We almost didn’t make it! It was a hastily put together, ill-planned itinerary which meant that three of us had work-related issues to take into consideration. Such journeys necessitate the acquired skills of clowning around to be utilized and the few VNITites we encountered on the train must have been left wondering how such a goofy group of people can perform cohesively as a band. The 13-hour-long journey without reservations in an Indian train’s second class compartment on an intensely hot day didn’t manage to wear four of us down - our guitar gizmo man Joy was flying in.
From the moment that we landed in the Nagpur railway station (along with the guys from Indigo Children who arrived at the same time coincidentally) we were treated with utmost care by the hard-working team at Aarohi ’09. JD’s asthmatic tendencies pre-empted an intense dusting session at the unused hostel rooms which would eventually become our abode for a couple of days - the bunker beds really were reminiscent of boys hostels from our past and the baths without showers reminded me of my own scary days from medical college hostels of the past.
As we walked across the ground through a dust storm which had formed right in front of our eyes to the ‘green room’ behind the stage, we were rather disheartened by the lackadaisical sound people who were running three hours behind schedule. Indigo Children took a couple of hours for their sound check which was marked by incessant delays due to technical snags and more. We tried to do our sound check as fast as we could as the crowd was already assembling and were getting impatient. We had used ‘Rasili’ and ‘School’ as our songs for teasing the crowd and it sure seemed to have worked.
Apparently, there was this viral SMS being sent across the campus about this hindi band playing hair-raising stuff. That surely helped us as a considerable crowd of about 500 had assembled by the time we got on stage after the band competition. Joy and Sumit who did not even have time to freshen up after being the judges of ‘Purple Haze’ (along with Jayen Verma, the fastest percussive bassist in the world) must have been recharged due to the energy rippling off the crowd before them. What followed will best be described in pictures and video.
In the half hour that we were allowed to perform we did six songs – ‘Rasili’, ‘Mumbhai’, ‘Apsara’, ‘Chuppi’, ‘School’ and ‘Jaisalmer’ - and we had a blast on stage. It was one of the only gigs where JD’s famously risqué lines got across to the crowd through the mayhem of cymbals, slap-pop and guitar drones and we saw guffawing teenagers in scores amongst the audience. A gig with Shor Bazaar can’t go on without JD injuring himself in one way or the other and this time he sprained his ankle while jumping off the stage, thereby disrupting the guitar circuitry of Robin, left lost amidst his fitful stage-act.
After the performance, as the punk-rock anthems of Indigo Children were being dished out live, we were overwhelmed with requests for photographs and some autographs too. We heard chants of ‘Shor Bazaar’ peppered with high-pitched shrieks when we headed out to watch the Children go amok. We were totally drained and yet we couldn’t help but bask in the adulation poured on us, at least partly due to my own version of couture. This is the first time that we were tagged with a few genres like hindi-metal and hindi-thrash!
It was a wonderful experience and we thank all you guys who helped us pull this off! We thank the talented bands who participated in the contest and Indigo Children for sharing the stage with us. We also would not like to overlook the sponsors ibibo.com and Xion Media Labs for sponsoring this event. It’s no secret that we would like to take centre stage, hopefully not just once more, when we could unleash our entire arsenal at you. We’re waiting for the call!
We would very much appreciate hearing from you about what you liked and what you didn’t about the band and the performance and about our mannerisms on stage and our wardrobe. I already have had many a requests to upload the lyrics of our songs. We are certainly going to be working on that. You could also send in the photos that you guys managed to take to our e-mail or post them on the many platforms for Shor Bazaar fans on the Internet – MySpace, FaceBook Group, FaceBook Arist Page, Orkut Community etc.