“Are you guys next?” asked a 2nd year junior who had come to take back his instruments from the green room.
The question was directed to Deep. But the loud music from the stage made it impossible for him to hear. The guy repeated again.
“Hey dude, are you guys playing next?”
Deep was startled when he realised that they were indeed going to play next. The trance created by the weed was slowly fading away like a quick hangover. He didn’t know how to respond. He just nodded back.
“I wish to hear you guys” the guy said and left.
Deep realised, that the last show was indeed important.
From the first band contest to the last, the journey was not always easy.
Back in the music room, the cigarette was almost over. The auditorium had gone crazy. The whistles and the hooting were too loud to make any conversation audible. Dg looked at Sam. He was still thinking. Dg strained his voice.
“Why are you ruining our last performance? What is it? It is about Rumi right?” asked Dg.
Rumi or Rumika was Sam’s girlfriend whose fidelity had always come under question in a year long relationship with him. It was not that Sam was bad. He was perhaps the best guy any girl would want. He did everything to keep her happy. But she was far too fickle minded to be with one guy it seemed.
“Rumi? Why would she even come into this conversation”?
“I have seen you all this year. How a happy-go –lucky guy like you stopped being happy and got into this new found love of yours called weed!!” replied an angry Dg.
“Stop this dude, let her go. You deserve better. Don’t just spoil our efforts because of someone like her. You had enough from her; it’s time to move on. She is not for you.” Added Dg trying to hit Sam’s most delicate part of the heart.
“I have dude. I have moved on. She doesn’t make any difference to me. I have tried all means to make it happen. But it’s time to give it up. “ said a tired Sam.
“Then why are you doing this?” asked an irritated Dg.
“Doing what?” asked Sam.
“Ruining our last bloody show!” shouted Dg.
There was a moment of silence in the dark music room. Only the shouts of the audience were clearly audible. It seemed that the band on stage was really rocking it!!
“What is the use of performing well Dg? Any ways we are not going to win. “Sam pointed out.
“It was never about winning Sam. The first band contest in Rourkella, you remember? We never contested to win. We wanted to put up a good show. So, why not today? It is our last performance!” Dg added.
“Rourkella was never just a competition. It was everything that gave us the hope to be something big. It was where our lives changed” said Sam and flipped the last burning bud of the cigarette in the air.
“Rourkella was a hell lot of experience” Dg thought.
An amateur band turned professional in one night. The victory in the band contest was necessary.
The night was gloomy. There was a crowd of darkened clouds hovering over the sky. It appeared as if they were waiting for the right time to attack!
Rourkella was not a rock loving crowd. But still the turnout in the band contest was unimaginable. People of all age groups had come to witness the band contest. May be it was because this was something first of a kind.
Owing to the condition that not much people were into hard core rock music, we decided to go with a mixture of all time favourites and classic rock keeping in mind the criteria of the band contest.
Reaching Rourkella was however, a hell of a journey. None of us had our tickets confirmed and we ended up sleeping near the bathroom for 14 long hours.
We reached Daddy’s place in the early morning. His place was a typical “Marwari” place. His mom flattered us with all sorts of delicacies.
Her target was however Sam. Sam was quite thin then.
She would say,” Son, by the time you go, I’ll make sure you have gained enough weight”.
The competition was 3 days later. We got 3 days to practise and understand the crowd.
Another important revelation was that, the winner of the band contest would be invited for a talk show in BIG 92.5 FM radio station.
We wanted to outdo ourselves in the contest. And to do that we devised a new plan to capture the crowd.
When we went to the stage, the crowd had already been charged up by the previous two bands.
We began with a heavy number. It was a cover of the “Joker and the thief” by Wolfmother.
The crowd took it well. The next song was a difficult one. We tried the cover of “Fade to Black” by Metallica. Though, the crowd might not have heard the song before, the judges seemed to acknowledge our effort with frequent nods and smiles.
The next one was what we definitely knew would be one of the crowd’s favourite number.
Sam started the “Summer of 69” with the same scripted dialogue he used in our first show.
The crowd suddenly got a number to sing along. They went mad.
People, especially the youths were shouting, screaming all around.
It was just then, Sam all of a sudden jumped in the crowd. He ran with his microphone just to a flock of young guys singing the song. People got even more excited. The song left the entire crowd shouting “Once More”.
But then we still had our “trump card” left. It was now the time for doing something new.
Sam took the stage again.
“Thank you guys, for you support. You guys rock. The next song is dedicated to all the beautiful ladies here tonight”, declared Sam.
There was a huge roar of appreciation from the crowd, especially, the female groups.
But we had different plans.
Sam continued, “The next song is an Original Composition by us. We call it Juliet.”
Just then Daddy interrupted as decided before.
“But Sam, I don’t feel like playing this guitar anymore”, said Daddy.
The crowd as well as the judges were suddenly confused. This was something unusual.
“Even I don’t feel like singing anymore. What do you suggest?” asked a tired Sam.
“Let swap”, I said from behind the drums.
The crowd still had no idea what was going on in the stage.
We, however, had everything well rehearsed.
I got up from the drums and took Daddy’s guitar. Daddy went and took my place behind the drums. Sam went and took the bass. And Deep took the mic.
The crowd now realised what had happened. And they burst into applause. This was perhaps the first time a band was swapping their roles on stage.
I had taught Daddy a normal four-by-four beat for the song, which he managed very well. I was also been taught the basic open chords for the song. Deep could sing and Sam had practised on bass.
The performance was good overall. The crowd really enjoyed our show.
But before the results, there were four more bands to perform.
“Lets, go out for a drive”, said Daddy.
We thought, we had a good one hour in hand. So we decided to go out for a drive.
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!)