We went in at about 7:30 pm, just before dinner.
Sam took the stage.
“Ladies and gentlemen, before I start with our first number, I have a condition. You know, I am a very bad singer and I really cannot pull it off unless you sing with me. So people, get ready to enjoy the summer back in 69”, screamed Sam.
The reaction to the above ‘well-scripted’ dialogue was unbelievable. People roared back to it getting a chance to mouth the song they know with the band.
And as the opening reef of the song echoed in the open air, I could sense a rush of adrenaline down by spine. Everybody in the crowd screamed rather than sing. And Sam, all of a sudden went in the crowd with his cordless mic. People jumped and people hooted as together everyone screamed the chorus part. The dance floor in all other departments seemed to be empty. People were rushing in like a wave into the crowd to see who was playing.
Once, we ended the first song, Sam came back and fixed his mic to the stand.
He shouted, “The next one is an O.C (original composition). This song is dedicated to all the beautiful ladies out here. We call it Juliet.”
The crowd, who had already screamed their vocal chords out screamed again, and this time, I somehow managed to hear female voices more than the male ones.
As the song went, to my surprise, I found the crowd clapping on the beats. It was really odd to see a hyper-excited crowd sober so well with the change of the song.
When we ended, there was a roar of applause and trust me, it was so hard that I couldn’t hear what Sam said next.
“You’ll have to repeat it”, I said.
Sam nodded and repeated.
“That was all we had tonight. Thanks a lot for your response. We are the Hoax Call with Dg on drums, Prashant on lead guitar, Deep on bass and me, Sam on vocals. Thank you”, said Sam and signed off.
There was a moment when all the four of us looked at each other’s eyes and we said the same thing in our hearts.
“Well done guys! We rocked! ”
As we were unplugging our instruments, I saw a group from the crowd, especially girls approaching Sam and congratulating him for the show.
“And I thought it was a team effort”, said Deep pointing towards Sam who was busy with all the attention.
“He is the vocalist dude. He would always get more preference”, laughed Dg.
I didn’t comment but I was equally jealous like the rest of the guys. “But that was just a part of the long journey”, I thought.
The brilliant performance of ours needed a celebration and so we went to the hostel terrace to celebrate it in our style.
We, were four of us and a school friend of Sam’s named ‘Demon’. His name was no way ‘Demon‘but must be something that we never knew; thanks to Sam.
“He was forever a demon in our school. So we gave him this nickname”, chuckled Sam.
Demon had become a common friend of our band. He was not from our college, but I swear to God that apart from our batch mates, even the guards were certain that he studied here and lived in our hostel.
I was high on my beer. Deep was making pegs for the rest of the gang (I didn’t like whisky then); Dg went to create history by pissing from the terrace on the ground and Demon was capturing that moment; Sam was busy finishing off the last packet of chips.
It was just then, my phone rang.
His phone rang.
“Your cellphone is ringing!” said Deep.
Daddy was lost in a train of thoughts and took him some time to react to the incoming vibration in his pocket.
He pulled out the cellphone to check who was bothering him at that moment. It was Kriti.
“Damn! Why does she need to call now and spoil my mood!” thought Daddy.
Deep could not help but smile at his irritation.
“Pick it up dude”, suggested Deep.
Daddy gave a disgusted look and answered the call.
As Daddy was busy talking to Kriti, Deep looked at his phone. He had the Hoax Call logo as his wallpaper.
“The last performance”, he murmured to himself.
“Four years are way too less”, he thought.
Daddy spoke for the first time after hanging up the call.
We were all curious about the call after he signalled our attention while talking with someone about something that sounded interesting.
We were all looking at him expecting him to say something.
But he was busy finishing his bottle of beer which was no longer ‘chilled’.
So after about 3 minutes of suspense, Daddy, finally broke the ice.
“We guys have been selected to participate in the battle of bands, in Rourkella !”
“Rourkella?” asked Sam, “When did we apply?”
Even I had the same confusion. When the hell did we apply for some band contest in Rourkella?
“Well, Delhi Public School in Rourkella is organizing this contest and I had asked my friends to see if we could participate. The answer is yes; we can.“ Daddy clarified.
“When is it?” asked Dg who had been pissing off the terrace few minutes back.
“Next month” said Daddy.
“So, you guys should begin practising. What’s the first prize?” asked Demon
“8k it seems”, winked Daddy.
“Where do we stay there?” I asked.
“In my place”, Daddy replied.
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!)