Subha Manoj

While I Was Away

Subha Manoj

2013 HIGHLIGHTS: Attending my first rock show with kids! (POST 1)

What happens when there a perfect cocktail of a Saturday evening + family + friends + sprawling ground of Primus Public School + progressive Carnatic rock band AGAM + Bangalore’s cool winds? You get the perfect KICK! 

When last week Anirudh came back from school with a circular about AGAM performing in the school grounds, there was not a second thought about our decision. I was taken back to the college fests  and the concerts I had attended during college and pre-marriage days.

When I went to the school to collect the tickets, the bundle of freshly printed tickets were opened in front of me. I was the first one to buy the tickets!

Manoj was super excited. Have I mentioned before that he plays Carnatic violin, is a trained Carnatic singer and also an amateur photographer? 🙂 So here he was with a perfect opportunity to listen to his favourite genre of music and take splendid pics of a concert. What more can a guy ask for…really!?

Then there was Anirudh, who wanted to know what a band is? I explained to him the meaning. After a due thought, he said, “So if I continue learning piano and become good at it, can I have a band? Papa can play the violin with me.” He understood it perfectly! 🙂

The evening started with the Primus school band: The Dreamers, performing for the first time. The kids were enthusiastic and real good. Keeping in mind that that they are budding artists in their own making, I feel they can go a long way, if  they believe in their calling. The parents of the band members had pride and happiness written all over the faces, and I couldn’t stop being happy for them.

It was later taken over by the electrifying performance by AGAM. Now, I have always been a big fan of fusion. I just love the blend of carnatic music with lyrics based on hymns and chants along with hard rock. I was brought up on a steady diet of Bryan Adams, Guns & Roses, MLTR, Skid Row, Eagles, U2, Aerosmith, Enigma, and the likes. My parents were not much of music lovers. The only time I heard my dad listening to music was a few rare Saturday/Sunday noons before lunch when he would put on his favourite cassettes of Janaki, Yesudas, Chitra etc.

I, on the other hand, had posters and collages of my favourite music bands stuck all over the walls of my room. The first time I did it, my dad came and ripped it, saying it chips the walls! I cried so much that he gave in. My school bag had favourite quotes of music bands written on them. My constant doodling were also that of music.

My first tryst with fusion was when I attended a fusion concert by L.Subramaniam, Shiva Mani, Bhimsen Joshi, Indian Ocean, and few other famed musicians, when I was in 12th std. I remember shouting ‘Encore!!!’ in a crowd of a sophisticated audience, My parents were shocked! 😀

AGAM turned out to be the next level of fusion I had heard till now. They make music which is a blend of hard rock (Almost metal for my taste) and Carnatic. But I loved it! Their ‘The Boat Song’ made the audience grooving and head banging. Let me tell you here that the audience here was not the usual age group one finds in a rock gig. They were parents,grand parents, teachers, school management and ofcourse students ranging from the age of 3 to 15. And then ofcourse there were the siblings like my younger one who were as young as 2.5 🙂 The first time in my life where the dress code was not kohl rimmed eyes, tattoos and minimal clothing, but kurtas, salwar suits, and yup…sarees too!

(A little something about the band: Most of the band members are ex-BITS Pilani who found music as a common passion other than racking up their brains. 🙂 Good for us, I say. Today, they all have careers which fits their academic inclination, yet continue to feed their passion through their band. )

But if you think that any of these factors stopped the electrifying environment, you got it all wrong. People who knew headbanging did it, swinging away to glory, and those who did not know what is headbanging got a complete hang of it.

If you may ask, what was my best moment?

…Headbanging and dancing with my 7 year old. You may ask, how exactly is headbanging and dancing fun with a 7 yr old. But it was, totally! I taught my son yet another thing 🙂
He made mommy’s heart happy when he said, “I want that song to be repeated, so that Amma and I can jump.” He saw another facet of his mother. That of a thorough music lover who lost herself to an evening full of music, fun and letting herself go.

Oh ya, I did say a silent thanks to my son while putting him to sleep. Amma was able to attend and enjoy a rock show because of you…Shona 🙂

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