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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Me And The Stage

Its been long since my last post on this blog. Life's been pretty mundane and inspiration has been hard to come by. So it felt nice when a few friends inquired about this sudden hiatus. The last few days have been particularly frustrating and so I thought that I would try that extra bit to take my mind off my daily existence and string together a coherent post. So here goes......

All I remember from that day is that it took me quite a while to get the brown boots on while the music played in the background and the scene where I had to pounce upon the mouse.

My first stage appearance (as Puss in Puss In Boots) happened when I was in class three. Till the fourth or maybe fifth grade there were also a few elocutions but then I realised that I never won anything and so decided to stop it altogether. In class six the Maggi Quiz happened and I found myself representing the school while some Mr. Derek O'Brien asked questions like why is 'AMBULANCE' written in the way it is. We came second by a whisker but I had found something which would put me on stage and something at which I didn't suck.

It had its advantages. It gave me an existence in school. It allowed legitimate bunking of classes. I was quite good at it and along with my partner formed a formidable team which lasted till the end of our schooling days and left me with a showcase full of trophies and more knowledge about the World War and India's freedom struggle (courtesy the 50th year of the Indian independence and the Quizzes that followed in its wake), soccer, literature and movies than my peers. The thrill of knowing the answer to a difficult question and waiting till it came to you, the buzzer rounds, the rapid fires; I loved them all. And a major reason was that mostly we won. I loved the stage. From the friends who came along with a couple of teachers to cheer us, to the applause which followed during the prize distribution and in the school assembly the next day, it sure had its rewards.

In the meanwhile I also got enrolled in the newly formed Music Academy where I learned tabla. Even there the stage appearances continued although as part of groups of almost 10 with instruments like tabla, violin, guitar and sitar coming together to play a composition on raag Kafi or Kalyan. And the best thing was that on more than one occasion I created a place for myself (which meant a 20-30 second solo when all other instruments stopped) by volunteering to play the pakhawaj or the khol. It certainly helped that I was a fast learner and picked up things with ease. Amidst the applause during a jugalbandi between the percussionists and the stringed instruments, the words of appreciation by our teacher on the completion of a successful performance, the spark in the eyes of my parents as I watched them from the stage looking at their son; my love for the stage kept growing.

Then college happened and I suddenly found myself thrown in amongst immensely talented people. Luckily there weren't many good tabla players around. So I got a new life and went back to the first instrument I had laid my hands on as a seven year old and had left after my class 10th Boards. So my love affair with the stage in general and music in particular continued. In fact it blossomed like never before, at a totally different plane, in the company of some great musicians. I never had stage fright and although the prizes kept eluding us, yet the experience itself was prize enough. We performed in the inauguration of Rendezvous and Tryst and also once at the India Habitat Center and I got to know about every corner of the Sem Hall and the Convo. After third year, tabla gave way to rhythm Guitar but the love of the stage remained intact, changed perhaps only in its expression.

As luck would have it, a few months back I got to perform on the stage in a totally new avatar. That of a solo singer. And that too in front of the entire company. And frankly speaking even though it was a debut of sorts, I wasn't nervous. So when the 'once more' came, I knew I had added another page in the chapter titled 'Me And The Stage' in my life's book.

I love the adrenalin rush, the transient nature of a stage performance, the spectators, the applause, the anxiety before the performance, the accolades that follow it. I love the ego boost, the kick that it gives. I like to be known and acknowledged. But above all, in the few minutes that I am on stage, I forget everything around. I lose myself to the occasion. I feel liberated.

5 comments:

cathatfished said...

good to have you back.

sunny said...

that's why u are "meetthestud":)

Shreyas said...

dont you think that adrenaline and that rush of being on a stage has gone from life...isnt it afterall what we live for...the simple feeling of achievement when u can puch the air as if the world is urs

Atish said...

it has.. and thats where this post is rooted ...am glad that u could read between the lines :).. hoping that the rush comes back to life .. for all of us who are craving for it ..

anonymous coward said...

babu moshai ... Hum sab rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jinki dor uparwale ki ungliyon se bandhi hui hai. Kab kaun uthega koi nahin bata sakta.