The Wery Madness of it all
The corridors are empty and there are distant sounds of metal collapsible gates clanking shut. A few lights cast a dim glow over the Lower Main and the Foyer. The rest of the place is shrouded in a foreboding darkness. Suddenly, there’s a tremendous clamour in the Upper Main, as twenty-three girls seem to jerk awake from a stupour and start looking, frantically, for an opening into the world outside. The sounds of racing feet and voices yelling to each other reverberate through the building, making enough noise to awaken the dead. While the blame is being passed around and Plans of an Adventurous and Daring Escape are made, a call is calmly placed…
“Balbir Bhaiyya. Please gate khol do. "
Someone overhears. The news spreads like a ripple. There is a shout of joy as everyone clatters down the stairs of the English Corridor and arrives at the Journo Corridor gate, hope gleaming in their eyes. And beyond the bars stands that reverent man, Balbir Bhaiyya. A following melodrama is essentially enacted. He withholds the keys. The girls plead with him, making loud and earnest promises of caution, obedience and the like. He contemplates. Someone desperately tries to make him comprehend the gravity of the situation. Her mother is waiting for her at the gate. Slowly, with an air of extreme benevolence, he pulls the creaking gate open. The girls race out, jubilant in their freedom.
This is the WMS. To cater to our insistent assertion of affection towards insanity and a miserable sense of humour, we endearingly call ourselves the Wery Mad Society. And it is our life’s mission to proudly live up to that name. This theatrical sequence is a common occurrence as we immerse ourselves in our music, as afternoon fades to twilight. We lose all track of time…
Our motley crew is characterized by eclectic eccentricities, each madness a unique and perfected art. And yet, we’re always in sync as each person adds a different note, a different colour and a different essence to the harmony of it all. We work like a song. Every person, distinct, effortlessly moulds herself into a part of the seamless flow of melody, energy, beauty and love.
The refrains of Scarborough Fair took on new meanings as we released our creative capabilities and plunged into the song. We emerged, gasping, exhausted, but triumphant, holding aloft the fragile trophy of newborn music.
At Lady Hardinge, on a battered stage, in a dilapidated auditorium, with the most anciently decrepit sound system and a deliberately disinterested audience, I turned to my choir-
“Let’s screw with their happiness.”
And we did. It was magnificent. Majestic. It gave me goosebumps. It gave us all goosebumps. We went to KFC to celebrate. The legacy of “vun piece of hod and crisby chiggan” was born.
Red and Black. The contingent. Powerful. Beautiful. We reassure each other. Always. A glance, a huddle, a hug, a silence. We’re there. Spontaneously. Without question. Silently believing in each other and us. We give space. We’re astoundingly tight. And then there are the theatrics…
Gaygay’s sarcasm, Meghana’s one-liners, Smiti’s vehement melodrama, Tania’s feigned non-chalance, Agrima’s vociferous “negotiations”, Jo’s shrieks, Kirin’s supersonic exclamations, Moumita’s incessant chatter, Pollobi’s declarations, Tarini’s whines… The mayhem they all succeed in creating makes them Very Spashull Children.
Chai, NLS, café, greenrooms, syncopation, acapella, sleepovers, friendships, the silence in the wings, impromptu momo plans, brain jams, victories, tears, laughter, more laughter, hysterical laiughter, hysteria… Countless memories that Kirin and I tried our best to capture on brightly coloured laminated sheets with photographs and captions written in her favourite silver pen.
It’s been a wonderful journey, a wonderful feeling and a wonderful year.
We made music together.
And I started believing in magic again.