heads in two hours there. It was a Wall, thick and impenetrable. No amount of standing on toes and craning the neck helped. Nor did tireless attempts at finding an opening in the Wall.
Maybe you were there, in which case you were just another prick in that Wall.
Sorry for the rudeness. It’s just frustration. What does one do when, after booking a ticket for Rs 2000 weeks in advance, and queing up expectantly at the venue for 45 minutes to get in, all one gets to see is the tops of three big screens and the lights on the ceiling of the stage? The show started with six white lights shining down on stage; it was the best view of the stage I could get.
Thereafter, I saw and heard a Munna Mobile next to me give a running commentary of events at the show. “Now he is singing ‘Shine on you crazy diamond…Now a pig is flying! Now there is a fire on stage!” His view could not be much better than mine since he was only a few inches taller, but he managed to keep up the false air of excitement that is the mark of a good commentator.
I must say I felt envious of all the slim young women out there who happily climbed on to big beefy men’s shoulders. Perhaps they can confirm Mr Waters was there. I also felt envious of everyone in the Rs 2000 enclosure who was more than 6 feet 6 inches tall. They could look over the wall.
I guess the people in the Rs 1000 enclosure further back also saw the Wall, or, if they were more than eight feet tall, faint images of a white man with a guitar. Some of the rich ones with the Rs 3000 tickets may have been close enough to see the facial features and recognise the man from his pictures.
For this wonderful experience, and the pain in the neck I got from craning my neck, I would like to thank the intellectual luminaries who organized the concert and made the stage so low. Thank you, thank you.