Sunday, June 17, 2012

Inside Swarathma

Rangayana Mysore,i looked at my watch it was 7:00pm the bright lights where on me but that did not matter much as i saw hundreds of eyes on me waiting for me to talk, that sent a cold wave to my spine ...

It all began with a phone call from Jishnu asking me would i be interested to tour with swarathma as i was the chosen fan.... not in my wildest dream would i have said NO not even on a gun point. as soon i dropped the call i made a hundred calls n tweets telling people what had struck me, my feet wouldn’t stop dancing and that never happened before... the excitement of meeting the band sure had grown all over me. Now i had a new set of horns and those always honked about how lucky i was many boasting sessions did happened.
The day finally arrived A TT (Tempo traveller) came to pick me up, and there i meet a red head red beard mallu ... it took a while for me to realize he is a Indian and from Gods own country and he documented swarathma's tours it was just me and him sleepy eyes travelling now to pick up the other band members the excitement was building in as he told tales about the band, and Ya his name was is and will probably remain Sameer had to introduce him to you somewhere so saved it till the end.

We picked up Jishnu and then Montry who i always thought was Monty... Jinshu showed me no signs of celebrity mask he was soo down to earth and made me super comfortable throughout the tour while Montry the drummer was totally Mad and surely in a good way. we were joined by Mr Rahul who played tabla for the band he was hilarious too mostly with his Hydrabadi hindi fun n laughter remained along the tour... i soo was a misfit when they spoke about the instruments and other types of music, i could only connect to them easily when they spoke anything about swarathma and i always jumped in i surely know a lot about the band probably more than what Wikipedia knows and now after this tour i know them even better. Jishnu kept talking while i was keen about meeting the other members some of them had already reached Mysore others were travelling in some other TT... then we finally entered Mysore the city was soo beautiful the royal flavor in the air it was easy to fall in love.

The lunch did happen at a place called 'Uncle Lobo' The famous coorgi cuisine Pandi Curry was enjoyed with stories of pigs to Nursery rhymes, while Rahul kept insisting "Yaar pork bolo pandi bolo per PIG mat bolo yaar". That was enough to cut loose the Pig jokes and pig talks... probably we just spoke about pigs after that.Met Sanjeev and Varun there who looked at me with a confused smile until introduced.

Finally we reach the Venue there i meet the Wonderful kind polite Vasu Dixit and then Soft spoken Pavan the band was now complete and in front of me ready for a sound check in a wonderful venue 'Vana Ranga' at Rangayana it was a Amphitheater there where lot of trees around there were birds chirping and not so far away a lake was visible.. it sure looked like the most beautiful venue ever, everybody in the band looked excited with the venue while i was enjoying my presence there, just being there was a big deal for me.., i saw the band turned into supreme entertainers as soon as they went on stage for sound check very professional too... just the sound check gave me goose bumps i was loving living very min also enjoying the attention everybody gave me. the Band Manager was this funny guy called Deb he kept things alive throwing jokes at each other and keeping it tight as they call it :P.A lot of people walked up to me and was talking to me about my camera and what kind of pics i click these were some audience who had arrived really early i spoke to them about the band and they shared their feelings about the band a lot of teen crowd from the local colleges had arrived...

It was 6:50pm there were hardly any people in the amphitheater, a thought of disappointment sure did run over my mind, this shouldn’t happen to my band specially when iam with them. i get a call from the green room where Pavan n Vasu tells me would you like to talk about your experience with the band on stage we would love it if u do, i was shit nervous but then i thought after a rocking show nobody would care about a random guy talking .. i put up a brave face and said SURE with some kilos of confidence then Pavan tells me also introduce the band if u like that’s  when it struck me i was gonna talk all this before the show, Jinshu puts a hand on my shoulder n tells me no pressure mate if u don’t wanna do it dont ...i told myself 'ab to izzat ka sawal hain' and then who gets to introduce their favorite band on stage this was a golden opportunity i wanted to do it i had to do it right... a lot of notepads opened in my mind writing random things.. Just then the band members invited me to their hurdle ritual before the Show where they boosted spirits to a new level after that even i wanted to rock the show sadly i played no instruments. I was walking all over place trying to figure out what to say in less than 5mins, i had a random outline of what i wanted to say. Just then someone says "Kaveer you’re on"

I looked at my watch it was 7:00pm the bright lights where on me but that did not matter much as i saw hundreds of eyes on me waiting for me to talk, that sent a cold wave to my was a full house n more, just then the Foot and mouth disease had struck me, My mouth started fumbling while my feet were trembling. i felt responsibility on my shoulders i did not wanna mess things up for my band yes i was part of it now...i welcomed the audience and i introduced myself and told them about my journey until then i got a huge wooo woww sounds with lots of claps that gave me enough confidence to talk more looking into their eyes which looked at me with anticipation and love all mostly because of the band. The proud moment had arrived when i call the band to the stage i had goose bumps doing that... i thought that was the best gift from the band to me. and as i went backstage the band members were happy with whatever little i did i was supremely proud and floating already. And then when the band went on stage the crowd went crazy the lights went crazy everything reached a new level of awesomeness they made the audience dance sing laugh everything a audience would ask for ... the famous topis were seen all over the place spreading awareness in different colours. The Topiwalleh album was then launched with a great gesture Vasu's Mom, Pawan's Dad and The man who stitched the topis (my apologies for not remembering the great man’s name). now it was time to strike the audience harder and they did it just right the crowd just went mad completely dancing all around me it sure was divine feeling and then like all good things come to an end the show ended too with people barging in for Autographs n Photographs i just stood aside and watched the fans go crazy over them... smiles all over people just kept showering love over them... i wanted to click a pic with the band with their costumes but that never happened, i simply did not want to steal time from any fan while i was lucky enough to get soo much love life laughter peace from them. bought my own copy of the album and sure did receive a hug n autograph from each person in the band the warmth i received was touching. Jishnu walks up to me and gives me his playlist (not sure what you call it the order of songs to play on that day written on paper) soo loved being there...

The show ended the hungry bunch reached a place called "Grandpa's Kitchen" where the madness began more like a celebration of good show or in short just dinner where Deb and Montry started their Malayalam, Bengali jugalbandi sure was hilarious however we left the restaurant before could unite they courage to throw us out. probably that was my last memory with the band once we hit the road everybody snored loud enough to disturb each other’s sleep, we only woke up to say good bye to each other....

i know that I am ending this abruptly... let’s do it the way Vasu does

Jishnu on base and backing vocals, Sanjeev on violin, Montry on the drums, Varun on the Guitar, Pavan on Precautions and Vasu on guitar n vocals  

- Kaveer  (Kabira koi banta nahi .... kabira to hota hain bus)