The Naked King
Every time I visit the concert – and believe me in the last couple of years, I have ‘managed’ to attend more than the ones I attended in my (N-2) years – where N equals to my current age (I just can’t resist brining in the mathematics in my otherwise mundane writing) . So coming back to the topic of concerts – I believe an attendance results in several unique chain of events – each of which is very wonderful, and not exactly definable in mere words. Here’s the attempt to fathom my mind, and glean the jewels therefrom.
An ardent follower of ‘Samarpan Meditation’, and having heard / read somewhat, I have now a solution to what was otherwise a weird phenomenon. Every time, I attended any drama, musicals, et al – I used to be full of very good ideas. I think I would have done this in that particular manner; and the effectiveness would be much better. Sometimes, unrelated ideas used to haunt me for the entire duration of the performance; and disturb me a lot. Unfortunately, I am not one of those ardent writers who carries a note book everywhere he / she goes, and jots down the ideas even in his / her dreams. Come easy, go easy – and once the show is over, so is the inspirational time. Go home to do whatever your normal is. Now I am aware that this is due to collectivity of thoughts – everyone thinking about the play / music, etc. – and due to this collectivity of thoughts, individual brain also goes into high gear! Like if you are driving on a free-way, the speed of your car automatically goes up – though otherwise, you would not exceed certain miles per hour. There is boost – which lasts only till you are on the free-way. Once in your own surroundings, you tend to your normal mediocre speed.
We can take this to another place and another time – ‘Smashan Vairagya’ – literally translated means ‘Remorse at Funeral’. You must have witnessed the symptoms of ‘collectivity’ at a funeral procession or parlour. Each Tom and Mary (in our Indian terms, each Mohan and Meera) are having the profound thoughts of life and death, and the futility of everything. The Bhagvad Geeta is remembered more at the funerals than at any other times. Empty hand you came in this life, and with empty hands you will leave this world. Few of them even wondering if there is life after birth (not death)!
Come out of the funeral parlour; and the next question pops up – ‘What to eat now?’ And all the good and deep thoughts are dead and gone – along with the departed soul!
So coming back to the power of collectivity – one of the effects of the attendance at the concerts is the thought and idea generation. Actually, the idea of writing this came to me while attending a show few days ago – and smart that I am, I jotted down my feeling on the I-phone (hey, I am trying to be technological savvy person). I continued to propound the idea till I had enough material.
There’s yet another aspect (totally unrelated to what has been said above) of attending a concert. My cousin told me that her (soon to be) ex-husband always bought the ‘BEST’ seats (meaning the very front seats) at each show they attended. Whether the show was good or bad – the seats had to be the best ones. And during intermission, when everyone rushed for either intake or outflow of fluids / materials, this man would stand up from his chair and triumphantly survey around the lower (actually the higher) denizens who could not afford the BEST seats. ‘But who could he see – when there’s so much crowd’ – my query resulted in the answer – ‘It’s not who or what he sees – but that the people see that he is! In the best of the seats!’ Wow! That’s really a new way of looking at the concerts!
But I digress.
Superlative adjectives! In my school days, I always wondered what this would be and when, if at all, one would be privy of using such adjectives. The young and un-corrupt mind could not grapple the unreal world of adjectives – till the owner of the mind became old enough to attend the few shows. At this point in time, I am reminded of another story. The tailor who made the ‘invisible clothes’ for the king; and per tailor, this dress could be seen only by the pious and faithful subjects of the king! When the naked king strolled down the Raj-path or whatever the road was called then, all the loyal people tried to outbid each other in extolling the beauty of the king’s wardrobe. Till one child yelled – “Hey, look the king is naked”!
I wish I had the guts of the child to tell aloud what I really felt about the performance. The last performance left me gagging and choking – and wishing I were at any other place (yes, even a dentist’s chair would have been welcome) than the performance place. But everyone around me praised the wardrobe, and I joined the gang. I lament for the lack of innocence and the courage to speak up and speak out. I reproduce below few of the choicest remarks made for the mundane performance:
“You entertained us – the three hours just flew by – didn’t even notice the time” – said the person who spent most of her time with me – outside sipping the wine / beer and rest of the time in the toilet (naturally, not with me).
It is not the case that I want to undermine the talent. The performers have tonnes more than I do. My singing can best be compared to the croaking of the frogs – making the listeners wish that they should croak, too! And I seem to have three left feet, when it comes to dancing. But then I don’t charge an arm and a leg to come and see me perform or doing tricks. The performers are the best as they can be. It’s the people or the audience that needs to learn about few things.
And I continue to like to go to the concerts – the same way I like to go to someone’s funeral – I have realized now that both the places are the places for ‘learning’ and fertile grounds for sprouting the ideas. The king is no more naked, for he is dressed in amazing ideas!
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