Tuesday, July 6
I was quite quenched with this 10ft * 25ft of space that i had pulled in. Maybe the smallest performance
space on earth. Warner theater where Petrucci played had a performance space of 250ft * 200ft. Didnt matter.
Every place has its idiosyncracy.Someplace Else was smaller than the green room of Nippon Budokan.Still
the biggest stage of my life.I was given a time span of 10 minutes. The time a band takes to optimise itself.
"Orient Express" was already there.Having a mug each. I gave life to my guitar.
3 years ago..
“John ,have you been to the only pub in kolkata which plays western and nothing else?”
“ Do such places exist ?”
“ya they do,and we are standing just few metres away from one of them .”
“Oxford has a pub, roshan?”
“ WTF, The park has “
“Its called ‘Someplace else`”.
The name sounded somewhat provocative.
“ Hey lets go there, make a round trip”
“ John, that’s a pub.”
“So ,we wont drink .”
“you ll go to the pub and wont touch booze?”
“we ll sort it out , lets move guys”
To go into the place which is someplace else ,you ll have to move through the lounge of one of the oldest grandeurs of kolkata. It smells money. Big time money.
Someplace else is the restroom of generally 2 types of people in kolkata. The people who reek alcohol, and people who reek money. The sofa on the left side are generally for the family. The tables flirting on the left are for couples . Only the few stools are left behind for those few who pay a visit to appreciate music. Conclusively, no place for school students.
We sat on the stool. The sofa and the chairs had signs of ageing in them , I noticed. The favorite trick of the hotel management students ,dim the light ,play the music ie reduce the vision enhance the auditory sense. The bartender came with his bible. We looked through it . We didn’t drink booze. There was just a pineapple soda and a himalaya which we could afford or preferably which was non-alcoholic.
“One Himalaya please”
The man in the black suit smiled at us.The smile symbolized “What are you ass holes doing here?”
“Sir, anything else along with mineral water ?”
“Lets, leave john”
“ one pineapple soda only”
My 100 bucks were going.
I was not ashamed that day.Not guilty of our stupid ignorance.I knew I had to come back here someday. For there was a 10 ft * 25 ft of space present in Park street that I had completely fallen for.
1 year ago...
“Dad, I want to play in a pub called someplace else. This economics doesn’t suit me anymore.”
“ Are you drunk ? or youre doping ?”
“All I am is serious right now”
“ You learned guitar , I didn’t bark .You play in a pub. You go out of the house.”
My dad didn’t utter the same syllables twice. My fate had been written.
6 months ago…
I didn’t go out of the house , but my dad stopped recognizing me. John was gone , for him . But I knew someday it would be perfect someday. The only thing I admired and loved was my Yamaha 6 string. I wanted to make my bucks with it. Not a degree given by a University which doesn’t even allow quarantined students to give a re-test. I knew where I had to play. That small 10ft * 25 ft space. I googled Orient express.
I wanted to start with Glasgow kiss . “ I am gonna play music from my new solo album Suspended animation, and this one is called Glasgow kiss”-John Petrucci
But somehow my hands were protesting .My father`s face was the only thing resurfacing in my mind. He would never know, mom would never tell him. That made me feel more guilty. I started with “Lost Without You” .It somehow fitted in.
There were few claps .few trinkles in the glasses. Maybe it wasn’t that good. Still, my first earning . I packed up. I wasn’t still happy . I heard someone call my name. I recognized her. Tania sen . “ Are you jobless , right now?”
“On all accounts ,ma`m” “Call me on Monday , I think I have something for you.” Hope, I thought .
I was moving out when the bartender called me .
“Sir, a gentleman offered you a beer.”
“On the leftmost corner.”
It was dark as usual. I had to go to the table to recognize him. The broad smile on my face was brought back seeing that special blazer father used to wear for once in a blue-moon occasion .
“ Well , ever had a beer ?”
“ Don’t tell mom”
“ I wont”
Who says beer is bitter ? it doesn’t after you’ve had a kiss from the world. A Glasgow kiss.