A Wedding: Manchester Mela always combines brilliance with chaos. Itâ€™s drenching hot. Round about 1pm, as the streets are already in party mode, a cavalcade of wedding cars comes swaggering up. The wedding goers stage an impromptu wedding dance session in the middle of the road. My four year old daughter loves it. Sheâ€™s got a grandstand view as sheâ€™s on my shoulders. I love it too â€“ that Aretha Franklin spirit breaking out (â€˜Dancing In The Streetsâ€™) apna style: â€“ itâ€™s so much more fun because itâ€™s unregulated- a joyous jig down the curry mile road by laughing young Asian men in gold clothed wedding finery. As usual in life (think Moses onwards) men with grey beards step in and put a stop to the fun.
Ancient West African folktales often feature a celebration at which - after much drinking, much boasting and much cavorting - â€˜the finest horses were displayed as the young men showed off their steedâ€™s prowess, each vying to outdo the other in equine feats.â€™
Whizz into the 21st century and in place of horses, we have cars. And a bash as big as the Manchester Mela deserved the finest. So there were Ferraris (logo: a prancing horse!) pillar box red Porsches, banana yellow Lambourghinis. The lolling drivers adorned with the finest RayBans and Rolex watches screamed their hot hot hired engines along Wilmslow Rd. If you admire performance cars, this was heaven.
Young males love to butt heads on days like this. The heat, the pride, the testosterone - demand it. Someone offends someone elseâ€™s honour. Phone calls are made. A flash crowd materialises in sixty seconds. Jostling young stags bunch up by the Chunky Friend Chicken outlet next to Serenade Ice Cream Parlour.
No. of punches threatened: 63
No of punches thrown: 0
Number of headbutts feinted: 3
Number of headbutts thrown: 1
Award For Most Valiantly If Stupidly Revisiting His Youth: the fifty something perspiring man with receding hair line, paunch and 70â€™s â€˜Bollywoodâ€™ wax moustache who tried to challenge the young Goliath â€˜troublemakerâ€™.
No of police vehicles arriving: vans 3 cars 2
No of police dogs: 1
Time taken by one dog to disperse crowd, Goliaths and all: 30 secs
No of fizzling knots of discontent remaining in diverse doorways after police departure: 3
Time from flashpoint (a knife and a baseball bat brandished) to police arrival: 12 mins
Influence of alcohol: Nil
No of crowd at beginning of brawl: 15
No at peak of brawl (120 secs later) 76
Predominant language of debate during brawl: English
No of folk happy with outcome: all