30
Nov
08

revelations: part 2

The summer of 2002 was a rollercoaster ride for me and my friend Omayr. The year before that, we had started up a school band called Reverb, consisting of several friends with no idea whatsoever of how to play music. But we shared a common passion for music, and the natural progression was to try our hand at playing some kind of instrument or the other. Zohad, vocalist of Nemesis, and a very dear friend opted to sing a few sessions with us since Nemesis was going through a period of hiatus. A couple of members had gone abroad for their higher studies, leaving the band in a state of hibernation.

Ratul, Me, Zohad, Maher, Omayr

Ratul, Me, Zohad, Maher, Omayr

With Zohad’s help, we slowly started coming around as musicians. Our highlight that year performing at our annual school concert, and our friends and fellow students had waited long enough till the end of the show to see our performance. It was delightful to see all of them singing along with the popular tunes that we did and the whole experience was awesome.

One fine day, a couple of months later, Zohad comes up to me and Omayr and says, ‘guys, I know you have your own thing going, but if you dont mind, can I please ask you to play for Nemesis?’. Needless to say, both of us were astounded at his request, and the nature of it as well. And there started our journey in Nemesis, one which continues till this day. Playing with them made us better as musicians, and it is my belief that due to the fact that our friendship goes back such a long way, let us gel instantly with Nemesis and what it stood for.

30
Nov
08

the natural mystic…

Get up stand up…..stand up for your right…..get up stand up…dont give up the fight

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And there he was, in all his dreads, clad in denim, plonking away on his guitars and speaking for the millions of underprivileged around the world. This was Bob Marley and his music was for the soul, the soul of every ordinary man around the world who believed in the injustice of ‘society’ and its rulers. And for me, he was the first rebel that I saw in my life, and the first rebel music that I had heard.

Even though he passed away four years before I saw this world, his music and his message transcends generations, and is felt by people today who never saw the world that he saw. Because at the end of the day, as he said, ‘never give up the fight‘, and the fight for our right will last for a long time to come.

Bob Marley – Get Up Stand Up

10
Nov
08

revelations: part 1

There are times when life nudges you a little bit towards your destiny. The moments when you just know this is how its supposed to be, and for me it was when I saw Nemesis.

They were the epitomy of high school idols, ‘boro bhais‘ who had just discovered the dream of being rockstars (yeah thats what we ‘chhoto bhais‘ thought of them). These were the guys who taught us what music was, what ‘cool‘ was…..and sure enough, every time they took the stage, there was a pint sized legion  of loyal fans.

Nondito, Ratul, Maher, Zohad (2002)

Nondito, Ratul, Maher, Zohad (2002)

Zohad, Maher, Ratul, Nondito and Yawar were people like us, who had just stepped into the unknown. And for the first time ever, these guys unknowingly gave me a reason for my existence, which up until that point, I had no clue about. They taught me music beyond the mere facade of it, of how to channel my thoughts and emotions into a purely musical form. THIS was what I was born to do.

Nemesis – New Day

Unofficially claimed to be the first Nemesis track, ‘New Day‘ was recorded in 2002 with the original line up consisting of Zohad (Vocals) Maher (Guitars) Nondito (Guitars) Ratul (Bass) and Yawar (Drums)

28
Oct
08

of sins and sages….

Depiction of the Great Sage
Depiction of the Great Sage

If Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is our political icon, if Rabindranath Tagore our cultural icon, if Dr. Muhammad Yunus our economic icon, then the great sage Fakir Lalon Shah is our philosophical icon.

For the couple of centuries, this sometimes very mysterious and misunderstood figure, has given the common man a voice against oppression, social injustice and religious intolerance. His songs spoke for humanity, his songs spoke of the quest for the emancipation of the soul. He spoke of God as ONE, without allegiance to any creed, caste or culture.

Born in Kushtia in 1774, Lalon Shah’s background is often shrouded in mystery. Popular legend goes that he was born into a Hindu family, and was taken in by a Muslim family when on one of his travels he was suffering from small pox. The head of this family was Sheraj Shai, whose teachings had a profound influence on him. When he returned back to his family, he was considered an outcast since he had taken shelter from a Muslim family. As for the real story…who knows? Its still a mystery!

But it is without a doubt that this great poet had a profound influence on Bengalee culture. Rabindranath Tagore, one of the pillars of modern Bengali art and culture, was known to be a great admirer of Lalon Shah. Infact it is even documented of how Tagore has confirmed that the man had a direct influence over a lot of his creations. As he said in his Hebart Lecture in London (1933), ‘Lalon Shah is a mystic poet,  who discovered ‘soul’ and the meaning of ‘man’.’

In today’s age of fast cars and fast life, when the very soul of humankind is under attack, it is indeed a need of the hour to try and look back on the words of this great man, who reminds us of what it is to be a human, to work for humanity, and to search for God through our own actions and words everyday.

23
Sep
08

‘i wanna reach out….and touch the flame’

It was the early nineties. Years of watching the state broadcasted channels had just given way to private cable channels, and without a doubt, forever changed the way Bangladesh viewed the world. And yours truly was no exception.

With a multitude of choices on television, my love for music obviously drove me towards the music channels. One night, they aired this video of a band called U2, and the song was ‘Where The Streets Have No Name’, and that night really was the defining point for me on how I perceived rock stars to be.

With their powerful vocals, imaginative guitars and thumping rhythm sections, U2 just about defines how I listen to music, how I want to create music. The fact that they were ‘arrested’ for illegally performing on a LA liquor store rooftop just added more to the appeal! Hope you guys enjoy the video as much as I have over the years.

17
Sep
08

In the beginning….

Me and my dad...

At an age when most kids are learning nursery rhymes, I have had the unique experience of growing up listening to bangla rock, all thanks to my father (thats him with the bandanna on) Mr. Maqsoodul Haque, one of the finest rock vocalist this country has ever produced.

1987 was the year that this song titled ‘Moushumi‘ was released by his band Feedback, in a country where till then, love ballads had usually been a peppy mix of pop with a healthy dose of lyrics full of puppy love. And here was a song which spoke of heartache, but with an ‘I can do better than this’ kind of an attitude.

The  catchy intro and the booming bass line mesmerized me as a 4 year old kid. I loved the song, and apparently so did the rest of the country! Even though the words had little meaning to me then, I still had it memorized to every single line. I would rate this song as one of the single biggest reasons behind me eventually taking up playing the drums. The groove says it all.

Feedback – Moushumi




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