Why The One Love Manchester Concert Is The Hope This World Needs RN
Every day, some part of this planet gets attacked, its people get hurt, and terror takes over, trying to ruin the existence of humanity. Last month, it was Manchester, and this weekend, it was London. Tomorrow it will be some other place that will come under this dreaded spotlight.
We write social media statuses, discuss it with friends, read about it in the papers, and then wake up the next day, and move on with our daily routines — especially for someone like me, sitting in Mumbai, far away from what has happened in the UK.
But when I came back home last night and scrolled through Snapchat accounts of the various websites that covered Ariana Grande’s charity concert, One Love Manchester, I paused.
Once I started reading, I couldn’t stop and it was only when my brother came into the room with a concerned look on his face did I realise that I had been crying.
It was not just the powerful performances by the many artists, not only the 50,000 odd people attending the concert, and singing together, but it was also the people dancing in their homes, the cops dancing on the streets, and the injured people enjoying themselves, while still in wheelchairs. It was the spirit of the people that stirred me from within, even though I was 4,500 miles away.
People saw the concert live from around the globe and, once again, music had worked its magic. Once again, it had managed to break barriers and bring everyone together, even if it was just for a couple of hours.
We may lash out celebrities and call them overrated, but yesterday, not only those in Manchester, but fans across the world smiled because of these very celebrities.
Ariana Grande, the 23-year-old popstar brought the music fraternity together and raised $2 million for the Red Cross fund.
On Sunday night, every performer — whether it was Chris Martin from Coldplay who moved everyone with Fix You, Pharrell Williams and Miley Cyrus who got the crowd pumped up with Happy, Katy Perry, dressed in a t-shirt with the faces of the victims on it, singing Roar, or Justin Bieber, who made the whole stadium chant the word ‘love’ till evil was defeated — each one of them was there because of their fans and to send out a message that terrorism will never win.
Ariana cried while reading out a message from a victim’s mother and no, she didn’t do it for sympathy. What we fail to realise is that, at the end of the day, she is just a 20-something year old, trying to do her job. No one should feel the burden of what she did, and this concert only proves that she is the role model her fans need.
And you know what? The cynical may wonder how one concert in one of the the most progressive cities in the world change anything, but we forget that it all starts with a small step, a tiny effort. When a big crowd like that stood in silence for the victims of the attack, you feel it right down to your soul — I felt it, just by looking at a 10-second story on Snapchat.
Take a bow, pop music. Sure, concerts may not be the solution, but they are the hope — One Love Manchester was the hope we needed, the assurance the wounded world needed, that there is light at the end of the tunnel, if only we stay strong and make it.