My first experience with the band was in a journey to Vythiri, Kerala from Bangalore around 7-8 years ago. A trip with my cousins and my cousin sister with an amazing music sense, Spriha di, played Kandisa in the car. I distinctly remembering asking who it is by and taking it down as a note in my diary. During that holiday, I enjoyed Hile Le and Ma Rewa too and kept noting it down. On coming back home to Kolkata, I forced Mummy to buy the CD. I loved the album booklet where the lyrics were explained. Been a fan since then.
Indian Ocean has a very distinct style of playing. In Rishi Valley, we were being shown Swaraaj, a film by Anwar Jamal, my ex-roomie's father, based in rural Rajasthan which focussed on an initiative taken by a group of women who wanted to get water in their village, which was being denied by the government on irrational grounds. In the movie, Jhini was played, and the music just seemed very much like Indian Ocean. I waited for the credits, and sure enough, it was Indian Ocean again. After this, I had downloaded more songs by them in the holidays from their album, Jhini.
Then comes Baajaa Gaajaa, 2010 in Pune. I was assigned to cover the event and one highlight for me was that I would get to hear Indian Ocean live for the first time. The show was fantastic. It gave me a sort of high just listening to them. The only thing I felt bad about was the time constraint due to which, they could not play Leaving Home, my favorite song by them. But, what compensated for that was that I got to meet the band members after the show and take photographs with them and talk to them. An amazing experience! Since then, I've downloaded most of their songs, researched more on the band, and truly appreciated their music and performing skills. Great to be heard live. This is when I got to know that their movie, funnily enough named Leaving Home:The life and music of Indian Ocean would be out in theaters on the 2nd of April. Started counting the days two months in advance.
You can read the article here: http://thetossedsalad.com/2010/02/at-baajaa-gaajaa-10/
Indian Ocean at Baajaa Gaajaa
By now I have joined their group for 'Leaving Home' and am eagerly waiting for it. Then one fine day, the status says that they are looking for people to help with the release in different cities. I applied. Got chosen to be Pune's point-person. Felt great that I could actually be doing something to help them! So, I spoke to Smita Saran and Sumit Kilam about the requirements of posters in Pune and how else we could spread the word about the movie in Pune. The news spread about the movie. There was a buzz in the air about the movie. Anticipating fans getting excited. Posters being distributed and put up. And finally, 2nd April, 8:30 p.m, first day first show, I saw the movie. Overwhelming experience. Saw it again on the 8th, last day last show, and couldn't be happier. I come back home and check their page and we see a video posted where the band has actually thanked all of us(with the names acknowledged!) who worked in Pune for the promotion of the film. The best thank you we could've asked for!
Alongside all this, I got to take the drummer, Amit Kilam's interview on the 31st of March just before the movie's release on the phone. It was great fun talking to him and I hope he liked it. :)
Fans can read it on: http://thetossedsalad.com/2010/04/interview-amit-kilam-indian-ocean-leaving-home/
And that ends my personal experiences when it comes to this brilliant band. 19 years of creating music. 5 albums. 1 movie. That too, India's first non-fictional band movie. That's just great! I'm so glad that I've been so lucky to have had all of these just at the age of 19. Many more to look forward to, hopefully! Fingers crossed.