I was in Assam for a motocross event clubbed with a music festival – ‘Garden Rush 17’ – set inside a huge temporary stadium amidst a 9 sq km huge tea estate covered with temporary compound walls.
For some reason, the size of the crowd that showed up wasn’t anywhere close to being called a festival crowd, and the events didn’t quite fascinate me and I ventured out of the arena.
Once outside, something else captured my due attention. There was a crowd, seemed like the entire population from the village around came to the event. They toiled, loved and dreamt inside in the very tea plantation throughout the summer, monsoon and winter, with not much left to save for next year. The villagers who built the stadium were not able to get in since they couldn’t afford the entry ticket.
None of them had ever seen anything like it and the roars of motorbikes took their curiosity to the sky. They lined along the wall, dressed in their best clothes, to find gaps and heights to get a view inside the arena. There were children, youngsters, women and elders with visible amusement on their faces.
While people inside were sitting bored as they were expecting something more spectacular – which never happened, a huge number of villagers stood outside throughout the day to steal a glance at the arena even when nothing much was going on.
Their curiosity was more fascinating for me than the race itself.
Where would you have stood?