Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

A great excursion to Gabbar Singh's Ramgarh


Thursday, July 28, 2005

A beatific experience with Indian Ocean !!

Finally I made the long-awaited Delhi-trip with Dipanjan.The office schedule was hectic and i had to cook up a story to get my office accept my leave application.But it was worth it,seriously!The journey was fun with Dipanjan and I together for an entire day with us to discuss several issues of life with ease.In that process we ignored the "no smoking rule" of railways peacefully.
In Delhi I stayed with Vivek, my friend of those days when we were figuring out our paths in life after 12th.We went our separate ways from the counseling session at IIT Kanpur five years back and never got together all these years. I saw a subtle change in his personality, something appreciable only to those who saw him in his early formative years when he used to give tuition to finance his studies and how he dealt with contrasting issues with sheer equanimity. He has found his 'soulmate' too, that's how he puts it and he is happy pursuing his passions. I could not meet his soulmate "Shraddha"(such a beautiful name btw) for lack of time and promised to make up for this in near future.
Once in his flat, I had a long bath, got fresh and called Rahul and Nikhil. And I expected them to ask me about our last meeting this Spring Fest in KGP.They were surrounded by so many people and it was normal for them to confuse me for someone else. But they spoke on phone as if they had known me for years!! Immediately gave the whole schedule of the day and asked us to see them at 2 pm and we left for Karol Bagh accordingly.
In an old dilapidated building at Khajoor road,Karol Bagh which few people are aware of, their atelier is. When we reached there,those guys were having a normal discussion with their show management guys.
So with no chairs left ,Rahul(the bearded bass player),Dipanjan(our own bhor baba) and I sat on the floor,shared some jokes about some songs having hackneyed tunes till the guys got free from the official talk.
After that it was time for the corridor-cricket,with so many new confusing rules for us,the new entrants .But still I managed to touch the double-figure score in the end,bhor baba did much better though .It was an ecstatic session with them.
Afterwards when Rahul and Nikhil got busy with their jugalbandi on Saxophone and Guitar respectively,I got some time for a tete-a-tete with Asheem(the tabla player and vocalist),who was busy figuring out tunes for a commercial assignment.At that time I got a chance to listen to his thoughts about music,I asked him how he saw their music from a critical angle and he answered me with passion, telling me why he doesn't know which genre there music belongs to.He could give me the main attributes of a genre and then compared their own music with that and I could see his point clearly,layman as I am, so he had to come down to my level. Asheem became so engrossed when he started with his thoughts about music that I had to take a pen and a paper to take down the key ideas,which would be threaded separately sometime soon. When I asked -"why don't you bracket yourself into fusion genre?" he said " Look, normally If you take "Shakti" as the yard stick of a fusion band ,then you see that John Mclaughlin came from Jazz and blues field,Zakir Hussain and L Shankar from the Indian Classical gharana,so they had their different roots before they got together,but if we see ourselves ,all four of us are more or less influenced by the same form of music,we are born and brought up in the same setting. so we can't actually claim to blend two separate genre, hence we don't consider ourself into fusion.We do listen to many form of music and let the tunes appeal to us before we actaully embark upon creating something new on the same formation"
" In my opinion we never give it much thought as to which bracket we belong to,I do feel that talent plays its role in bringing out one's expressios and the more varied one's interests are, the more versatile s/he could be.

You keep lisening to different kinds of music,different tunes,different structures and the whole thing, be it Indian Classical,western classical,rock,celtic,jazz,
blues,oriental,occidental ,all will have its impression on your memory lane and then you take up your instrument and try to follow your instincts.
Later when you look back at some creation critically you would be surprised at the sheer beauty of it which came from amalgamation of various tunes and structures that happened inadvertently!!
Musicians normally don't choose a genre consciously,basically they let it happen on its own,when later the critics see an underlying pattern in the whole set of creation they try to link the fine aspects and try to give it a name which becomes a particular style of music to people" -excerpts from my notes that afternoon.
In the evening Asheem and Nikhil treated me with drinks subsequently we had a great musical session together.

Earlier in the day when we asked them about their experience at KGP,they were all furious about the management people of Spring Fest-2005.They had some bad experience with the guest reception team especially Arindam.There was some misunderstanding I am sure but I guess the organising team members could deal with it in a better way.Initially they were promised that they would get AC sleeper ticket for the journey from Jamshedpur to Delhi(They had a show in Jamshedpur the following evening). Afterwards they were given some AC 3 Tier tickets. There was an unnecessary delay in giving them the cheque for the show fee too. Imagine them having to talk to a professor to get the whole issue sorted out!! I hope the new boys of KGP learn from this episode for good. It felt very shameful to know that they received this kind of treatment at IIT Kharagpur. Even an abecedarian of music would know, once s/he listens to Indian Ocean that these guys rank much above the run-of-the-mill bands- Euphoria,Strings and Silk route. Still you compare the difference in the show-prices,where Strings took Rs five lakhs for a show, IO took a paltry sum of Rs thirty thousand !!! Does that mean Strings is a better band? Only a mentally retarded will even dare compare the two.
Here the marketing theory comes into play which true musicians are pretty naive at.
The music illiterate fellows have to appreciate this very soon that Indian Ocean has its own image and they are going to define a new face of music in a few years.
Asheem says -"we come to college fests because we love playing before young and exuberant crowd and we consider the fact that the college students have to get sponsorship for their show,hence we try to strike a balance.For us a live show is the best time with music,it gives us utmost pleasure to be there and perform for a couple of hours unabated.So we happily relax on the rate-issue for the college fests.After Black Friday,now that people are getting to know us even in Bollywood circles,we are getting more stage show offers both in India as well as abroad but to us, college fests shows are still at top priority even at lesser emolument than a corporate show. "
And these guys had to face such a wrong treatment at IIT Kharagpur this year.Nothing could be worse than this. Rahul,who is an IIT Kanpur graduate himself, said they would never visit the campus again and I couldn't have agreed more with them.
I have never personally talked to Arindam but I presumed he was an affable character when I saw him winning the VP election in my last year.It still remains a mystery how he could behave in such an irresponsible way. Indian Ocean guys are extremely level-headed,down-to-earth musicians.Their simplicity shouldn't have been taken for a ride in that fashion. I tried my best to tell them not to generalise the KGP folks based on one exception and I hope they meant it when they said "we have nothing against KGP folks,please rest assured".
With this,I bade adieu to Asheem at 10 PM and promised to meet again in Calcutta in the last week of august.
Soon afterwards,I got into Nikhil's car and we set out for south Delhi.
Karol Bagh to Pushp Vihar is quite some distance(Some 15 kms). We chose Santana's music to give company to us and as the album started,I felt as if I was already thrown into complete bliss and the two of us didn't utter a single word for the whole journey which took about thirty minutes with us getting off route many a times. At times I got the presentiment of the notes coming from Santana in my mind.Such was the combined effect of music in a slightly inebrieted state of mind on a drive ! Seldom had I been so engrossed in music. I wished my destination never came,but It had to ; it did and when I asked him if he had listened to the new album of Santana in which the guy has played with different Gods of music across the globe, he said no and with the promise of sending Nikhil,the album "Santana Shaman" at his address,I hurriedly found my way to Vivek's flat at Metro Enclave and soon got lost in my dreams.
That day will forever remain in my memory lane as one of the best days of my life.
:) Thank you Indian Ocean for being Indian Ocean.

When in Calcutta(this 27th august) few of us KGPians had yet another gala time with them in Hotel Park,see the pics below:

Sitting from left: Chirantan,Arya ,Rajarshi
Standing from left: Nikhil Dutt( gives lights in IO shows),Asheem Chakraborty(Tabla Player n Vocalist),myself ,Shubho,Susmit(the guitar player) and Amit Kalam(the drummer )

Rajarshi is substituted by Mouneesh( sitting rightmost) under Rings of smoke!!