You know you’re old when RSJ is celebrating 15 years. All you can remember is the place down the road in good old Allahabad where the guys would hang out and work for peanuts, and then you realise it was one of your first unofficial editing stints!
You know you’re really old when Them Clones is the most established band in the line up – they were bachchas when we were still part of the circuit. You also realise that most of the readers of your blog have no bleddy clue as to what the hell you’re rambling on about and who the Them Clones are!
You realise you’re not so old when you look around at the old grey haired men letting their hair down, literally. The middle aged lady in the cream chiffon saree puts an end to all self doubt!
You realise that it’s only at a rock show in Delhi that you can feel perfectly at home since there is no real dress code (thank you aunty in the cream saree!) – ranging from jeans and ratty tees, to skinny chicks in spaghetti straps (do they know that its still winter in Delhi?!) to the stunning woman in the shiny sparkly dress that looked like it had been made out of an old saree, with a simple black shirt buttoned over it, the sexiest Choo-looking heels and a pencil holding her bun up…
You also realise that you will never meet hot guys at a rock show. Interesting ones for sure. Hot… iffy. For that you need to hit a disco and in Delhi there is no shortage of hot men!!
You know you’re ancient when you figure that most of the music sounds like just a lot of noise. And the old rocker dude friend sitting next to you agrees. Then decides that he should insult you to make himself feel better. “You know you’re never going to be a groupie again, right old lady?” I look at him with ill-concealed disgust, turn my nose up and say – I was always a roadie, thank you. Never a groupie.
Also makes me wonder if it would have been different had I grown up on a diet of classical music concerts instead of this. You don’t ever outgrow that do you? Although Wednesday nights at Cafe Morisson are now DESU nights – electronic stuff. I tried turning up my nose at it but another old rocker friend just smiled peacefully and said, ‘Embrace it babe. Like you embraced email.’ Oh well if you put it that way…
It’s nice to bump into old collegemates and have them nod comfortably when you tell them you have two kids and are back at work after a four year break. There’s something completely non-judgmental about the rock crowd. Everything and everyone is kosher. They’re probably too stoned. Or maybe thats just who and what they are. Just what it takes to be a rocker.
It’s nice to be back at the new Turquoise Cottage although I miss the old one. I have good memories of the old one, including dancing on the bar top. A tale for another day. Here you can stand on top and look down at the mosh pit. I look at the young men, quite drunk/stoned, pushing each other and head banging, falling over in a heap, drenching strangers with beer and companionably standing up and helping the other up. Most of them have decent jobs and different day time lives. It’s only once in a while that they come here to get it out of their systems.
I think of another India where young men who have no entertainment, nowhere else to unwind and nothing better do think it’s their business to go about beating up young couples and saving Indian culture. I wonder what is worse.
The smoking ban has ensured that the entire junta is out on the balcony while non-smokers and teetotallers like me get to really enjoy the music up close. It’s a pleasant change.
Of course the best part of the evening is having someone like Rahul Ram make general peaceful conversation with you and ask why you’re frowning. At that moment you wonder whether you should smile right back and revel in the moment or prostrate yourself at his feet. I’ve sat at the foot of the stage when they’re performing, with tears in my eyes and felt blessed to just be there. In case you’re wondering, I smiled back with a cheeky retort. Am still high on it.
So only a Chintan will apologise for not remembering you from the last time you met, or a Bann will stand around talking music to you because you happen to standing next to him. As talented as any Bolly wood biggie and yet far more humility than the entire lot put together.
But you also realise that you’re too deeply smitten by Mohit Chauhan to be of much use to God, man or country because in the early hours of the morning after the cops have shut the place down, you walk to the car humming this Welcome To Sajjanpur number, Ek Meetha Marz