Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Guru Purnima has slipped away just like any other Sunday. It has been months and we haven’t really been able to tell one day from another. Sunday has lost its meaning. So has waking up early to seize the day. A wise man once said:
“If your soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan. Don't let Sunday be taken from you.”
It was Sunday when I wrote this. For some reason, I was up by 8:30 am. When I switched my phone on, the first thing I saw was the thumbnail of this video in my YouTube news feed. And like a kid in a candy store, I clicked it right away. Over the next 3 minutes and 45 seconds, I watched my old hero Sammy Hagar sing the Van Halen song ‘Right Now’ from his home. Even though I had heard it many times before, I paid more attention now: To Sammy’s voice, his words, and his face. And he filled me with everything I needed to embrace the day with.
‘Right Now:’ If you haven’t heard the song yet, please do right away. Legend has it that when Sammy Hagar was writing the lyrics for it, he heard Eddie Van Halen in an adjacent room working on a piano melody. And he suddenly realized they were both “writing the same song." The music video won three awards at the 1992 MTV Video Music Awards, including the award for Video of the Year. The song reflects on living in the moment and not being afraid of change. In more ways than one, it is the soundtrack of my life. I used to sing it as the lead singer of Vayu. Between 2003 and 2008, I sang it to audiences of all sizes: From less than 10 people on a bad night to more than 10,000 on a good one. Memories came flooding back... particularly from this one night in 2007 when seated in the front row at the erstwhile (Not Just) Jazz By The Bay was a man who had asked for the song. He was Jackie Shroff.
I was having a very rough day. My left knee was torn open and my left elbow peeled from a bike accident. I needed immediate medical attention but nothing was more important to me than my concert. I was in pain and my clothes didn’t hide it well. But everything changed the moment I heard the band play the opening riff of the song. I sang with my heart on the sleeve, glancing at Jackie Shroff surreptitiously from time to time. When it ended, he cheered the loudest. So I introduced an instrumental, took off the jacket that had been bloodied by then, and climbed down to thank him. God, I remember how ‘tiny’ his big strong arms made me feel when we hugged. But come to think about it, I also remember how ‘big’ that hug made me feel for years to come.
That’s the power of music. It can heal wounds, turn strangers into friends, and friends into family. But not everyone keeps in touch. I am grateful to the ones who do and for the meaningful connections we have made. I am grateful that even after all these years, I was able to share the video with the man who helped me make a beautiful memory out of an otherwise very rough day. After all the success and popularity he has tasted, he still responded in less than a minute. You see, time is the greatest gift of all. When someone who values us gives us the gift of time, we must try and give back as much of it as possible.
Guru Purnima has slipped away and it’s a new day. If you think about it, we have lived to see it only because of what we have learned and the people we have learned them from. From the deepest place in my heart, I thank you for keeping me invested in music, inspiring me to pursue it, motivating me to train, offering me constructive criticism, and for teaching me the meaning of selflessness. You may not realize it but you have helped me just by existing. Take a look at the photographs below. These are my teachers, my books, my degrees, and my source of education. Take a close look at all 9 photographs. In the last one, you will see me pointing straight at you.
My name is Tirthankar Poddar. But if that’s too much, you can call me 2Blue. I am an independent Singer, Writer, Speaker, and Actor. It has been almost 4 months since my last real-world concert. And since then, I have earned a sum total of Rs. 32 (thanks to Google Pay Rewards).I am still undeterred because it is you who is reading my post right now. Of the many things I have learned from knowing you, I have learned to never give up.
It was also the Lunar Eclipse on Sunday, July 5. Maybe that explains why my sleep broke around 8:30 am. Or maybe the universe just wanted to send me a sign through my YouTube news feed. Whatever it is, the song played all day and I wrote. I did not want my Sunday to slip away because like the wise man said, if a soul has no Sunday, it becomes an orphan. Then again, Sammy Hagar is still my hero and his song is called ‘Right Now.’ And its opening lines are: “Don't wanna wait 'til tomorrow, why put it off another day?”
Singer, Writer, Speaker, Actor