I sit nervously at a café with my partner, waiting to interview the most acclaimed band from Ahmedabad; rather Gujarat (I dare say). I am somebody who gets too conscious while interviewing artists; you need to have that kind of a self compose and the sense to not sound or (worse) ask foolish questions when you meet them.
When I saw them walk up to the table we were seated at; I realized that this is not going to be a “formal, stringent” interview. It’s a rare sight to find three people who have tasted the sweet fruit of success so early in their lives to actually not have the “airs” about it. It’s very rare, actually!
Karan, Dhaivat and Jainam greet us warmly and settle in.
“How was Meghdhanush born?” I blurt out. My excitement always gets the better of me.
“We didn’t know each other initially,” Karan begins, “we met at a national competition called Rock Parva and had the same passion for music. We got together a week later and the rest is history.”
“We had a vocalist before and someone else was on the drums; now it’s just the three of us. This is the band,” Dhaivat smiles.
“What’s the story behind the band’s name?” My partner asks.
“This is a well rehearsed answer, you know”, Jainam laughs. “We wanted to find a name that doesn’t bind us in a particular genre. That’s not what Meghdhanush is about. We were sure we wanted a name that was either in Sanskrit or in Hindi since we played Hindi songs back then. Our first choice was Indradhanush. Then someone said ‘Why not Meghdhanush?’ and it just hit the right chord. There seven colours in a rainbow and seven sounds in the ‘sur’; Meghdhanush was perfect. Variety is our key.” Jainam explains.
“Was it difficult initially?” I inquire.
“Yes, it was!” they exclaim, “It was very difficult. We were studying back in 2009 when we formed the band. We had to market ourselves really well and we were learning a lot. We didn’t make any money for three years. Whatever little money we did make was used to buy something or to participate in a show. Things are different now. Our parents have always been supportive.” Karan informs.
“Things changed with the Shaktimaan song, right? What made you guys pick our desi superhero?” I almost laugh.
“It was completely random,” Dhaivat answers, “we were returning from Pune in a bus after performing at Hard Rock Café. We had the last seats we were having fun when one of us suggested that we must produce a song and someone said Shaktimaan. It just hit us. Within no time we jammed at home, recorded the song and made a video.” Dhaivat answers. “I think what worked for us was the fact that it was unusual and very fresh. Youtube India shared our video and we have had people from IIT play our version. That was our turning point.” Jainam grins.
“What happened after that?” my partner asks.
- We were invited by Sony for a show called Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.
- We went to Istanbul for our first international show; it was amazing!
- We also played at a show in Rajpath Club; the song was called Le Li, Indian Ocean was performing that night.
- Later, Rahul Ram (from Indian Ocean) selected us for a show on MTV and mentored us.
- We played at Hard Rock Café in Gurgaon and Mumbai for the show.
- We recorded our work with Sony. We adore Rahul Ram for the artist and the man he is. He taught us how humility must always be a trait of a great artist.
We are stunned. These guys are amazing even when they aren’t playing!
“Now we are into Gujarati Folk Rock songs. We were told by Rahul Ram that we must keep doing more of such work because it’s rare. Even while we were playing at Hard Rock in Mumbai; people wanted us to play more of Gujarati Folk Rock. We also did a song called NaMo for our prime minister’s campaign.” Dhaivat elaborates.
“Do you think its difficult now? India has started recognizing talent like never before and there are so many bands in the country now.” I ask.
“We are not scared if some other band is doing great. We are the kinds who will watch them perform and clap. We want Ahmedabad to give more bands to the country. As far as we are concerned, we never had a doubt that Meghdhanush wouldn’t work. We all have our degrees. Someone’s an MBA, a sound engineer, an interior designer; we have left our jobs for the love of music. And love of music demands music to be appreciated rather then turn it into a rat race.” I can see the band’s passion for music when Karan answers.
We compete with ourselves
“Do you guys have any crazy fan stories?” my partner asks.
“Jainam is marrying one of his fans.”
“Really?!” I ask shocked and they nod. “I will tell you something that happened recently,” Dhaivat looks all excited, “we were returning from Ambaji. Since our car’s engine broke down; we were being towed. A bunch of youngsters crossed us and suddenly reduced the speed of their car. When we crossed them, they started singing Caller Tune; a song we sang at PDPU four years back. They still remembered that. It felt great.” They were all beaming.
“What’s the band’s dream?” we ask.
“We just want to play for a bigger audience every time. We see ourselves getting into Bollywood, playing for Coke Studio etc. The list is endless. From our first big show at Nirma University to all of this now; it’s been a long journey and we are hoping that the romance with music continues.” They answer.
They tell us more about how they meet every day now and jam; how Dhaivat’s brother is usually the one who hears their compositions; they talk about their inspirations and how much they are grateful to their fans.
These guys have not had it easy, but they had the conviction to go on. There could be a million rainbows out there, but there will only be one Meghdhanush!
You can check out everything about the band below. With sheer brilliance in their music; they are socially active as well 😉
Official Website Meghdhanush
Facebook Page TheMeghdhanush