I was supposed to go to Panchgani in the last week of my post-JWT two-week vacation, to a place called Eco Camp. And I’d been planning it forever and everything, but I didn’t go. Because after I was all packed and ready to go, Si canned in the way that Si always cans, and I was left with a backpack full of camping things and nowhere to take them. And I really had to go somewhere, so I went to this thing called The Great Gig In The Sky with Dischordian, which was a camping + gig trip all the way in Karjat.
I had a party the night before and I hadn’t slept at all, but I was excited and, you know, I had to go somewhere…So I went.
The place was fucking hot, Zonk, and the food was slightly salty and the river we went swimming in was pretty shallow and very, very slushy. And everything was tiring and the suddenness and the strangeness of it all made me panic a little. But sometimes, when the music’s awesome enough, these things don’t matter. And I’m so fucking glad I went, Zonk. Because it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. It was a small bunch of enthusiastic people and lanterns and acoustic guitars and a mandolin and a trumpet and a ukulele (a ukulele!) and hours and hours of song. All under a tree and more stars than I’ve seen in a long time. And the lanterns started burning out when they played ‘Hallelujah’. I don’t know if you know this about kerosene lamps, Zonk, but they burst into flame for a bit before they burn out. So all the time that they sang ‘Hallelujah’, the lanterns were dying out and the light was like candles. It was magical.
And there was a tree there that I wish I had a picture of. It was more sculpture than tree, if you ask me: beautiful and bone-white and completely and utterly leafless – like the trees I like to draw – and it was almost perfectly symmetrical. I didn’t know it when I went to bed that night, but I happened to sleep under it. And there was a giant blue sky above me when I woke up, framed in dead white branches and dark red berries…
I don’t really know what else to say. It was an awesome fucking trip and you should go for one of these gigs someday if you can. I don’t know if it’ll always be this worth it and I can’t promise you that the lanterns will begin to burn while the band sings ‘Hallelujah’ and I don’t even know if they’ll sing it at all. Every band is different, and it’s sad, but not all of them sing ‘Hallelujah’, for some reason. And even if they do, they definitely won’t sing it as beautifully as Dischordian does. But you get what I mean. I can’t promise you it’ll be as magical as this particular gig I went to, but you should go someday anyway. The Great Gig In The Sky is a lovely concept and I’m glad someone’s making the effort to do these things here. And I’m sure the music will be worth it anyway. Music tends to be like that, somehow.