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.

10 Replies to “Bitter End to Saarang”

  1. The dean is the biggest cupper I’ve ever known. We don’t want a dean who strictly follows the rules. We don’t want someone so idealistic. We don’t want someone who considers law abiding and self-satisfaction to be above decency, politeness and common sense.

    If he WAS so desperate, why did he not go to the concert himself and request the performers to put the instruments and the microphones down?


  2. I say that we all go to and write an apology on behalf of iitm and “our” KANTRYNESS for which all of us get blamed because of one big cupper….Pack insti…WTF is Chennai doing as a metro? it should be F***ed right in the ministry…what stupid rules about some 11PM performance…total bull crap…doesnt anyone criticise this? as far as i know in chennai itself there are equal number of rock followers as there are ppl who follow other kinds of music…and Totally Not Required for insti to bother about some vague rule by some uneducated chooth in the ministry

  3. Guys Guys Guys
    Why can’t we f**king grow up and accept the rules and follow them too. The Led Zepplika was informed prior to the performance that the ending time for performance was 11 pm. Led Zepplica had no bussiness playing till after that.
    The government has imposed a rule and we ought to follow it, no matter how unresonable it may seem. Any furrther protest should only work towards changing the rule. Coolshankin is right, we have to be more open minded, but here we should defend our govt. rather than feel guilty like in the apology link. Our further approach should be towards appealing for a change in the rule rather than apologising to the Californian band.
    Moreover Led Zepplica did no favour by coming, we paid them to, yes they agreed to, but they were paid handsomely for the same, if we should be feeling sad, it should be for those who paid to hear the song and weren’t able to.
    Again I agree with coolshankin, we should be more open to all forms of music, rather all forms of art, I do not understand what it is in rock music that all youngsters seem to like and that makes them listen only to it.
    ps: sorry for all typos..written in impulse

  4. It would be great if all the all those writing comments anonymously sign off with their names. Atleast let me know who you are.

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    Which year do you live in? 1965? If the government suddenly said everyone under 18 years old should not visit the beach at any time without their parents, would you agree to that too? You grow up. You are supposed to argue over things in a democracy, not sit on your ass and accept everything. Our society is backward enough as it is without complacent people like you.

    Youngesters like rock music since they can identify with the energy and rebellion in it. I’m 19 and I like heavy metal and rock music, but I also like pop, r&b and even instrumental. See the problem with stereotyping?

  6. Marc Z you slanderous bitch, try to read english and understand what I am saying.
    Dude, protest is our right and we all SHOULD do it if we have a problem, but upholding nation pride is another thing.
    Read the post before commenting, I am not saying that we sit mum and follow every rule that is made. If you read closely you wil notice that I am saying that instead of making apologies to the Led Zepplica we should work to make changes to our rule. Or learn how to make an exception to it.
    Where the F**k were you, when the rule was made much ealier than this and you speak of democracy? What use is apologising when you aren’t f**king actively involved in making changes at all?? When you were sleeping when the rule was made, better stand by the rule. All you can do is to advocate speaking for things and never actually do it whenit f**king required.
    So don’t go off the record with your f**king lecture on democracy before you f**king do something yourself, and next time please use your f**king head before you comment or do anything.
    More over I am not saying that it is bad or good that we like rock music (ya me too!!) but I am only contemplating what it is that makes us all like it so much and appeal to such a large mass of us youngsters.

  7. Quote: Marc Z you slanderous bitch

    That made me laugh.

    Quote: Where the F**k were you, when the rule was made much ealier than this and you speak of democracy?

    Since when have normal citizens had a say in our Goverment’s retarded decisions? Even if we did, mentally-stunted adults trying to hang on to twisted values will support the government.

    And how about you identify yourself? Your anonymous comments have no weight whatsoever.


    There’s no point in using an obscenity AND partially censoring it. You think someone reading your comment won’t know what the word is just because you supressed two letters?

  8. even I agree with the third anonymous, given prior information it was necessary as a rule for the Led Zepp team to end by the specified time. because they did not do it and as a newsletter co ord put it, ” there is ‘a’ slot on monday morning, the dean found it an apt requirement to do what he did’. I don’t think that we should actually blame OUR dean and/or apologise, because however great the led zepp team was, our rules are rules and they BLATANTLY and knowingly flouted it.More than what occured the intention is important, and there was nothing wrong with the deans intention.

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