Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 1/7

Synchronicity – two or more events that are apparently causally unrelated occurring together in a meaningful manner to make life better…a series of happy coincidences. 
Of late, I have been investing a lot of time in identifying a dream worthwhile enough to chase… something that would keep me happy and satisfied. It has been countless days of introspection and I am still at it. In the meanwhile, I keep saying to myself, Give me a dream and I will chase it.
It sounds too good to be true- How can someone as popular and in demand as Armin Van Buuren decide to perform in India? The Number One Trance DJ in the world..the reigning God of Trance. Doesn’t he only play for crowds bigger than ten thousand? I share my predicament with my trance lover friend in Europe. He dismisses it right away, ‘it is not listed on Armin’s official website… most probably, it is a gimmick, you should forget about it.’ Somehow, I am still not convinced. The event details are there on the Club’s website! They have listed out contacts of the organizers… and regular updates are popping up on my Facebook wall!

What if it is true? What if he is coming to New Delhi, for real? Logically, if big names like, Above and Beyond and Gareth Emery can make it, then MAYBE even Armin would. Let’s just assume that it is indeed, true. BUT, how will I get there? Who will I go with? How will I get back home safely?

I live alone, in Gurgaon, a satellite town of Delhi, in an area with negligible local conveyance. I don’t have my own vehicle, I don’t want to be stuck in evening traffic, so I don’t want to take a cab either. I figured, the fastest way to get there would be to travel by Metro. The club is so far away that it requires me to get to Central Delhi, go across it to the State on the other side. Travel time-1 hour 45 mins.

My party friends in Delhi are not too keen, ‘it is the rowdiest clubs in the area, why do you want to go there?? Forget about us, even you shouldn’t go! and who the hell is Arvin?!(Armin).’
Alas! none of my ‘locally available’ friends are up for it. I don’t want to take ‘just anyone’ with me. The last thing I want is to drag along a friend and find him sulking and looking at the watch while I pay respect to my God. But, I better not be all by myself. The passes are rather expensive. It is less than four days away AND it is still not confirmed on his website. Hmm…

In the meanwhile, the organizers – Deep Sound Entertainment, had started flooding facebook with Early Bird Passes frenzy. It just fuels my sense of urgency.

Life had been different, just fifteen days ago. Upon hearing that Gareth Emery was visiting, my dearest friend- Monika and me had jumped at the opportunity, grabbed a guy friend (of hers) and gone to the Club! (As fate would have it, she was in the process of switching jobs and had to move out of the city for good, that very weekend.)

No conveyance, no company, no assurance… Hmm..’LET ME JUST GET THE PASS, at pass valid for two people.’ I thought to myself. I had happened to make friends with one guy out of the team. This organizer- was a  typical young, cute, dynamic Delhi boy. I called him up to inquire. He told me that one pass will be valid for one ‘couple’. And, because this is huge,(it is Armin), two girls will not be allowed in as a couple. They will be considered stags. Two girls, two passes. Take it or leave it.’ ‘Umm, OK, let me get back to you.’

How I wish Monika was here! Yes, she loves ‘drum and bass’ more than trance, but she is always game for a good time! Who Do I go with now?! A part of me says ‘So what if she has moved to another city! At least, talk to her about it!’ So I speak to my Hungarian friend, Monika. (We both had moved to Gurgaon around the same time and had shared the most amazing friendship, living together for three months.) Now, she was eight hours away by road. And guess what, the powerhouse of energy that she is; she wants to attend the event! It is too short a notice. She has very little idea of local Indian transport, does not speak the language, has no company yet and lives eight hours away. But she is game! WHY? Because she loves me and would love to meet me! I have never bonded with another, the way I have with her. Such intense platonic love that it amazes both of us. We are soul sisters…..and she knows how much I love Armin.

How does she know? From the desktop wallpapers, from it being the only thing I listen to at work, after work, in the Metro. She is willing to travel ALL the way, just to attend it, with ME.. even though she loves ‘drum n bass’ more!!. How will she travel? No train tickets are available – local buses? Who will she travel with? We don’t know for sure, yet..but she figures that it would be great to meet me… it had been two weeks since she had moved out..and attending Gareth Emery’s show together was an exhilarating experience, simply off the roof… It had liberated both of us. It elevated us from the complex emotional quagmires each one of us was in. Plus, we love challenges. Moreover, that’s what real friends are for, right?!
‘Two female stags cannot go as a couple.’  Fine! we’ll buy two couple passes.  Now, we need to ‘arrange’ two boys. How ironic. Usually, boys are the ones looking for female companions. And look at us!!

Wanted: two boys, who are nice to be with, but not too clingy and not too stingy. Hopefully, they will be willing to go Dutch about the ticket .. and more importantly, whose presence next to us will keep shallow, stubborn drunk loafers at bay…but won’t turn into shallow, stubborn drunk themselves.

Let me get four tickets for the time being…We’ll find a way out!

Continue reading…


Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 2/7

Let me just call up my friend at Deep Sound Entertainment…
POA: One of his friends’ friend will be there at the metro station of my choice, to sell me the Early Bird Passes. Of course, this entitles me to a special discount. (As if, I need that incentive to attend!) A young guy turns up to hand me over the passes. He is almost my age. ‘Wow! dynamic people, organizing such a big event at such a young age’ I think to myself! I pay him cash for four people, out of which two(girls) definitely WANT to attend, but the other two(boys) will have to materialize out of thin air. One pass has Monika’s name on it and the other one has mine.
What if the event gets postponed?? Normally, you would put your name on the guest list the day of the event and show up to pay on the spot and enter. So, I ask the guy, ‘What happens if Armin decides not to show up or the event gets canceled?’. He gives me that look and asks, ‘Why would he not show up??’.’Umm.. yea why wouldn’t he?..’OK thanks, Bye!’ … ‘Hey! my friends and I are hanging out at the mall nearby, do you want to join us?’. ‘Umm, I have to get back home, maybe another time!’ So I get on the Metro, back home. On the way, I worry. What if Armin can’t make it? What if Monika does not show up? I have the passes for four people and am not sure whether anyone except me can make it there. But I am going be there for sure. For sure. Right?What makes me so confident that I will be there?
I am hooked on the concept of ‘the law of attraction’ or as the famous ‘kayanaat’ quote from Bollywood. It states that if you orient your mind and actions towards a positive outcome then your subconscious mind helps you find ways to overcome obstacles and make that positive outcome a reality. I have been at it for a while. I have enough proof that it works. So, I know, for sure, that I will be there.

Why this fuss about Armin? Why am I such a big fan?
I believe that each one has music inside us.. just like the ‘heart song’ talked about in the movie ‘Happy Feet’, there exists a specific genre that we truly connect with..While, some of us are lucky enough to come across that genre pretty early, others have to keep looking, till it finds them. I personally have hopped from Pop to Punk Rock to Death Metal Rock to Jazz to Classical to Soft Acoustic to Soul to Sufi to World and on and on. Yet, nothing had quenched that thirst.

I had spent six months in London for an internship but had not gone clubbing. Lame. I know. Yet, my farewell party found me in the Ministry of Sound for a couple of hours. Instantly, I had been hooked – what is this music called, who are these artists, where to find more of this, is it only played in clubs? My friends were too high to answer. I left the city with a sense that I was really close to finding out my genre.. but the fact that it was called, Underground Music didn’t help at all!

My transitioning between genres was on, when a distant friend, took me out clubbing in Bangalore. It was the first time I was officially introduced to EDM- Electronic Dance Music. I knew I had been found.
My search for the genre had ended, my quest for live shows had begun. How I yearned to share the passion and experience with thousands of other fans. I wanted to attend live shows! I would have to move to Europe for that to be possible. That might take at least a year to happen if everything falls into place.And, only within three months of my moving to Gurgaon/Delhi, Armin decides to visit India! Could it be true?!! Yes! It had to be! I even have the passes in my hand! All I have to do is, get Monika here and arrange two boys…only two days to go! It will work out! It has to! It will! But HOW..?

Continue reading….

Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 3/7

One day to go.

There are no train tickets available for Monika to get to Delhi. All I can do for her now, is call up the Jullundhur Bus Stand, find out timings and fare in Punjabi, translate it and tell her what to do. She knows what to do and which counter to go to for the ticket and at what time. She will leave in the morning and get here in Delhi by Seven pm.

Now, I need to look for two guys who are decent, well behaved, trance lovers, and who will not only give us sufficient company to keep loafers at bay but will not become threats themselves. It will be nice if they pay their share of the ticket.
If we don’t find the right guys, we will have to go there by ourselves. She is white and put together,  we do attract a lot of attention and that could create considerable problems. No one on my friend list fits the bill. Now what?
Brainwave! Let me call up the organizer and ask him if he knows of two such guys who have gotten passes just for themselves and would be suitable for us, in the given situation. The young, cute, dynamic organizer says he will let me know if he comes across any such people. Offhand, he says, he might have one friend who he could trust..he says he will get back to me. But he just knows one suitable guy.
In the meanwhile, the gig shows up on Armin’s official website. Phew! It is going to happen after all!!
Day 0
The show is in the evening. Monika takes the morning bus and she tells me she has a guy friend who decided early morning to accompany her. Perfect! She is on her way!!! Now all I need is to get confirmation from this one guy friend to accompany me. Even if that does not happen, we would be fine, for at least we would have one trustworthy male companion! This looks good!

5 pm: The Organizer connects me on a conference call to his friends’ friend. We talk. He says he would be happy to give me company.Then the organizer texts me, ‘He is a well-behaved chap.Good guy. You will have nothing to worry about’…. I add him on facebook, so I know what he looks like. He will meet me outside the club, so would Monika and her friend, who promised to get me some quick dinner.Are you kidding me!! This is ALL falling into place. YES!!!

I get back home from work and get dressed. It is very cold outside. So I wear a sweater over my dress, stockings to keep me warm on the way. They would have no place to keep the overcoat, so I skip it. It will get too hot inside, anyway. I am fully covered, no high heels.. (I want to dance the whole night, I will be there until 6 am). Yes, I might get stared at by the other girls for not doing enough justice to the tiny club wear. But I still look sharp. I have to. It is Armin we are talking about! I hope I can see him from the crowd. Why am I not tall enough?!! I will HAVE TO get to the front row. It will be packed today. At least two thousand people.. and the club can hold not one more.
I have everyone’s passes so I better not keep them waiting! As per my calculation, I need to travel in the Metro for one and a half hour and accordingly, I leave at seven thirty. I should be there by 9 pm. Monika will get me a sandwich for dinner before we enter.

Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 4/7

7 pm:
Looking good, feeling good, happy, grateful… I step out. Yeah, it is PARTY time!!
Monika texts me she has reached  Noida and is at the guy friend’s sisters house, really close to the club. And that her phone is dangerously low on battery. But she will see me outside the club at 9 pm. Done!

I struggle through a jam just to get to the Metro Station.
Upon reaching the Metro station. Was EVERYONE is looking at ME..? Yes? Yes.
Because of what I was wearing? Obviously.
And was it unusually crowded or was it just in my head? I wondered away..
I walk into the station only to be turned away by a coarse looking cop..
‘Metro kharaab ho gai hai.. kal subeh tak theek hogi..’
(The metro headed to Central Delhi had some electrical fault and was out of service for the night.)
HUHH!!!! Panic! OH NO! How can this be?!! No WAY! It has never broken down least not in the last three months. Yes, there are delays, but never has it given up…COMPLETELY. FOR THE ENTIRE NIGHT!!
WHAT to do! ??
SIMPLE. I’ll take a cab till Central Delhi and then I will get onto the Metro… I know it is not safe to do that all by myself, so I walk out to a group of girls. I get scanned from top to bottom again. Typical Delhi girl behaviour. Huh! I try to find out if even one of them was headed in the same direction.. none of them was. Most were waiting for their cabs.
Fine! I’ll just get my own cab!! Nevermind the risk.. I have to get there! Three people are waiting for me. Monika has traveled TEN hours for this.. AND I HAVE ALL THE PASSES!
Quick cab, Easy cab, Meru Cab, etc etc etc..kept me on hold for fifteen mins each only to send me a text later that ‘they were unable to process my request’ because everyone was using the cabs to get to Delhi.

Am still stuck outside the Metro station. I had a cab drivers number in my cell, but I could not recall when and where had he given me a ride or his phone number.. was he the one who had helped me look for an accommodation in Gurgaon? Maybe.

I called him up. He was dead tired, said he had a long day, and was not in a position to drive. None of his other drivers were available. To my amusement, he was suspicious of me!! He could not recall how he knew me. Such is the curse of big cities, for all the crime that happens, such are the times that a cab driver interrogates someone who wants to use his cab!!! Even if it is a girl. I got furios and started shouting at him.. ‘Why are YOU scared?? I should be the one who should be scared, travelling at this hour, alone!!’ He says, ‘Are you alone? Then I can’t send any of my drivers, I will have to drop you MYSELF!! You wait Madam, I will be there in fifteen minutes.”…’Umm..ok, I am waiting(gulp)!’. A corporate fellow was standing next to me, looking at me apologetically.

There was a sweet expecting lady standing on the other side, waiting for her husband, listening to the whole conversation..I started talking to her, for her expressive eyes were saying so much. I was sharing my predicament with her but the gut feeling, that most girls are blessed with, was getting stronger..’This is not right, don’t do it Richa, don’t go with this cab guy’…I was asking the lady the best place from where I could take the connecting Metro. In the meanwhile, the corporate guy – about 35 years of age joined in. He was conversant wth the routes and guided me well. Courtesy the gut feeling plus brainwave number two, I blurted out,.. ‘Do you know of a trustworthy cab driver working with your Company or somewhere who could drop me.. I would pay him the right fare or more. I just feel that it would be safer than the shady driver I am waiting for!’.  He looked at me from head to toe and said, ‘I will let you know in a bit.” In the meanwhile, I wait for the cab, sulk and text Monika that I will be late.
Right now it seems like getting to Noida is tougher than getting to Europe.

Continue reading..

Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 6/7

 Monika is not reachable, here phone went dead probably an hour ago. Girls and their perpetually dying phone batteries!
At the entrance of the club, I get stared at again! By mean Hawt looking girls..’Eww, Why is she wearing so many clothes!! Like who wears a sweater to a club? And stocking? And Flats!!’Yea, some people do.

As we stood in the really long queue, those cute dynamic student organizers recognized me. ‘Hey! We were wondering where you were! It would be impossible for you to not be here! Not a lot of girls love trance so much, you know!!’

Ha Ha, I Know. Trust me, I know.

Ok, so my guy companion is really sweet. He is younger than me, still in college, and it is his first time attending something like ‘this Armin guy’s show’. Uh OK! ‘this Armin guy’ hmmm… Well, to sum it up, he was harmless.

Waiting in the queue, Monika is NOWHERE to be found and her BATTERY is OUT. I can’t see her. I can’t get through to her on the phone either. So,  I leave her Pass at the entrance with a bouncer, show him a picture of hers on  my phone, ‘this is what she looks like!’ I had to check my camera at the door (what was I thinking! Why did I even bring it along?! I wasn’t thinking I’ll get pics with Armin, now would I!!). So we enter. I ask the huge bouncer if he could also keep my sweater, and I would take it on my way out.. He looks amused, ‘NO WAY!!’ He was taken aback by the absurdity of the request but also smiled at me, or maybe at how tiny I must have seemed to him from that height! 😛

Inside the club: Armin had not started playing yet. Blake Jarrell was building up the tempo. We made it to the very front! In twenty mins, everyone went crazy shouting, and well Armin entered! He with his bodyguards walked through the two feet space between the crowd and the stage. And his arm brushes against my slightly outstretched hand. And then the realization:
AAAHH.. am here! This is for real! He is real! I MADE IT! I MAADEEE IT!!!

But, Where is MONIKA!!! Oh, she will be fine. She is probably inside by now! It is too crowded and I can’t leave this spot in the front, I can’t stand in between the crowd, I will suffocate..but I am sure, SURE, that we’ll find each other…
So, Armin plays his set, creates his magic. It is absolutely awesome! His crowd interaction is brilliant!…He makes eye contact with his crowd! Wait, Did he just WINK at me?? No WAYYY, it is not possible! I imagined it, right? I look around to see if there were other girls around me, none. It was for real. So what?! Even if he does it in every show, I am glad he picked MEE!!! AAAAH!
MUSIC madness, absolute ECSTASY. It had found me. Talk about a dream coming true… and HOW.

12:30 am:
The bouncer at the gate was brought inside on duty, probably because the crowd was going insane! Incidentally, he stood right in front of the area where I was standing.. I asked him by gesticulating and because of the context, he was able to tell me that Monika had entered! Thank God!
Half an hour later, I found Monika! Her hug lifted me off the floor!!! It was just magical. My sense of accomplishment, Armin, Trance, Monika,.. all of it put together was insane!  We enjoyed the music till 3.00am.The encores kept Armin on stage till 3.45am. Time had just stopped for me, no feeling can describe it. Alcohol is not required but Red Bulls and lots of water, yes please!
Hours later, Armin was done playing!!! At last he left the stage…and Blake Jarrell took over.
The crowd began to thin out. My guy companion had also left, he had an exam on Monday. I happened to see one of the organizers, looking absolutely exhausted… I asked him where Armin was and if I could see him… He told me, that security was really tight and he himself was not able to get the opportunity. Oh well, never mind.

As I waited outside the super full women’s washroom, I looked around and saw three bouncers outside the male washroom. Hmm.. brainwave number 3. I just went and stood in front of the three bouncers and asked coyly, ‘Is it absolutely impossible for me to get a picture with Armin?’  I was empty-handed, I didn’t even have my phone with me, and I must have been looking completely harmless. The Indian bouncer and Armin’s imported bouncer had an argument for five minutes, while I waited in the background. Then the white, who happened to have the heaviest voice boomed, ‘Just let her go!’
The door opened and just like that, I found him, sitting four feet away on a bench, sipping red wine.
My brain froze, speech slurred… I extended my hand, we shook hands! “oh my god…. ‘ .As he made eye contact and smiled at me, I realized that he was in no hurry, no one would push me out and I could actually talk to him!…  I took a deep breath…

Continue reading…

Give me a dream and I will chase it. Part 5/7

Ten minutes into waiting, the corporate guy, comes up to me to say that he can’t get any other cabs from his office, but he could give me a lift in his cab and that cab driver could further drop me to the connecting Metro Station. Gut feeling: Say yes. I call up the shady driver I was waiting for and cancel it. Disaster averted! Phew!

We are on our way! We exchange business cards and start talking. He was looking to buy a house, for he had recently gotten married to the love of his life and was on top of the world. He was a CA and traveled daily to Gurgaon. I took some income tax tips, he was telling me about the architectural features in his childhood home, etc. While we made conversation, he had that curious look in his eye. He could not understand why it was so important for me to go FROM Gurgaon TO another place, dressed like that, at that hour, when my house was right there in Gurgaon…’Why don’t you go there in the morning?’ I told him that was not an option. Nothing would convince him enough, just then, the driver pulled over. Now, what!? We have a flat tire. As if, I hadn’t had enough for the night. At least, I was sure that this problem was solvable. And Armin would not start playing till 11 pm for sure, so I won’t miss ….. Twenty minutes later we are back on the road, the cab driver gets a call and says he will not be able to drop me any further than where he would drop the corporate guy. That’s fine, he says he will help me look for an auto rickshaw from his stop till the Metro Station.

We reach his stop. My corporate friend instructs me to sit in the cab, while they go out and look for an auto. ‘Actually Madam, because of what you are wearing, it will be best if you sit inside’. And all this I have to listen to, when I was fully clothed (only my face and hands were showing) and I was not even wearing high heels. Fifteen minutes pass, no autorickshaw! They just whizz by; eager to get home. But I just focus on being inside the club. I will see Armin. I WILL. I WILL.

I get into the Auto, thank the corporate guy profusely, completely drenched in gratitude..amazed that genuine helpful people still exist in this world and in Delhi! Had a love marriage made him a better person? Maybe. Or was he a great person to begin with – which is why he had love in his life?
I beg the rickshaw guy to rush, for the last Metro leaves in thirty minutes. And if I count the security check, elevators and walking time, I would barely make it. Luckily, his auto was in excellent condition. He drove fast. Starting from my toes, I began to free ze in the chilled winter night, whizzing past the beautiful Delhi roads. In my head, I knew this was the last lap of my chase. I had the change ready and ran as I reached the Metro Station. ‘RUNNN FORRRESTTT, RUNN!!’ rings in my brain. (Jenny to Forrest Gump in the movie Forrest Gump)

I am new to the big, intimidating, empty station. I ask two travellers, run and board the Metro whose doors were just closing! Again, I get stared at by the morose passengers in the train. This time due to the contrast in their energy levels and mine. I was RUNNING late by two hours.Hmm.. In twenty minutes, I was at my stop. The guy who I had spoken with for the first time that very day picked me up from the station. He told me how pretty I looked, ‘But why are you wearing so many clothes? Why so conservative, han?’ 😉

Continue reading….

About The Author

Richa brings you only the most practical, to-the-point, no-nonsense information that helps turn your house into your dream home. She has a passion for simplifying design concepts that you can actually put to use. She has a degree in Architecture, over thirty published articles, a life blog and has co-authored the bestseller 'My First Home' with Shashank Shekhar.


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