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     Volume 7 Issue 41 | October 17, 2008 |

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A day in the Life of a Professional Concert-goer

Saad Adnan

Now and then, bright red, blue and yellow lights crisscrossed the darkness. The people were jumping as high as they could, shouting with their might. After every few minutes, a sweet, unpleasant white smoke crawled from one corner of the stage, and suffused a considerable amount of area. Along with these, the brain vibrating drumbeats, the electricity of the guitar, and roaring of the singers buzzed up the air.

Far in front, stood the raised platform, which had a vibrantly coloured shamiana stretched over it, was ablaze with crisp spot light. All the band members on stage were men, and all were in black. The vocalist was almost tearing up the wire from the microphone, as he swayed violently up and down, side-to-side, shouting, and sometimes singing. His wet straggly hair flopped over his forehead, covering half of his face. The lead guitarist had another mike in front him, but his hands were busy playing the bright glossy red electric guitar. He was even singing, but for the power of the vocalists' voice, his voice was somewhat smudged. The other guitarist had spiked hair, and played his guitar on the other side of the stage. Left was the drummer, who was sitting behind them, hitting the drums, and thrashing the cymbals, with his sticks, and sweating the most. The rock music they were playing was making the crowd go hysterical with each passing moment. Their arms fluttered over their heads, their bodies gyrated with the beats. Heaving and shaking their heads, a thrill ran all through out the jazz-intoxicated audience. As the music rose to a crescendo, the movements became more dramatic and their shouting more prolonged.

My cousin was right beside me, stiff and straight, trying not to get displaced from his place, by the push of the overwhelmingly delirious dancers and couples. His mother was constantly calling him on his mobile, asking him to return home, and everytime his loud, quick, rapt reply 'YES, YES COMING!' returned back the calls. He was waiting for his favourite band to appear on stage, for which, along with him, I waited too. I didn't mind at all, because there was so much to see, and take in. Exactly on our left, almost six to seven shirt-less men, held hands, and hopped in a circle. Their sweaty bodies glistened in the psychedellic light. Some of the couples stood stuck to each other, as if they were plastered with very adhesive glue, while some of the girls danced real close to the boys, enjoying their discomfiture immensely. It was rather funny how the boys' breathing quickened and their surreptitious attempts to brush their hands against different body parts of the girls. They did not care that some people (like me), who were just tapping their feet, and shaking their heads lightly, were staring back at them disbelievingly, thinking them shameless perrerts! However, the truth was that the celebration around me had started to ignite a speck of excitement in me as well.

At last the 'favourite' band arrived. My cousin roared out, and so did I! The band performed and so did the crowd, in their preoccupied spaces. When the first song of the band was over, and by which time my cousin had received umpteenth numbers of calls from his mother, we started to rush back. We pierced through the crowd, and we heard cheers, jeers, swear words etc. We came face to face with people, our shoulders brushing against shoulders, chests brushing against backs, pushing them aside we went on, gathering speed. We smelt sweat, bad breathe, jasmine perfume, alcohol, and cigarette, Brute aftershave, mints, a whole medley of odours! Hunching our heads low, crumpling our shoulders, holding our breathe, we streamed on. At last we reached the end, where the crowd thinned and instantly cool fresh air stroked our burning nostrils. We didn't stop. We got out of the 'Women's Complex', and started striding on the footpath. The band had started its second song, but it dimmed out more and more as we moved ahead. My cousin's mobile rang and he answered back remorsefully, 'yes mom, we are coming!'



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