I’m part of the Music Club here, at BITS Hyderabad. It’s not something I like to boast a lot about, it’s just another part of my life here. However, one thing must be said about this club. Colourful characters spouting praises of John Bonham and Jimmy Page abound and provide endless hours of free entertainment.
The most entertaining man has to be a guitarist named Aneesh. I mean, there’s no question about it. Born and bred in Hyderabad, he’ll try to convince you that he’s Scottish by soul, but will end up exposing himself as an Andhrite even more. Be it his accent, be it those small quirks of his, or even the accented way he speaks Telugu, everything screams Gult. By the end of the day, you will either love him, or be irritated enough to want to throw him off the nearest cliff. He’ll love you if you have the slightest amount of intelligence, and if you’re a girl, his clumsy and unconscious attempts at flirting with you will either leave you bemused or completely weirded out. If you’ve been warned about him, it’s usually very endearing. Of course, we, as responsible friends, never stop him. It’s the only way we get repaid. His loans are paid back in entertainment. Of course, we would prefer cash, but we make do with what we have.
I had the fortune of attending the last music club meeting he held. Come 5:45, and Aneesh, along with Piyush, Vivek and myself, enters the music room. I immediately make a beeline towards the Yamaha keyboard, not having touched it for about two weeks. Piyush decides to sit down, his throat being slightly infected, and Vivek decides to strum his guitar. I plug in my amp, and he plugs in his. Our eyes meet, and an unspoken challenge is accepted by both of us. It’s time to see who’s louder!
He immediately selects a patch and starts on some complicated blues riff. I seethe. His blues is impeccable. And anyway, I had no idea what he was playing. He was improvising. Well, fudge him, Blues is just not my thing. Wide, sweeping arcs of classy piano pieces are what i love playing.
But not today. I switch to the Lead and Brass section of my patches and begin to play. And just as I play my first chord, fully expecting to emerge triumphant in this little competition, a drum roll announces the entry of the newest competitor. Bhavana, Aneesh’s girlfriend (she’s learning the drums) had just joined. Both Vivek and I groan silently. There’s no point competing with the drums. They’re just too loud in the confined space we have. Too much reverb. Both of us back out in an agreement forged in a spirit of gentlemanly chivalry. Bhavana unknowingly wins a competition with the worst drumming I’d heard in a long time. Or maybe ever.
People begin to trickle in now, first and second years all. Singers, drummers, guitarists bassists and keyboardists, everyone comes in.
Aneesh decides to wait until he has a sizeable audience before actually beginning the meeting, so a meeting which was supposed to begin at 6 actually began at around 7. And here we thought that the club was being changed for the better.
“Everyone!” he bellowed in that deep voice he possesses. “We’re here to discuss the next music night.”
Right when he’s saying this does Saunak tumble in. He stares, being the only fourth year to actually be in the room. “What the hell?”
We take him aside and explain Aneesh’s idea of having a meeting without those idiotic third years. He understood the real meaning of the words. He nods knowingly and picks up a couple of drumsticks, a conspiratorial smile on his face. Aneesh, bless his soul, entirely missed this, wrapped up as he was in deciding his next words.
“So, anyway, the last meeting we had was held to discuss the music night, and that didn’t work out too well,” he said. A bored firstie turns to talk to another. The second years are already talking among themselves and with the lone third year Anirudh. Saunak’s busy on the drums. Aneesh is oblivious to this, not noticing that his only audience consists of his girlfriend Bhavana and another girl, Jyothi, who’s Bhavana’s best friend.
Paras, another third year comes ambling in, his gait unhurried. He knows what’s happening. The reverb in the room means that his entrance is lost in the cacophony of multiple voices talking at the same time. I’m berating Ranjan for his exceptionally high CGPA, Saunak’s laughing with Anirudh, Vivek, Shravan and Piyush are together talking about something and Jushira’s sitting quietly wondering which nuthouse she’s trapped in. Soon, Dinesh and Ramit join me in teasing Ranjan while Aneesh valiantly tries to get his voice across to everyone.
It’s not working.
Someone claps, and there’s dead silence for a moment as everyone tries to seek out the offender. Aneesh capitalises on the moment.
“Everyone, the songs were decided in the last meeting, So just tell me if you have any additions to make,” he declares.
To put things in perspective for the uninformed reader, the last meeting was held more than a month back. I dare anyone to say that he remembers the songs he’d chosen then.
Everyone looks at each other, trying to understand what to say. Someone finally pips up with the obvious. Aneesh scratches his head, muttering, “Yeah, right…” Of course, that causes Bhavana to burst out with a “So cute!” Honestly, when those two are in the same room, there’s enough love in the air for me to choke to death.
“We’ll get the list from Vasavi,” he declares. Which kind of killed the purpose of the meeting,seeing that it was held outside the knowledge of Ambar, Nikunj, Vasavi and Akshay Rishi. Bhavana and Jyothi rose to the occasion, both agreeing to get the piece of paper on which the list of decided songs was written. Why they get between Aneesh and total *facepalm* I don’t know.
The the talk turns towards the venue. “Right,” Aneesh calls out, completely in his element, “Which venue do you all prefer? Stage one, two or the SAC?”
“What’s the difference?” a random firstie asks.
As Aneesh begins explaining, Dinesh leans over to me. “Shouldn’t it be best if we actually ask the Lights and Sounds department that question?” he asks.
I nod sagely, wanting nothing more than to sigh openly and loudly. I restrain myself. There are firsties in the room. Got to be dignified, got to be dignified!
By this time there’s total chaos. Aneesh and Vivek are busy discussing something with inputs from Shravan and Anirudh. Saunak’s got his earphones on, the concerns of us lesser mortals beneath him. Piyush is chatting with Bhavana and Jyothi, while I’m trying to outfit Anirudh with an extra appendage between his legs, namely his ‘flute’. My dignity’s left to rot as I watch the stifled laughter on the faces of everyone in front of Anirudh.
The door opens yet again, to admit, miraculously, Ajit and Gupta, members of Lights and Sounds. They’re pounced upon, their opinion being of immense value. Stage two is decided, finally. They both decide to escape, Apollo’s abode in this campus being too much for them to bear. ‘Vagabonds!’ they must have thought. But then again, this is probably the reason behind Gupta wanting to leave the Music Club.
“All right, everybody!” Aneesh shouts, this time managing to catch the attention of the group. His audience watches, enthralled, waiting for him to conclude this sorry excuse of a meeting. He does nothing of the sort.
“So we will now…” His voice is lost again, as the unwashed multitude, having had enough of him decides to completely ignore his presence in the room.
He tries again, two or three times, until someone (im)politely tells him to shut up.
This was supposed to be a precursor to the kind of meetings we’ll be having next year, when there’ll be no one greater than us in the club. God save the Music Club.