The Parikrama – Strings concert in Chennai took me back to the REC days…the cops wading into the crowd, the large-scale scuffles…

We reached the venue at 5.30, sober and clean, everyone had agreed that it was a little too early to be otherwise (Big mistake). For a rock concert, there was a surprisingly large ‘family’ crowd, and outside the venue, a teenager plugging Ford Fiesta kept them engaged with a quiz on acceleration, warranties, etc. – “Kai thattunge Chennai, kai thattunge”.


The show started two hours late, but nobody complained as the dialogue between the band and the sound engineers, blasting from the speakers, was semma kamedy…“turn the bass up a notch”, “cut the reverb”, “where is my guitar”, “what was that?”, “are you really so dumb or are you doing this just to annoy me”…


I had never had so much fun before a concert.




Parikrama started with a screechy rendition of Ay-ron Maiden. They played Yellow for the girls and the other songs for nobody in particular. The finale was Highway to Hell, with Sherpa in Angus Young shorts – you won’t believe this – strumming an acoustic guitar.


During the break local fast-man Jibran came onstage to announce the Fiesta quiz winners, dropping four-letter words trying fcuking hard to be cool. When the commissioner of police joined Jibran to hand over the prizes, the kids started chanting ‘commissioner, commissioner…’. I knew then that the evening wasn’t going to be a complete waste.


Finally Strings…age appropriate music…and the guys who were with me dozed off.



Suddenly the action started, two groups of IIPM vadakkans going at each other in true Braveheart ishtyle. The cops, not wanting to miss out on all the fun, joined in and the crowd had a great time. Strings played on through all this, I am sure they would have seen bigger stuff at home.



Abrupt end.
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