Well, how about this for a crazy road trip?!
A flight to Delhi, followed by a 14 hour drive to beautiful Manali. Add to this an equally long drive back to Delhi a week later, to take a flight to Coimbatore, from whence commenced a 4 hour drive to Ooty that culminated with a not so smooth drive back home to Namma Bengaluru.
Now throw in words like “THE DEWARIST”, “GoMad Festival” and LAGORI – and you have a super short synopsis of how we spent one of our most interesting weeks in our entire lives.
As for the longer version, read on below.
We’d just about finished a super fun gig at the Mumbai HRC, when Geeth gets a call. Five minutes later, he came back looking like he’d just seen Megan Fox (naked). The news apparently was far more exciting (to me at least) – a five day trip to Manali, to shoot for – wait for it – THE DEWARISTS !
Three minutes of pin drop silence was followed by hoots and hugs, amidst Eddie and Vinyl plotting how not to get fired from their day job, with the rest of us wondering if we were in fact dreaming. Wide awake we were, and we stayed that way all weekend, planning and fantasizing about the trip to be.
The flight to Delhi was as uneventful as any domestic flight can get. But the long drive to Manali was really something else! The contrast of the surroundings to the congested metro life in Bangalore was remarkable! Glimpses of seemingly never ending fertile land, the gorgeous albeit dizzying climb up the mountains, a sudden dip in temperature without warning, the beautiful gush of the Beas river and the simplistic colorful lifestyle blew us away! On a different note, we stopped at the most unassuming places to eat, during which Eddie managed to ruin the image of all South Indians by trying to speak to the locals in Hindi! I scared the daylight out of the drivers by screaming like a possessed hyena, when I got a personal call from none other than THE Bunny Brunel (you read that right ladies and gentlemen)! We were also surprised we didn’t get beaten up by the locals, while we argued with a local wine bar owner about the name of his store – “The English Wine Store” it read – while all he sold (and we bought) was local “maal”.
There were several kilometers altogether during which nobody spoke (and that is saying something when it comes to a band that never has nothing to say to each other)! Soaking it all in, we wondered what lay ahead with this upcoming collaboration that we had only earlier watched eagerly on television.
We couldn’t have expected better!
We were to collaborate with a theatre group from Mumbai called “The Actor’s Cult”. None of us knew what was in store, and how music and theatre were going to create a new concept altogether. In fact everyone, including the theatre group and the camera crew were wondering the same.
But it did all came together. If we were to recall exactly how, we just don’t have the words.
The wonderfully exuberant theatre group was such an inspiration to start with! As musicians, we tend to get introspective while composing. But the theatre folks are SO expressive all the time! Emotive with ideas, dialogues, body language and zeal, we just got sucked in. This atmosphere combined with the musicality we brought in has created a product we are all supremely proud of! Two nights spent in the studio to record the track had us feeling spent and elated at the same time. Add to this the extremely creative camera crew was the best we could ever ask for! You guys brought out the best in us!
The final day of the shoot had us all wearing flimsy t-shirts in temperatures that went close to zero, but we didn’t mind! We had to look super trendy for the shoot you see! However, frostbites notwithstanding, if our faces look blue in the video, please remember that your TV sets are functioning absolutely fine!
After wrapping up the shoot, completely exhausted from the weather and the schedule, and totally stuffed with all the amazing Manali food, we geared up for a long journey to the South’s closest version of the Himalayan paradise. Leaving Manali was tough – leaving the crew and people we had a wonderful time with was tougher! But looking ahead, Ootakamandalam it was. While the beauty of our journey to Manali had us speechless, this time, the magnitude of what we had done, combined with the physical exhaustion of it all kept us mum. So tired were we, the boys didn’t even notice the hot air hostesses on the flight to Coimbatore. Trust me, that IS something!
27 hours later, via both land and air, with a quick pit stop at Coimbatore, we reached Ooty in the afternoon. GoMAD it was!
How on earth were we going to play a 45 minute set, especially following some wonderful acts that performed before us, we wondered. Well, we had no clue as to how we did it! It might have been the euphoria of being on stage, the energy and the vibe of the audience that somehow drew themselves to where we were performing, and the smiles and dancing that stayed with them until the end of our set list! But we played like it was our first ever show together! Like we hadn’t performed in ages! Like our lives depended on it! Like we were falling in love with our own songs all over again! And believe it or not, the fatigue that held us back on our journey to Ooty was replaced with a burst of energy that lasted all the way till we reached Bangalore (where it then felt like a house fell on top of us, but that’s a different story altogether)!
Amidst this madness that lasted over a week, we had epiphanies of various proportions.
That we were capable of collaborating with not only musicians, but with an art as unexpected as theatre.
That we were capable of spending seven whole days in each other’s faces (and farts) without wanting to kill the other, and still want to meet up the next day for a mad jam session.
That we had grown in the span of a week, not just musically, but also with the way we viewed performing arts as a whole.
That we would travel thousands of miles to play one show for the love of it all.
And that we would LOVE to do this all over again. And again. And again.