Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Metallica Delhi disaster-The true story from the front row


I’m a Metallica fan. And I have had enough.

4 days after leaving from home for what would have been the best day of my life I’m back and typing this frantically because I have had enough. I have had enough of asking the good lord why I was one of the 30,000 unfortunate and mistreated people present at the Leisure Valley on that fateful day. I have had enough of pondering over what the Metallica experience would have been like. And most importantly, I am writing this because I have had enough of the “Oh! Delhi crowd! You deserve it!” and being one of the 30,000 people getting abused by the rest of this great self-righteous country on Facebook and Twitter for the past 3 days that reacted naturally to the ill-treatment and constant lying.

So before I describe exactly what happened I would like to make it very clear that I’m not from Delhi. I’m not from Gurgaon or any other NCR either. I’m not even a Jat(my apologies for disappointing all you smart Bangalore folks, you can still continue the stereotyped blaming though).I am just a Metallica worshipper who travelled all the way from Himachal with a carry bag, an mp3 full of Metallica discography and a dream in my heart. Not that any of this would have mattered. The people that had come from Delhi and Gurgaon weren’t there to grope women and set fire to the venue either. Also I’m not from the DNA Networks.

Having made it clear that I don’t hold any bias while writing this whatsoever here I begin-
The venue was a dusty shithole on the outskirts of Gurgaon.Some people had reached the previous night and had been camping since then. I was lucky enough to be on a chartered bus specifically for the Metallica fans from North India(and that was the only fun I had that day, thanks for all the Buds Ricky!).We reached the venue about an hour before the gates opened and on way to the front row entrance you could smell alcohol, hash and marijuana in the air. People were going to have fun.

Actually, they weren’t.

Half an hour past the schedule the front row gates don’t open and the crowd gets restless. Some security moron sits on top of the gate and starts making the crowd even angrier. People hurl bottles at him along with chants of, “Gate khol behen***d! ” Everyone is abusing at full blast and all of a sudden the gates are opened, in a way that hardly 2 people can pass at the same time. Everyone is pushing. Yours truly finally fights his way through it and finds that there’s no proper checking going on. Meanwhile I can only hope that the 2 girls that were standing beside me and crying because of the stampede are okay. But once inside I don’t look back, I’m too ecstatic right now. I hardly stop for the metal detector test which is a formality anyway. I dash straight towards the stage. There’re hardly 30-40 people in right now and I find that the place has been divided into left and right sides.

I run all the way back to the divider so I could make it to the almost empty right side and guess what, I’m right at the fucking front! Right underneath where Kirk was going to rape his wah pedal later in the evening.I rest my hands on the front barrack and imagine myself headbanging to Master Of Puppets already.The area gets filed quickly and next to me at the front are a bunch of Russian and Iranian guys that are visiting this country just for the concert. It finally starts sinking in that I’m at the front. I can’t wait to rock out!

Meanwhile on the left side, the front barracks have been broken. They make all of us on the right side sit down while the left barracks are being repaired via the macho security guards that are speaking a lingo that nobody can comprehend. The Iranian guy is asking me worriedly if people in India attend metal concerts sitting down. I’m reminded of all the jagrans and satsangs my mom always dragged me to. We ask the security guards for water and they oblige the American females standing next to the divider.

Some announcements are being made. While we at the front on the right side aren’t being allowed to stand up the left side is told to “turn around and take two giant steps back”. This is ridiculous since there’s no way that could have happened with all the people trying to get as close to the stage as possible. It is beginning to get dark and the Metallica road crew which looks more like a bunch of psychotic WWE wrestlers arrive on stage.2 hours over the schedule and people are getting restless. Meanwhile, we’re sick of sitting for so long that all of us on the right side get up and refuse to sit again. The crowd’s anticipation can be judged from the fact that a couple of old-looking women of the American crew sitting on the stage show everyone the metal horns and everyone replies back.

But soon it was going to be strike one.

Announcements are being made in Hindi and English and someone from the American crew comes up to the mic and says something like, “Alright listen up you fuckin buttheads, move back! Metallica is at the hotel giving a press conference, there will be no music if this goes on!” This is the first catalyst. Boos and bottles are being hurled already. But why is the band giving a press conference right now, I wonder.

It is getting very dark now and something odd starts happening. A couple of giant bright lights are turned on which I’m now sure was done so that the crowd at the back could not see what was going on up on the stage. Meanwhile at the front we notice that the drum kits and amplifiers along with the cameras are quickly and quietly being packed and sneaked out the backstage. We smell a rat. Something isn’t right. Soon no American crew member is to be seen. We ask the F1 Rocks crew in front of us standing under the stage what is going on and they start lying about the obvious. Almost everyone at the front knows by now, especially since the beefed up bouncers are sneaking out too. And then an Indian organizer grabs the mic and everyone almost hopes he wouldn’t announce what is obvious to everyone by now. Only he minced his words.

“Due to a technical glitch Metallica will now play tomorrow at 4.”

People know that Metallica are supposed to be at The Taj Mahal and then Bangalore by then and some are reminded of the cancelled Bryan Adams concert too. The announcement is made and what happens next is something that will forever be etched on in my memory.

Infinite number of bottles and sticks are thrown at the stage. By now every organizer and security personnel has sneaked out of the backstage. Everyone is chanting, “Fuck you!” and “You suck!” and there’re middle fingers everywhere in the air.Right now I just want James or Lars to turn up and talk to us. Cmon guys, you’re Metallica! This is what you guys lived for all your early years. When did you start chickening out so easily?

Just then the lights are turned off and people rush on to the stage. The barracks are almost down(bamboo sticks wasn’t a good idea DNA guys).I can feel all the pushing coming from behind, to save myself from the stampede I run towards the stage where I find a safe haven at a slightly elevated level. I’m in tears, after I don’t know how many years. I look over to the crowd and people are venting, crying, abusing. I’m too shattered by now to even try attempting to make someone stop from breaking stuff. A mic stand and monitor is thrown down nearly missing me and another guy trying to find his way out the front towards the exit. Not that the exit gates are open. So there’s a stampede both near the stage and the exit.

Someone is trying to burn the huge F1 Rocks poster with a cigarette lighter. A girl is sitting on one side holding her leg and crying. The police finally arrives on stage and doesn’t do shit.The exit gates are opened and things go totally out of control, the metal detectors have been broken, stalls destroyed. I follow the crowd out towards the dusty roads without my bag, my ATM card. My phone battery is dead and I don’t know where I’m going to be spending the night. I’m thinking of the Indian, Iranian and Russian guys at the front that I took pictures with and how we had promised to share them with each other. People are trying to console each other talking about refunds but knowing in their hearts that 2,750 bucks is not a price good enough for what they did to be at Gurgaon that day.

The feeling of pumping one's fists and chanting, “Die! By my hand!” with James Hetfield and thousands of people from all over the country and the world would have been priceless.

Yours sincerely,

-A dejected fan emptying his mp3 player

P.S.~ By now I don't even care if you blame the crowd for the cancel.All of us fans present there that day will forever remember the real reason in our hearts.I hope so do the organizers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The husband, the wife, the parking lot and the hooker

They lived in a small hill town, a happy young couple that had just been married. Everything had been working out brilliantly, both enjoyed great jobs where they worked hard five days a week and partied and made love during weekends, life couldn’t get any better. But it did.

He soon got promoted after which they moved to a metro, she took up a job at an American MNC, both so full of energy. The hustle and bustle of the crowd made them realize that this is what they had always wanted, to live in a big urban city where they could make lots of fun loving, high-society friends and party late into the night .They bought a place in a plush neighbourhood, where they soon started to realize that they didn’t belong .That they would have to change their clothes, their cell phones and even the shoes to gain acceptance in the new locality. Nothing seemed to work out, but he was so determined that he even traded his Hyundai Accent , which they were earlier satisfied with for a new BMW X1 that he would proudly drive to work and park in the big multi-story community parking lot everyday where his wasn’t the odd-car-out anymore.

One day she got fired from work after her American employers realized that their country suddenly owed so much money to the world that its companies could no longer afford to pay taxes, much less pay overseas employees. She cursed George Bush, his successor and oil and decided to find a new job. They could not afford their acquired lifestyle anymore.

What they could also not afford any longer was his new low-mileage SUV, which he would look at with a heavy heart in the parking lot every day after walking back from work. The car seemed to cry at him like a lonely girl standing amidst a crowd wanting to be set free. But he would only cry back knowing he could no longer keep up with the oil price hikes. Meanwhile, she couldn’t find a new job. Both became bitter individuals, the joy of marriage had disappeared, they hardly wanted to party anymore, the sex-life was almost gone. She tried hiding her frustration of sitting at home doing nothing all day long but couldn’t.

What she also tried hiding was that she was three weeks pregnant with their first baby, waiting to break the news at a better time. She finally told him thinking it would make things a little better and he falsely-sympathised with her saying that it was a good thing she wasn’t working since now she could take care of their baby full-time. Soon she began to realize that he had gradually started coming home from work late and even started driving the BMW again, not being able to stop herself from laughing at the thought that her husband was working overtime just to drive a damn SUV that they didn’t even require. One day a woman she befriended at a community get-together told her that she had spotted her husband with another woman in the parking lot. Puzzled, she started spying on his cell phone and realized that indeed he had been calling an unknown woman for some time. She bribed the service-provider to find out that the number belonged to an escort company from which her husband had been hiring a prostitute.

For the past two months.

Heartbroken and shattered that her husband would cheat on his pregnant wife with a hooker she decided that she did not want this man to become the father of the baby she would become the mother of someday. Filled with hatred the next day she bribed a government official so she could acquire a small pistol, the kind her Army man father had taught her to use when she was a little girl. She waited for him to sneak out one night, picked up the gun from the kitchen drawer where she had been hiding it and quietly followed him into the basement of the parking lot where he always parked his BMW. On the way she bribed the watchman to know how long her husband had been sneaking into the parking.

Who told her it had been two months.

Asking him to get out of there she followed her husband into the dark basement where she saw him with the hooker as they quietly moved behind a big yellow Hummer. Bringing the pistol out she started walking closer. It was dark but enough for her to see that the girl got down on her knees while her husband stood there with his back to the car standing in front of her .Tears streaming down her cheeks she gripped the gun tighter and moved further, within shooting distance now. As the hooker stayed on her knees she started hearing deep breaths and choking noises. Not being able to take it anymore she hysterically fired two gunshots, successively getting both of them with two gunshots. Crying uncontrollably, she moved further to say one last goodbye to the monster she had loved. He had been imprinted to the car and so did the girl, in the same position, sitting on her knees, head hard-pressed against the car from the gunshot. She pulled the girl’s hair back to take a look at her face and suddenly felt her own eyes popping out and jaw dropping from what she saw. In the girl’s hand lay a siphon whose one end was inside her own mouth and the other one traversed all the way to the petrol tank of the big yellow Hummer. She froze, fell to her knees and turned the gun on herself upon realizing exactly how long her husband had been driving the BMW again.

It had been two months.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My analysis of the greatest song ever made!

The other day I came across a song named Friday by a 13-year old American girl called Rebecca Black that I found out had overtaken Justin Bieber as the most disliked and hated video on Youtube. I instantly felt the need to check out the song since I’ve always maintained that being shittier at singing than that half-girl-half-Daisy-Duck-sent-from-the-planet-Faggotron-to-erase-every-last-piece-of-decent-music-left-on-Earth is a task beyond accomplishment. Kind of like attempting to beat Twilight at being melodramatic and gay.

So I stream the video and three minute forty eight seconds later I’m left totally perplexed and in awe of the epic masterpiece I had just witnessed. This song by Rebecca Black is so unbelievably informative yet so simple. Her idea of representing themes of fast-paced modern day life, breaking the chains of conformity and oppression, educating school kids about calendars, paedophiles, nationalism along with carefully placed subliminal messages to her friends and racists with such simple usage of metaphors totally blew me away.

Hence I am going to analyze this song line-by-line for you lesser folks not bright enough to figure out the encrypted and complex sub-meanings.

So sit back and prepare to get enlightened.

Yeah, Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ah-Ark)
Oo-ooh-ooh, hoo yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

This is a simple announcement of herself in the world of Justin Bieber-esque Pop music with simple yet meaningful crooning in an auto-tuned voice with background techno music that could signify that aliens do exist, the first piece of symbolism used in the song.

7am, waking up in the morning
Gotta be fresh, gotta go downstairs
Gotta have my bowl, gotta have cereal
Seein' everything, the time is goin'
Tickin' on and on, everybody's rushin'

The first line, like the rest of this para is an indicator to the strict, monotonous, heartless and boring daily routine that people have to adhere to these days(also, this line guarantees itself an automatic nomination for the Avril Lavigne-he-was-a-boy-she-was-a-girl award for best lyrical intro to a song).The genius metaphor that cannot be overlooked here is the repetitive usage of the word “gotta” which again signifies how she has been forced to perform daily activities she doesn’t like by her parents. Could this also be a subliminal message to Childcare?

Also worth noting is the usage of “morning” even after 7 “am” has clearly been mentioned which could either be for educational purposes and also a sarcastic dig supporting the statement that the average IQ of American schoolchildren is 168.9 points lesser than that of a 3 year old self-ball-licking Labrador. Forced to eat food she hates, she’s like the handicapable Hellen Keller who is enlightened and all seeing while also supporting Albert Einstein’s Theory Of Relativity.

Gotta get down to the bus stop
Gotta catch my bus, I see my friends (My friends)

Over here she intelligently makes the point that going down to the bus stop is not always synonymous with actually catching the bus, this could either be a reminder of punctuality to the lazy people or another deeper-meaning sarcastic poke at schoolgirls who leave home for the bus stop every morning but don’t quit make it on many occasions. She makes it very clear that she is an ethical girl with every intentions of taking the bus before she notices her friends in a car. Noteworthy, is the repetition of “my friends”, possibly another figure of speech that I frankly, am not gifted enough to figure out the meaning of, although it could indicate subliminally that of all the people in the car, she only considers a select few her real friends.

Kickin' in the front seat
Sittin' in the back seat
Gotta make my mind up
Which seat can I take?

Now these four lines might actually be the reason that I consider this song the pinnacle of deep meaning and symbolism. First of all, she and her 13-year old friends are trying to break away from the conformity portrayed in the first para and descending into anarchy by driving around illegally (a clear “fuck you” to the government).She also claims that two of her friends are “kickin’” in the front seat while the remaining two are sitting in the backseat, which if noticed clearly is the exact opposite of their actual positions in the video. Surely this is supposed to be another encrypted figure of speech.

This is followed by the epitome of lyrical genius; she has to decide carefully what seat she should take as this is a decision that would probably decide and affect the outcome of the rest of her life. It’s like the legendary poem: The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost in which he explained in the form of two paths how certain decisions impact the way our lives shape up, but Rebecca has gone a step further by symbolising it with a car seat. All my respect to you, mam.I’m forever a fan.

It's Friday, Friday
Gotta get down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend, weekend
Friday, Friday
Gettin' down on Friday
Everybody's lookin' forward to the weekend

Partyin', partyin' (Yeah)
Partyin', partyin' (Yeah)
Fun, fun, fun, fun
Lookin' forward to the weekend

The chorus kicks in where she makes the gut-wrenching revelation that “it’s Friday Friday”, could this be another indicator to the Black Friday and the Mayan interpretation of catastrophe and tragedy with regards to the world of music since Justin Bieber isn’t the only one anymore? Also worth noticing is the repetition of words once again which could only be for stronger and more in-your-face ambience formation.

Also continuing the anarchist twist she screams partyin’ partyin’ while her friends chant yeah in unison.Historions are already scratching their heads trying to figure out if this actually beats the intensity of all those Nazi chants back in the Holocaust days.Also, the usage of fun 4 times in succession might be a hint that she is ready to start having some real high school fun? In which case, the following line; looking forward to the weekend takes a totally different meaning.

7:45, we're drivin' on the highway
Cruisin' so fast, I want time to fly
Fun, fun, think about fun
You know what it is
I got this, you got this
My friend is by my right
I got this, you got this
Now you know it

Exactly twelve hours and 45 minutes have passed since she woke up this fateful day and the act of rebellion advances further with the 13-year olds taking to the highway, they are cruising so fast that time has apparently become a 3-dimensional quantity that can fly like a bird along all the three axis. Good lyrics indeed. She brings up the argument of kids being made to live a forced lifestyle again by hinting that while her parents might think she’s happy and having fun, she actually craves for it as merely driving on the freeway with a couple of braces-wearing chicks will not quench her thirst for the wholelotta fun she mentions continually in the song.

She wants the listener to closely pay attention to her desperate plea and expects them to get her point. The last three lines actually lift the lid off the heart-stopping suspense she generated in the earlier lines by finally enlightening the audience that of all the four girls in the car only the one on her right is the real friend that she was earlier talking about. While not picking the one on her left is understandable since that chick looks ugly as fuck, dumb and has no fucking idea what she’s doing throughout the video, not picking the two girls sitting in front might actually be a little controversial since one appears to be of African-American descent and the other one surely an Asian. Could this be a secret hint that Rebecca Black hates minorities and wants us to “know it”? You decide.

Yesterday was Thursday, Thursday
Today i-is Friday, Friday (Partyin')
We-we-we so excited
We so excited
We gonna have a ball today

Tomorrow is Saturday
And Sunday comes after... wards(words?)
I don't want this weekend to end

She continues her exciting wordplay and double meaning symbolism while educating school kids at the same time. Not only is she validating the fact that days of the week indeed follow the Thursday, Friday, Saturday sequence after which Sunday follows, she’s also using Thursday to represent that yesterday was like living under a loaded gun while today(i.e. Friday) she has broken all chains of conformity and is a free spirit.The “we-we-we” so excited part clearly represents the unification of people in true Gandhian spirit as “we” is clearly a word that should be preferred over I.

Tomorrow being a Saturday could represent a revolution to bring down the government in its totality which again makes it interesting, the plans she might have for Sunday, the meaning of which has been kept open to all interpretations(also justifying the interesting way wordplay while she sings afterwards/after words).Also, interesting to note is the intentional usage of incorrect English(we so excited, we gonna have a ball) which again signifies her struggle against the codes and traditions, this time not caring for the rules of prepositions and nouns written 200 years ago at some far-away University in England by grey-haired oldies that probably never got laid their entire lives.

R-B, Rebecca Black
So chillin' in the front seat (In the front seat)
In the back seat (In the back seat)
I'm drivin', cruisin' (Yeah, yeah)
Fast lanes, switchin' lanes
Wit' a cop on my side (Woo! )
(C'mon) Passin' by is a school bus in front of me
Makes tick tock, tick tock, wanna scream
Check my time, it's Friday, it's a weekend
We gonna have fun, c'mon, c'mon, y'all

The Rap part is probably the most astonishing and deep-meaning part of the song, while simpletons might believe actually argue that this is the part, like in many modern pop songs where a black guy raps for about half a minute before the song hits into the powerful last chorus, the intentional portrayal of an old black man, bad rapping and what appears to be stupid lyrics only represents that the presence of this black guy symbolizes something deeper, which actually is to warn the school kids about creepy paedophiles and child-molesters rampant on the streets these days and their incessant urge to fuck a kid without a care in the world for traffic rules(switching lanes without flashing appropriate indicators) or even cops driving next to them. These scary men have libidos in form of a time bomb that gradually ticks until they come across a school bus and that is when they cannot control it anymore and scream representing some misplaced sexual fetish and ecstacy.The man checks his watch, this indeed is rape time. He wouldn’t mind having group sex with all the kids present on the bus, hence leading to the double meaning last line: “(I’m gonna)c’mon y’all” which needs no explanation whatsoever.

The song ends with Rebecca presiding over the party(revolution) and pumping up the newly united(and paedophile-cautious) kids not to let the fire inside them fizz out, followed by appreciation and applause for Rebecca at the end while she casually blushes in a yeah-I-know-I’m-the-next-Bob-Dylan kind of way.

So while this might come across as a simple teen pop song about partyin’ and fun(multiplied 23748 times)it actually is the most complex and interwoven piece of art we’ve seen in the modern times where Christopher Nolan thought he was cool just because he came up with Inception and Memento.

Honestly, being one of the lucky 98 million people on this planet that have savoured every second of this song on Youtube, I can only laugh while mocking the 1,927,983 dumb people on Youtube and hundreds of critics that disliked this video since they’re not intellectually capable of figuring out something so special, that too by someone who can sing like a robot.
Up yours!


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