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Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fire away........

No secrets in the fact that i am a heavy metal fan. I don't know what happened first, the feverish love for playing drums or 24-hour heavy metal fanaticism. But either ways, it does not go wrong. Have been a drummer for 4 years now and not a very good one at that. A few hits there, some bangs there and more often than not cocking it all up.Landing the lead singer in trouble, putting the guitars off time and throwing the bass lines into the furnace while (un)settling the rhythm. Been there, done that. And life is good.....

Many people have helped me out, generously with my uselessness at playing drums.Giving me tips, practising with me the whole deal.But there was one secret teacher i never mentioned,very imprudent of me. And that cached and humble teacher is Internal Combustion.....:)

Ever been in a six seater (damn things are every where is Pune and maybe the best choice for short distance transportation)? One mundane and unspiritual and uninspiring morning, i was sitting in one of those, trying to get somewhere. had to wait cause it was not carrying a thousand people and the driver won't budge unless it did. So he put it in idle, shoved some tobacco into his gums and waited for it.

For 6 minutes, the syncopated beat of that idling diesel engine was pounding my butts and only at the 7th minute does my butt ring in a call to my puny brain to wake up and recognise what was causing the vibrations. And then it took another 2 minutes (how do i remember such embarassig details?) to take in the regularity of the firing intervals. Like a perfect time keeping
machine but at the same time with an off sync beat which is very unsual, the engine thrummed away.

It just hit home with all the force of a 200mph Shinkansen. The beauty of it, in all its simplicity. The beat is everywhere. My mind was reeling with the implications of this discovery. Those little explosions inside little cylinders of metal which are responsible for literally moving the masses from one place to the other. And now they are are responsible for inspiring me to playing drums. Cause and effect relations do not come much more bizzare.

And if the 6 seater was a tuition, then the train is the whole concert, a drumming festival put together. Especially when the locomotive runs on diesel, for then it adds its own flavour to the already eclectic sonic curry. The slow start, the careless canter across little villages, the loud and brash rumbling over rivers and gorges, the steady swift beat when really whistling through the night. No wonder i wear a perennial grin, once in a train.

'Twas that day and ever since, the thrum of a paraffin stove under a hood has always had my ear and brain riveted to it. For rhythms, timing et al . Every trip has been a studio session, which in turn makes even the dullest of moments and the most polluted of places a lot more interesting and fun. Percussion, is everywhere.....quite literally!


  1. ahaaa.. true manan stuff after a long time... a lovely read...

  2. aboslutely true! der is rythm everywer.