From the third row in the auditorium at Alliance, I watched my first, live award function. I have shamelessly written for Toto only in my head. To watch actual people walk up to the stage and receive awards is better than me receiving mine in my bathroom. When I made my way to the third row, stamping wires and size 9 shoes, I realized it wasn’t just the writing awards they were giving away today.
I sat and watched them call out the short list. One by one, all the pieces that had made it. The writing, the photos, the music, the short films. I was excited. It was a train of showpieces. Like in an orchestra, I felt my senses go up and down, when the gorgeous man read out the winning piece, when I listened and watched in frenzied rapture, Parvaaz play their music, when I warmed goosebumps into submission as I listened to the Chief Guest’s confession of never having made it to any list – long or short.
For so long now, I have played the late bloomer card to escape writing and my inexperience with it. So it wasn’t very reassuring when she took away my card. I have no cards now.
There were funny moments but I wish they hadn’t come so often. Yes, they wore nice clothes and I saw Arundhati Nag and whooped twice. But the highlight of the evening was watching Parvaaz perform. I hope I have left marks on Surya and Ila’s thighs to prove this. I wanted to sit in a car, windows rolled up and speed into the night with their music playing in the background. I am not one to notice or understand good music when I listen to it, but if I was a music expert, I would tell them they were brilliant and marry them. All four of them.
I was so high on all the skills I had watched and listened to all evening, I didn’t go to the toilet even once. I wanted to run home and do productive things. And then I went to K and started a writing group.