The bash was a complete disaster, with the anti-Mars feeling dominating a large part of it. The venue was a total let-down. It was a unlevelled open site, for God's sake, and they had put up cloth all around, and made it look like a consumer exhibition. And to top it all, we had the Zensar guys looking at us from their balconies. First-timers somewhat enjoyed it, but then, they had no yardstick to judge it. Last year's bash was leagues ahead of this.
We reached the venue in the afternoon, in the sweltering heat, and the first things we are given are some games coupons. (I am being convinced this is an exhibition after all.) I look around and see heavy snacks (read dosas, bisi bele bath) being served, and dust all over. Didnt feel like eating much.
The mood went for a toss right there. Had a look at the games counters - put a ball through a swinging tyre wrapped in golden paper, put the coin in the tumbler immersed in a bucket of water, hang rings on a couple of hooks five feet away. Sheesh!!! My high school exhibition had more exciting games.
Cut to early evening. A poor man's Johnny Lever takes the sub-stage and does a poor show of imitating Bollywood. Me looking at a red M&M 4x4 parked mear the main stage. Yawn!! Show over, the comedian begs for applause and beats a hasty exit. Me does a photo session with friends on the red M&M. The jeep is the only solace in the hot afternoon sun beating on our backs, getting the sweat to flow. Wrong choice of clothes, I think to myself, looking at the beige trousers getting reddy streaks, thanks to the mud and dust around. The shoes are a complete wreck, took me half a bottle of Cherry Blossom to bring them back to black.
Cut to late evening, when the Idol starts. The first round is a classical round, and it starts on a melodious note. But where is this "Just Chill Chill" coming from. Its the DJ at the kiddie zone, belting out the numbers blissfully unaware that someone is stretching their vocal chords to the highest octave just next to him. The noise surprisingly subsides when the IDOL steps on stage. By this time, the crowd has settled down and found their groove, though some are still loitering near the breezer counter, hoping to grab the first bottle. By the time the IDOL takes the stage for his second round, side screens are in place, flanking the main stage, and beaming up his face for all to see.
The choice, the rendition and the outcome of the song was such, I heard at least half a dozen people openly saying they could do better. Out of the seven, yet, the IDOL came up tops, and the presence of a certain person saw to it that Mars gets the least points (read a lowly third), even though it had two of the top three singers that evening. Needless to say, IDOL won the Idol, for a second time in a row.
Ever heard of Abhijit Sawant winning the Indian Idol 2. But hey, this is bash, and anything amiss is perfectly okay.
The bar was telling a story of its own. They were serving only beer and breezer, and what do we have with it? Wonder of wonders, peanuts and potato wafers. Is this an annual bash, you are tempted to ask, but you decide against it, to wait and watch. The first few rounds are given in bottles, and what do you see next? Liquor given in paper cups. Where is the world coming to? Even Laloo gives tea in earthen cups, and we get liquor in paper cups. Better kick? Maybe, ask those who were high on it. Compare with this the unlimited vodka and whisky which flowed freely last bash, in decorated glassware, and Thai and Lebanese starters to go with it. Last bash even had a cigarette stall to lift the "high" people higher.
The food was okay, but thats the best that can be said about it. The damage was done as early as mid-afternoon when people saw all the dust settling on the cutlery and stuff. Award ceremonies gave way to stage performances, and it kept on dragging behind schedule. The results of the IDOL brought along with it the results of the campaigning and the house tallies. With IDOL walking away with the accolades, it was certain that Venus was way ahead of Mars, but the final nail in the coffin was hammered when they announced they had divided the 100 points for campaigning equally between Mars and Venus. Now, someone please tell me how can two campaigns be equal?
Campaigning is where there is always a clear winner. You come up with a brainwave, and the other comes up with an equally killing idea, but there is always a clear line which declares the winner. I agree the Mela and newspaper were stunning moves, but the 50-50 stank of the rancid politics going on.
Finally the rock band came, and gave some real headbanging for a few minutes, before they were asked to leave the stage in the middle of their performance. Reason unknown. Result unknown. Rock gave way to DJ, and finally, some hip shaking numbers came through the speakers. The dance started from one end of the stage, and dust raised to spoil the shirts. (The trousers were already asking for their date with the drycleaners).
I remember the last bash, when we left the venue past midnight, and had voices reach their peak in the buses, on the way back. The event reverberated for two days then. This time around it wound up at 10pm, and the buses started to leave. As expected, there was a humungous rush for the first bus back to the city. And the ride was a silent one to boot, you could have heard a pin drop. And when one reached home, it was perfectly normal that he curled up under his rug, and dozed off watching tennis on the TV, just like any other day slogged out at the office.
I am happy I did not shop for this bash.