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Bandstand in the Rains…Again! July 26, 2006

Posted by espritnoir in Bandstand Stories, I, Me and Myself....
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This happened about a few weeks ago. In fact, this was about two days after I was walking home in Bandra, that night a few weeks ago. For some reason, I never got around to posting it up before this. I may have gotten over the melancholy state of mind, I was in back then, but, this was nonetheless, a state of mind that I was in at one point of time. And, I thought I out to put it up…  

I had my annual “Most Memorable Moment at Bandstand in the Rains For the Year” moment early yesterday morning. Nothing as fancy as I made it up to be, this is just one or two memories that I eventually end up with each year, at what’s probably my one refuge when this world gets too hard to handle. Sometimes, it’s a crazy moment, some times romantic, at times painful, or even just being at peace with myself, having a quiet walk in the rains. One time its almost been scary to the point of almost being suicidal. (Totally unintentional, I assure you, but very thoughtless and stupid in hindsight. I’ll tell you about that sometime else) But either knowingly or unknowingly, there’s always a moment, a memory that I closely associate with being at Bandstand in the rains, at least one each year, if not more.  

To start off where it actually started, I was out for a friends sangeet party the night before, and late after the function was over, I was driving on home, and as you must have guessed it by now, its night, I’m driving, and its been too long since I’ve been there, so I just end up at Bandstand, around 11:00 in the night. The 3 days of incessant rains that have been lashing out against Bombay, had probably scared most people into staying home, coz even though it wasn’t raining right then, the promenade along the sea face at ’Stand, (as a good friend of mine refers to it), was practically empty. Just one or two stray couple here and there, probably residents from the buildings nearby, and me.  

As I walked along the sea-face, something was gnawing at the back of my mind. Here, I was at Bandstand on a starless night, with the rains gently drizzling on my face and hands, and for once in my life, at what has become a home away from home, a private refuge at times, I wasn’t at ease. Suddenly, for no apparent reason, I remembered something that someone close to me had told me while back, what now seems like ages ago. Without going into the specifics, I’ll just tell you what she said. She had told me that she was glad that the next time I would go to Bandstand, I’d have a happy thought in my mind and a smile on my face. And although this wasn’t the next time, the thoughts racing through my brain right then, and the grim look I caught on my face a little earlier, when I accidentally glanced in the side view mirror of my car, made me stand up and take notice. I was at Bandstand and forget being happy, I wasn’t even the usual me.    

Well, since it wasn’t quite the same, I decided to get out of there, far sooner than I would have wished. A troubled sleep later, the next morning, I woke up listening to the rains lash out against the french windows of my room that led to the balcony. It was raining in torrents. And before I had completely opened my eyes, and kissed goodbye to the woman in my dreams;), I had made up my mind to be at Bandstand that morning. Twenty minutes later, I was at Bandstand, a lone figure, nobody around for miles, looking out into the raging sea.  

I have no idea, what prompted me to do it. Maybe the need to get rid of all my frustration, maybe the desire to feel alive, or maybe just plain insanity. But in that torrential rains, I stepped off the paved promenade, and hesitantly started walking on to the jagged rocks towards the waves that were crashing in just a few feet away. Not a very smart move to do in normal circumstances, especially when you are wearing floaters, that are about as helpful as flip flops in getting a grip on the wet and slippery rocks, but absolutely insane when its raining like the end of the world, and the wind is threatening to take you places, very much like a plastic straw in a tornado. A slip here and there would have meant a brief stint of compulsory bed rest at home, with quite a few bruises in the most tenderest of places. Maybe even a fracture or two. But to those of you who’ve been there and done that, I’m sure you’ll understand that at times and places, reason ceases to exist. So there I was, standing on the rocks in the pouring rains, the waves crashing into the rocks at my feet, getting drenched by the minute. And the whole moment was so huge, one of those brief moments which seem larger than life itself, that believe it or not, I started to sing! My body was having a tough time holding still and keeping my feet on the ground, and my heart wanted to sing! Truth be told, its an amazing feeling, singing at the top of your lungs, completely off key, with nobody to judge you. Unless you consider the waves, and the rocks as an audience, that is. There I was drenched to the bone, singing out rain songs at the top of my voice.  

“Rain … Feel it on my finger tips feel it on my window pane… your love is coming down like… RAIN!!!” Madonna… 

“Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, it’s not warm when she’s away…this house just ain’t no home anytime she goes away…” Al Green… “She’s a good girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus and
America too…” Tom Petty… 

“A love struck Romeo sings a street style serenade…”Dire Straits 

“Raindrops keep falling on my head…” B J Thomas 

“Hope you’ve had the time of your life…” Green Day 

“Born to be wild…” Steppenwolf 

I could have stood there singing all day. (Bad singing is addictive, I must say. Try it sometime. But only when you’re alone:) Just stand there, nobody around, feel slightly like a complete lunatic. And not care as to who was thinking what. (It helped a lot that there was nobody around to care a damn about). And as my brain scanned an imaginary playlist in my mind, as to what song to sing next, I realized how lonely I felt all over again, but yet somehow, how completely alive.  

I must have felt like that after ages. And then, I realized something that day. Something I had learnt the hard way over several years ago, and now again. In joy, you run the risk of merely existing, living in a state of constant euphoria. But, in grief, you are truly alive. In pain, in sorrow, you feel the systematic throbbing of every painful heartbeat. You listen to every dejected sigh you release. You feel the passing of each moment of your life. You actually feel the pain swelling up inside your heart, transform itself into an uncontrollable urge to cry out in anguish and make its way to your throat, only to die a silent death, when you are forced to suppress it, lest the world mocks you in your hour of anguish. 

That realization in place, I realized that the crazed off-key singing was merely a way to release the pain I was feeling within. A cry turned to a song. And as with crying, the more I sang, the better I felt. It was a completely unexpected release of emotions. And I stood there, my voice completely drowned in the roaring of the wind and the crashing of the waves.  

I must have stayed there like that for over an hour. Finally, the realization that I had a wedding to attend in a couple of hours, made me turn my back to the most appreciative audience I had ever had. I turned away, carefully walked towards the promenade, desperately hoping that I didn’t trip and break my head or something. As I stepped back on solid ground, something made me turn around. It must be a crazy thing to comprehend, but I bowed down to the waves and the rocks. A gesture of thank you to nature for accepting me, and for giving me a memory that I will live with forever. And a smile once again. 

Just one more reason what makes Bandstand so special to me.  

     

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Comments»

1. Anon - August 5, 2006

Nice post, good thoughts…be careful tho’

2. smruthy - August 11, 2006

sooooooo much better

3. Richa - August 13, 2006

Wow…looks good,in fact doesnt this ‘feel’ more organized to you ?Oooops maybe thats just me. Honestly, I was visiting the old place, and kinda got shocked to see the last post, and promptly wanted to peep in and see what made you leave ,see if it was worth the move for you; must have been or you wouldnt have moved, yeah ?? .And i wanted to make sure you had some comments waiting @ your new blogspace… saw some ‘friendlies’ already here… gr8

Good luck

4. poemer - August 14, 2006

hey…i like what you’ve done with the place ( a little nod to your adieu on blogspot). looking ofrward to some new thoughts from you soon. i need some inspiration… 😉

5. Ajeya - August 14, 2006

hello! glad to see you back in the blogosphere 🙂 I’m sure you had a good enough reason to move ‘homes’. Nice place! I’ll be around the block, cheers!

6. ramblingmuse - August 16, 2006

*sniff*

Your last blog post was very touching. I like your new space. 🙂 Here’s two many, many more (years of) posts! 😉

7. ramblingmuse - August 17, 2006

See what happens when I post late at night?

* two = to

🙂


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