What Doesn’t Kill You, Makes You Stronger: Confessions of a Metal Virgin

By Pratishtha Dobhal


The sounds of Cohen fill every corner of my room and I know I have fallen in love with the voice. Nothing should upset the sweet stirrings of my teenage crush I cannot yet fully understand. And I just slip further into the enigma I am besotted with in that time, at that very moment.

 10 minutes later…

I am Bliss-less.


…He is Badtameez

 MetalCuz has plugged in his electric rager and knocking out heavy metal next door. My summer vacation in Lucknow would now have me spending more time out of the house than in it. Begrudgingly, I reach for my headphones.

This was then, and this is now.

A little over a decade, and Metal has finally struck a solder with me. Not in a fan-girl kind of way, but in a… It’s found a sweet spot in my frequency kind of way.

I blame it on the bae, this thing that I now have with metal.

Don’t get me right. I am still not a mosh pit enthusiast, and some of it I just don’t get, but I am doing what I do with other things when I am trying to understand it — break it apart, isolate nuances that make it distinctly different from the rest, get inside the head. In doing so, I found ‘their’ music. Lo and behold, not noise, not just rage, but music.

The first metal ambush I actually paid for I showed up in a white sleeveless tee with REBEL spread across a colourful bed of flowers.

I was Alice in #someotherland.
Surrounded by an army sworn to Lamb of God and Opeth, I found a spot near the bassist, deeply wedged between dark matter and the first drops of anti-gravity

Deep grunts and growl followed the howl,

Drums raised the riffs,
the air wrote a separate script.

 It wasn’t how I had imagined it to be.

I was beginning to get the rage I could see and breathe.


I was now not just feeling but writing metal… Err, maybe.

With an all access pass into ‘satan’s world’, as my aunt would mildly put it when MetalCuz would thrash away on his guitar, I wasn’t really prepared for the onslaught of worshippers that thronged Anti-Social (no pun intended on the choice of place… strictly rudimentary juxtaposition). The eighth edition of Domination: The Deathfest in Delhi signaled a revivalist movement for serious metal heads. Unusual, given the frenzy with which Delhi is popularly known for loving a certain sort of music.

Over the course of the domination, I let go… and accepted the untamed reverberation of the hands that split my dimension of sound.

Not a fan girl just yet…


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