“Indigenous

A Broken Record

Swetha Das chose the wrong time to fall asleep.

guinness3

To force me out of my room during the Easter holidays, my father organised a family outing to a concert at the Sydney Opera House, rudely interrupting my plans to fester in my pyjamas. We were to attend a meditational concert, designed to alleviate stress and calm the mind.

As the songs played, my full stomach and warm coat coaxed my eyes to slowly close. Before the third song commenced, the main musician warned it would last for 30 minutes and that it was vital that we remained alert to attain the best effects of this meditational experience. He encouraged the audience to clasp certain fingers with each song, so that the music would have its intended result. I stared out into a crowd of two thousand people clutching their thumbs and enthusiastically listening to the music, suspicious that the concert might have been endorsed by Dr Oz.

I slumped in my chair and prepared for sleep. My blissful slumber was intermittently disrupted by my mother, who felt it necessary to remind me that “this is a unique experience”, and “you don’t even know what you’re missing out on”.

Cameras dotted the venue, as the entire concert was being broadcast online to an international audience. But the heightened chance of being caught asleep on camera did not deter me nor disturb my two hour nap.

I woke to fireworks and confetti being blasted into the air. The show had concluded and the musicians were met with a standing ovation. The MC then invited “a very special guest” onto the stage… he was “from the Guinness Book of World Records”.

“You may have noticed some people jostling around the sides during the third song. Well, they were counting those of you who were participating this evening, and discounted the people who were on their phones or sleeping. For our true participants, congratulations! You are part of the largest music therapy session in the world.”

“You don’t even know what you’re missing out on!”

Being part of a world record, apparently.