Metallica. Right now, one of the biggest band in the world, they are together for 3 decades, they make their fans heartbeats with their riffs, lyrics and presence. I am proud to be one of their millions of fans.
It all started to me in high school may be, or PU. But have memories of hearing them in Engineering hostel, it was the song “Fuel” which got my attention, which starts with.
Gimme that which I desire,
I was stuck to them, then in Robosoft (year 2007), I met Mithun Nair, my metal bro, who not only knew in and out of Metal, Metallica, Iron Maiden. Even played brilliant guitar. It was him who taught me almost everything on Metal. Endless talks on James, Kirk, Lars, Eddie, Flight 666, various albums and of course the “devil horns”. \m/ Thanks bro.
During our talks, we wished attending the Metallica concert sometime in future. Mithun used to reply “Naseeb mein hoga toh hoyega Jamaal”. Jamaal being me here.
Time flew by, me and Mithun parted as I moved to Bangalore, he wandering around in Bangalore later moved in Mangalore. But we were connected. Got to know about F1 happening in India. We thought why can’t we do that. Take break from work, as we had worked for 5 years, never took vacation. Then something happened.
To as part F1 Rocks event (which happens two days before race) in India, Metallica was performing. HOLY SHIT. We couldn’t believe ourselves. They were performing in Delhi and Bangalore.
But Mithun wanted to see them play at the first place they perform in India, along with came F1 and our North India trip. Tagged alone, booked the tickets in advance, Metallica, F1, Train to Ajmer, Agra, return via flight.
And the preparations begin, I decided to leave long hairs, due to that dint go home for months, posters, “Kill-em All” t-shirt. We hadn’t turned a stone around to make this happen. Trust me.
First blow came, due to work commitments Mithun couldn’t make it. Then in the crisis, Subodh stepped up to join me for the trip and make it happen. He came just for me, the trip turned out epic for both, both bonded like anything.
Fast forward to the day of concert.
It was on a friday, I performed my Juma namaz at Jamia Masjid, Delhi. Caught the next metro, reached other end of NCR, were among the first at the gates, almost 25,000 were there. Gates opened and the wait begins.
Hours passed by, every sec we are looking at the stage, they will open up the concert, can get started any sec. We were holding breath, getting pushed, the sweat, hearing all the North Indian gaaliyan as everyone getting impatient.
The organisers show up, saying as the stage and crowd were divided over bamboo barrier, the Metallica people wanted an extra layer of protections as they knew people will break it up. We were asked to go back, so that they can build another layer. Boo’s and slangs ensure to the organisers.
Time ticking, sun goes down, still no word. We were getting anxious, I was losing myself, it was Subodh who used to calm me down, “aayenge re, aayenge re”.
With every tick on the clock, crowd started to boo, throw water bottles on stage, at one point, a big Bisleri 25 liter water can was thrown on stage. Idiots.
And then the inevitable happened, the organisers cancelled the show on the context of security. Without telling whether it’s postponed or cancelled. The havoc started. More objects were thrown at stage, we sulked, couldn’t believe this happening, all the preparation, all the excitement to see James shred some riff’s.
It hit me hard, the crowd, some were in tears as well, people had come then from various parts of India, even countries to see Metallica played. And it got ruined front of us. It was Subodh, who was in his senses, consoled me, took me out of there, made sure we reached our stay back. Fuckers.
Some said go back to Bangalore and attend the next concert, some said, be there and finish of F1. Ammi said, Vettel will win for you. And it was Vettel who won the first Indian GP. Later it was confirmed, Metallica Delhi officially was cancelled. That night, whole of Delhi was with metal heads, there was sadness, everyone were sad, you could feel that.
We stayed, attended the F1. Bangalore concert happened, you know what, we finished the F1 race, on way back to metro, my phone rings. My friend Daya, who was in Bangalore concert, made sure I listened the whole concert on phone. Yes, we did that, even when phone got cut, Daya again called back. That’s my bro…
Reached back bangalore, many of them laughed on my face, mocked me, for the cancelled the event when I could’ve attended in the Bangalore. They bloody humiliated us.
For every bad, there is some good right ?. And that’s when my friends stepped up, Raghu, Anup, Shahzad and others, they knew Mohsin, they knew what to do. In the bad time, our Bhai log happened. Parents stepped up as well, lil Sis was like, “Bhaisaab, you go to US and see them”. She said that.
I’m glad it happened, I had a heartbreak, I was lost, I was laughed, dealt with it. A part of me died. That opened up many doors and people for me. Will I see the Metallica play ? I don’t know. But do I have bhai log with me ? yes, they are just a phone call away. \m/
P.S: After I moved back from Singapore in April, Metallica performed in Singapore in August that year. Karma Kaanda. Life haan…
And there is a short video of destruction, check how idiots ransacked the stage, even destroyed the equipment.