It was 2 am and I was looking through a thin layer of smoke at a guy not much older than us, in a t-shirt and sweatpants swirling around noodles. It got longer and longer and he playfully circled it around this person I met just an hour ago. I was in HDL, a famous hotpot place that almost tries to trick you with its tiny waiting room as the place opens up into a surprisingly huge restaurant. It was filled with fast-paced chatter as well as servers briskly taking orders and bringing food.
We had just come back from Coldplay’s Head Full of Dreams concert and a part of me still existed in that stadium with thousands of people tuned in to the same frequency.
Yellow was softly playing in my head, not in Chris Martin’s voice but with the crowd from Pen A all the way up to CAT-4. I was uneasy at first. Feeling like a fraud, having scored a pair of last-minute tickets to a concert that sold out in minutes as true fans tried to wait in several virtual waiting rooms – I had only hoped to know half the songs in the set list.
Music brings people together, I’ve known it before – but as the lights went out and the crowds started screaming and our wrists started blinking and the spotlight shone on just 4 people on the stage – I was gladly reminded. Along with my racing heart which felt somehow as if it beat in sync with others who have listened to these songs infinitely more times than me, I closed my eyes and started getting lost in the music.
The sea of lights was a breathtaking sight, probably the best I’ve seen in this country. It consisted of both strangers and friends, all drawn to this place, to this spectacle, just by a handful powerful melodies and lyrics.
That same morning, in The Fancy Baker Boy, old friends met up. While some flew in from Manila, drove from KL, just touched down from Sri Lanka; some have been there for a while. Jobs, relationships, residences may have changed since college but in a second it felt nothing ever did. Not to say that we have not changed – I would say we have changed quite a fair bit – but, clumsily trying to figure out our lives out in the world has not made us strangers. All the laughter felt familiar, even the stories I have never heard before felt familiar.
Snapping back to supper, in this intriguing hotpot place that caters to post-clubbing people – who knew – I realised how my world has gotten a bit bigger as well. Just a few seconds ago, it has grown by meeting 2 new people who joined our table last minute, a few minutes ago it expanded by having a newfound connection to Coldplay’s music, and it has grown by experiencing the power of a live show on people looking to be moved, one more time, by songs which have already done it before, whether it was helping them get through that horrendous traffic or that one heartbreak they didn’t see coming.
I was glad to have gone on this road trip. The trip where we were supposed to drive into the country but didn’t, the night we swore we would go out to party but didn’t and the concert we thought we would miss forever but didn’t.
But I was even happier to see him have his moment, the true Coldplay fan and my sweetest surprise. In the shadows of people jumping and singing, he stood still, silent and with eyes smiling. He reached for my hand and raised it up. We were on top of the world.
I’ve been reading books of old, the legends and of myths “Wow, someone’s a Coldplay fan now,” he teased as he heard the music coming from my smartphone. I played it all night on the long drive back home and it continued to play on the radio, I want something just like this.