Bitter End to Saarang

All’s well that ends well. What if it doesn’t end well? Doesn’t it leave a bitter taste for a long time? Well, that’s how the cultural festival of IIT Madras ended, on a bitter note. Earlier, I had posted a Calvin and Hobbs cartoon on the dean pulling the plug on saarang. Little did we know that someone would pull the plug while scaling the last few steps of stairway to heaven. Talk about Murphy’s Law…..
City of Chennai has a ban on live performances after 11 pm. With good reasons, exception of about 30 mins could have been made on Saarang’s last day. One of them being, its distance from the main city, the other being, a tribute band coming all the way from California to play here. For those who don’t yet know, when only a couple song were left to be performed, the band, Led Zepillica (A led zep tribute band) was driven out of the stage, right in the middle of a song. Not just any song, but the song, “stairway to heaven”. What most of us are upset about is the fact that a foreign band was treated that way.
It’s not just shame on IITM but also on India’s name for the disrespect we’ve shown to the artists. I will not be surprised if any other Indian band expresses reluctance to perform in the college or a foreign band to perform in India. With such stringent rules, who would want to perform in the country? With such disregard to the art, we will make more enemies than friends. No matter what state of mind one is in, it simply doesn’t justify the lack of hospitality towards the biggest guests of the evening. How can anyone forget their etiquettes when over five thousand people are looking forward to have a wonderful evening that will conclude saarang on a high note?
It was the also timing of the incident which raged the audience. Speakers and lights went down right when final part of the arguably best song ever written, ‘Stairway to heaven’ was approaching. The person responsible, I am sure, is clueless about how popular the song is and that almost half the fans would have been waiting for this particular song for over a month. Someone must ask him to give the song the respect it deserves and the artists the admiration they deserve. Isn’t it a little too obvious that any performer would save the best for last? ‘Stairway…’, ‘Kashmir’ and ‘Whole lotta love’ being the last three songs that were suppose to have been performed will not come as a surprise to any rock music fan. Keeping all of these in mind, I really don’t see a reason why such a distasteful act was needed.
We all have to be a lot more open minded than what we are. It’s not just about rock show. When it was suggested that a Hindustani musician would perform during saarang, it was outright rejected because this was the heart of carnatic music. Why can’t our people be more open minded in accepting other forms of music as well? What we have now done is showcased our narrow mindedness to the rest of the world.
Now that all the damage is done I would like to
apologize to ‘Led Zepplica’ for the way we have presented ourselves and hope that they leave India with lot more pleasant memories.

Green green grass of Kudremukh

A month back, I visited the place where I did my twelve years of schooling, a place i stayed for my first sixteen years of my life. Here are some of the pics I took. Western Ghat are one of 18 hot-spots of bio-diversity in the world (UNO recognised). Kudremukh is in the heart of western ghats. Eastern Himalayas is the only other hot-spot in India. The iron ore mines in Kudremukh has been ordered to shut down ro prevent any further destruction to the eco-system. It should be seen as a major step in India’s effort to environmental conservation. Here is the glimpse of the forest that surrounds Kudremukh.

Hanumangundi Falls…..

Inside the Bhagwathi Forests….

Amidst the trees…..

Picturesque, isn’t it?