January 29th, 2008

boy with dog

Press Privileges

It is the first time in almost a year that I have had to pay paid money to go for a music concert - watching MotherJane and Zero live at IIM Bangalore, for Unmaad. A princely sum of INR 100 is what I have parted with in order to do that.

Having had Press privileges since about May last year, its been a gala time for a cheap guy like me to actually go and witness concerts without having to pay the (in my opinion) hefty sums attached to them. Of course, for those that think I just go there and do nothing, I might as well tell you that I have to pay proper attention to the proceedings so as to write about them later on, and that is part of the fun attached with the concert-going experience.

It has been brought to my notice that the press pass has its own privileges, giving the holder something equivalent to diplomatic immunity with certain limitations, and I have, thankfully not been in those uncomfortable situations that would necessitate the usage of the same.

However, one occasion on which I used it shamelessly to my advantage for supercheap thrills immediately comes to mind.

I had spent a fun filled weekend putting wothla with Monkee in Mumbai, and generally hanging out and having a 'rest cure' of sorts, and an advance booking of my flights resulted in my being able to get cheap air tickets to fly to Mumbai from Bangalore and back.

My return flight was on Air Deccan at half past nine in the evening and I made it to the airport with about three quarters of an hour to spare. As you would know, domestic flights require some sort of photo identification to be produced, and it is usually the government issued photo ID cards that are accepted, although company ID cards do work on occasion too.

However, this time, I thought I'd flash my press card instead, and while collecting my boarding pass did so with minimal hesitation. The conversation I had with the lady at the desk turned out to be quite entertaining as a result of that.

She didn't notice that the card was issued by a music magazine, and instead commenced asking me about whether I was a frequent flier, and whether I had written reviews of other airlines. Before I could tell her that I don't write stuff about airlines, she also said that she hoped I wouldn't write anything bad about the particular airline I was flying in, to which I remember having replied - "I write only the truth - journalistic integrity is of prime importance to us" or some random gas to that effect.

Once I had my boarding pass, as I proceeded to the gate, I couldn't wipe out that goofy smile off my face for the best part of the next half hour. What sheer joy!