The next one month was hell of a jamming session for us. The music room was not allowed to be open during class hours as it would disturb the ongoing lectures. So the time we had was from evening 5pm to morning 6 am. But then there were certain rules to be followed.
Firstly, there were just two keys for the music room. One key would always be with the cultural secretary of the college. The Cultural Sec. was a final year student who had been elected to the post. Now, the time available for practise has been equally divided in the form of a time table between all the registered bands of the college (including us!) and those who were interested in learning music (music classes). The other key would be circulated among the bands as they followed the time table. But the last band of the day should write their name and contact number for the first band in the next day to get the key.
It was a systematic process. But the problem was, there were few people who kept the key but did not turn up for their scheduled practises or were not reachable when needed. This was really causing a hell of a problem for us as we missed our slots in search of the key.
It was a Thursday night. I had retired to my cosy bed after dinner and was planning to watch a sci-fi movie when Dg called me.
“Deep, get ready. We will practise tonight from 11 pm”, he said.
I was not prepared for this sudden practise at all.
“But we do not have a slot today. We had it yesterday. Then how can we go? “I wanted to know trying to avoid the idea of leaving the bed.
“Well, ‘Ozone’ have cancelled their slot today. So we can use their slot.”, said Dg
“But what about the key?”, I was still desperate.
“Well, there is this secret. Last week when I took the key I made a duplicate out of it. So now on, we do not need to keep looking for the key.” Dg relpied jubilantly.
I was not at all amused.
“What if someone knows?” I asked.
“Chill! No one will never know”, he said.
That night we practised well and in the coming nights, we sneaked in whenever we found the music room empty using the stolen key.
Days passed faster than night.
Everybody practised hard. No one cared about my fingers.
“Damn… I am playing a bass guitar for God sake! Look at my fingers. They have swelled up.” I shouted.
“Fine, we take a smoke break for Deep’s finger”, declared Sam in the music room.
“You guys will be smoking here?” asked Dg. (He didn’t smoke then.)
“Ya, why not? “ I asked.
“It’s not your room fatso! What if someone catches us? Are you going to answer?” asked Dg.
“Come on Dg. Do you think a professor would leave his bed and come to check us out in the music room at 2 am in the night? Daddy said, “We’ll smoke outside may be.”
We used the smoke-break properly but we were generous enough not to smoke in the music room. We went out the other door of the music room to the small open concrete ground which ended towards the gymnasium.
Well that day we started it and never cared of getting caught.
One month of practise had made us somewhat better than what we were. But apart from the proficiency in our parts, this one month was special for two more reasons.
As we prepared for the band contest, we realised that we needed to take up songs that were difficult and more specifically had some breath taking guitar solos. After much persuasion, Daddy was ready to practise his solo skills. But what was a problem was that we needed a support guitarist to play the chords while Daddy played the solo.
“We already have gelled well. I don’t think we can get another guitarist with the same thought process.” Sam said.
“But, without another guitarist, we cannot think of playing guitar solos in our songs”, I said.
“ Deep, I feel Sam is right. It was already hectic to get four of us together. Getting another head count in the band and that also in such a short notice will be next to impossible”, Dg said.
There was a pause in the small tea shop.
We all knew, we had a problem and the solution was tough.
Daddy took a long drag of the cigarette and said,
“I can offer a solution!”
Daddy always had this uncanny habit of creating suspense where he said a sentence which urged us to persuade him for more.
“How?” asked Sam forcing Daddy to pass on the cigarette.
“We are four guys in our band. Deep is already playing bass, Dg is already playing drums, and I am the lead guitarist. The only person without an instrument is you, Sam. So, why don’t you learn guitar enough to play the chords?” suggested Daddy.
Sam was busy pulling the last puff of the cigarette when Daddy suggested his name. He almost chocked off the last drag.
“Wow! That’s a great idea “, shouted Dg.
Sam was really not prepared for this. He was also a lazy bum like me.
“Are you guys crazy? How can I perform with a guitar? And how am I supposed to learn guitar in a month?” asked Sam
“Just the way I learned Bass in a month. Besides you can perform better with a guitar”, I replied.
The decision was taken. Majority ruled. Sam had no choice. For one month he stretched his fingers under the harsh supervision of Daddy and Dg.
So, Sam B was the vocalist as well as the support guitarist in our band as we decided to take on the band contest.
The second reason was really sweet. It was the day before we left for Rourkella. That day, after we practised, Dg decided to stay. And that was weird.
“You guys carry on! I have some work left”, he said.
No one cared what work Dg had until Daddy said on our way back,
“What work could Dg had?”
Sam tried but couldn’t resist a smile.
“What is it Sam? You know it right? Why did Dg stay back?” I asked.
But Sam wouldn’t say.
But when both Daddy and I forced him, he spilled the beans.
Apparently, Dg was mad about a girl in the college and had decided to woo her by promising her to teach guitar in the music room.
But once, such a secret thing is known and especially when a drummer decides to teach ‘guitar’ to woo a chick, it becomes the responsibility of ‘good’ friends like us to scrutinise the matter.
So we went back to the music room to see what he was busy doing.
When we reached, we saw Dg through the window. He was busy teaching the girl the basic “A major” chord. He was busy touching her hand and positioning her fingers on the fret board.
That was something that every guy would desperately want to do but in private.
And just then, Daddy said,
“This just can’t happen friends. I am the guitarist and I suggest let’s interrupt”
The fact that all the three of us were dead jealous of Dg at that point was evident from our action.
We stormed in.
On seeing us enter, Dg was astonished and in the process he left her hand. He really didn’t expect us there.
“Hi Dg. Are you teaching her guitar?” asked Daddy.
Dg was about to say something but swallowed it. For some time he didn’t know what to do.
Finally he hold back himself and said, “Oh yes Prashant. I was just trying.”
And that day we were introduced to the girl who soon became a part of our band. She was nicknamed “Lustoo”, the love interest of our drummer.
And that night, Sam really had to give a hell lot of explanations for letting out Dg’s secret.
The next day, we left for our first ever band contest to the state of Odisha.
to be continued….
(This is a semi-fictitious and more of an original account of a musical journey of four different souls who at some point in their lives dreamt to make it Big.
The result was Hoax Call, an alternative rock band which started well but could never end!)