A. R. Rahman Live – Part III of III

There were about 80,000 tickets to be sold for the concert, there were just a few thousands out there though. The tickets were all funky, with bar codes and stuff. You could also call a particular number, where a barcode will be given to you on the phone via SMS. This could be scanned at the entrance. High-tech, huh? At the entrance, our barcodes weren’t even scanned to invalidate them.

The rains are really heavy now, the concert has ended, Rahman has waved his final good bye and we’re on our way out. The ground that was is now a mud pool. We’re wading through the slush. Scores of people making their way out.

Once out, we hunt for Auto Rickshaws to ply us back. Not surprisingly, none wants to come to our side of the town. I’m used to this. This happens in Pune as well. I’m all ready to walk back the 7 KMs home. Never mind the rains, I’m on a high after the performance. Others have to go to work tomorrow, some “shramdan” (donate work) stuff. We don’t have it. Lucky us.

Anyway, while we’re wading ourselves out, a van seems to be stuck in the mud. We offer to help. Get it out in a couple of minutes. Further ahead, a big car is in even deep mud. Hmm. This one takes five minutes. Further ahead, there’s a police van — really big one and a fiat side-by-side and in deeper mud. We can’t help this scene, not even with Bahubali to tow. It’ll take cranes and really sunny day tomorrow. We walk out of the grounds.

Walking back in the rains… feeling nice about the rains now than at the start of the concert. I enjoy walking / riding in the rains. This is surely one such moment. But friends say we’ll have to take a rick back. “We’ve got to go to work early tomorrow morning!” It’s 12:15. We wait at a junction hoping we get a rick. Three of the friends who have to go farther than us, do get an auto rider willing to take them there. Great, they’re off.

After 10-15 minutes of lazing off at the same place, we get one auto guy who’s willing to come, but he’ll charge us Rs. 150. This is 5 of what we’d normally pay. Rule is to pay 1.5 times after 10, but we’re willing to pay twice. Five times is really too much. We refuse. I’m still suggesting we walk. If there’s an auto going that way, we’ll anyway encounter it and we can still hitch a ride. It’s better to walk in the rains than to just stand there. It gets real cold and shivery.

A truck comes by, a few people waiting with us get in. There’s not enough place for us. Ah.. More waiting.

A good soul-ed rick guy comes along. Offers to ply us for Rs. 50. That’s not even twice the normal fare. We can’t believe, we hop on. I’ll be dropped off first, I suggest my friends to pay him 60. Definitely he should be thanked for his sincerity.

I get off, thank the driver, walk a few paces towards home. It’s still raining heavily. I immediately take a hot water bath, for the fear of being out of action due to cold / cough. I usually don’t easily contract diseases, but cold is something that’s a biennial ritual. I don’t want it to happen now.

Post a hot bath and nice dinner at 2 in the morning, I’m all set to sleep. What a nice way to round off a very enjoyable evening!

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