. . . Thank you so much guys for being such a sport ! Good night !!
Oh wait ! Before getting to the climax, there are somethings you need to know. Calcuta ! The city of joy ! There are just too many memories associated with this place. Staying just 150 minutes away, I have made numerous trips to Calcutta in the last five years. But each time I go, the love for art and sports in the hearts of people here, never fails to amaze me. That’s why when Aditi invited me to write about it for her latest venture, I gladly accepted within seconds.
This incident happened in October, 2014, when the Indian music sensation A. R. Rehman along with many other big names of the music industry announced to have a live concert in the mighty Salt Lake Stadium. Our tickets were booked on the evening it was announced with all other plans re-planned. With all the enthusiasm and love we accumulated for Rehman’s music since childhood, we hired a cab and started the journey.
As we got nearer to the city, we noticed that the heavens are no less excited and were pouring bliss all over the city. It was raining cats and dogs. Stuck in traffic now, we were a little relieved that the rain would have postponed the concert even if the celebrities are able to reach on time (happens once in a blue moon in India, but blue moons are often found in Calcutta).
But there was a peculiar thing which was evidently noticeable that only those roads had traffic jams which led to our destination. As the realization sank into us, we got mixed feelings for the whole city is going to the same place. Although it would have been all the more fun, but one thing I hate is ‘crowd’. And there’s absolutely no time in Calcutta when an uncrowded can be found.
Already late, slowly our cab crawled towards the concert with water logging everywhere we saw. We were surprised as the intensity with which it was raining would have forced anyone to stay where he or she is. But this city is just unstoppable. After getting approximately two hours late we hoped against hope that Rehman is not as punctual as much as he is talented. Or the rains in the open air stadium must have forced most of the crowd to change their plan. Finally we reached the stadium and the huge problem of parking arose. With melodious voices coming from inside, we hastily asked the driver to park the car anywhere he feels like and we ran with all our might on the muddy and slippery floor to witness the face behind one of the most soulful sound in the world. When we entered he was singing my favorite song ‘Dil se’ and for a few moments we jumped as much as we can in the packed stadium ! Packed ! It was raining, there was traffic, the tickets expensive but it was packed ! The site was wonderful. The enthusiasm of people of all ages even more !
I was lost in these thoughts when the first words of this post were spoken by the music maestro and we realized we traveled across cities to hear half of my favorite song But we were too smart to wait and having concerns about thousands of people moving together towards the exit, we sneaked rapidly to where we had come from. Feeling too proud of our smartness in distress, we never noticed that those thousands of Calcuttans were shouting in unison, “Once more ! Once more !” Seeing their fanatic excitement, the Oscar winner gave in and we heard the song again ! But from our cab !
And we spent the rest of the night wandering on the streets and having food at some very awesome places (whose names I have now forgotten). To conclude, although things didn’t go as expected, but full marks to the city for everything! 😀