Who is Anand Shankar
Welcome again all of you after the “Perfect” post! For those who don’t know me already, I thought that I’ll introduce myself briefly through my next few posts called “Who is Anand Shankar”. So join me in my journey through my schooling and college times.
Armed Forces Medical College, Pune
But to start let’s go to college. I had joined the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune in 1989, after my schooling at Bangalore. I had been thoroughly groomed musically, by my parents and my school too. In fact, it may be interesting to know that the first musical instrument that I learnt to play was the Harmonica!
I learnt the Harmonica when I was a school kid and I learnt by myself at home, thanks to the musical inclination that I had then and perhaps even now. No, just joking! I’m very much a music guy even today.
Back then, apart from singing, I learnt the Harmonium, the Veena and the Flute. Those are very interesting stories for later. But for now let’s visit my college, one of the best medical colleges in India and possibly the world.
When I reached college, I had so much music in me already. I must tell you, that if I hadn’t got into AFMC, Pune, I was seriously considering a career in music. Dear friends, you are reading about “who is Anand Shankar”.
The Fresher Term and Murga
In college, I joined the first semester and this was the time during which the fresher’s (newcomers) were oriented to the college. This period of orientation used to be quite hectic as we were introduced to a new way of life and also to a number of new seniors. Each senior expected us, to know their names, batches and where they belonged to.
There were no mobiles those days if we ever thought of having our contact list organized. We were walking, talking contact books. If one didn’t remember their details, it was time for some decent front-rolling, squats,
becoming a murga (Becoming an adult male chicken i.e. squatting with your arms entwined within your legs but yet holding one’s ears… and thereafter you jumping and calling out kukud koo endlessly…I hope you can imagine this) or push-ups to say the least.
But if you were talented, things seemed just a bit easier, as they turned out for me. A talent could be anything. Like, I had talented batch-mates, who could hurl expletives for five minutes non-stop. They were made to display their talents by shouting expletives at the Sun, Moon or any object or person of their choice. There were guys who could do a hundred push-ups a minute, guys who could recite kinky poems and then there were guys like me who thought they had a thing with music.
The typical interview
A typical interview with a senior at college would go on something like this:
Senior: Freshi! What’s my name?
Well, how on Earth could one know the name of a senior without ever being introduced before? But the freshi had to…
Me: No Sir, I don’t know.
Senior: Ok what’s my batch (year of joining)?
Me: I don’t know sir.
Senior (visibly getting upset): Ok where do I belong to?
Me: Sir… I,…I don’t know (actually resigned to fate waiting for the inevitable roll or murga etc)
Senior: OK at least tell the first letter of my place
Me: Sir …B (Hoping like hell that he turns out to be from Bangalore, but B could mean anything from Bengal to Bihar to Bhubaneswar and the likes. The wrong place and you had it!)
Senior: FRESHIIIIIIIII……..!!!!!!!! MURGA…..!!!!!!
And promptly I would become a murga performing kukud koos X n times…till my luck would rescue me. Invariably another senior would walk by and recognize me.
Fresher don’t you sing?
Me: Yes Sir.
He would tell the guy orienting me that this guy is a singer. Then they would tell me to get up and sing a song.
Talat Mahmood my favourite
And those were the days I knew one and only one very old Hindi song sung by Talat Mahmood and good sense had somehow prevailed on me not to sing anything near Carnatic Classical Music which I had learnt in my childhood.
I realized by and by that, I could manage very well with just one Hindi song but I decided to learn a few more.
The next thing many of my seniors said to me was: OK freshi well sung, come tomorrow morning to wake me up at 0600 H. Stand outside my door and sing the same song till I open the door.
Jalte Hai Jiske Liye
So, that my friends, was how I started my journey in college and I hope you got a fair idea of “Who is Anand Shankar”. The journey was indeed a beautiful one. The song I sang for them (my seniors) is called “Jalte hai Jiske liye”. I’ll sing it for you today and I hope you like it. It’s an unplugged number and thus you would probably get such a feel too.
Guitar Chords in case you want to pick up this sweet song
The chords I have played on the guitar accompanying me are Dm, C, G7 and F without a capo (I’ll talk about chords and capo in a later post).
More about “Who is Anand Shankar” in the next part. Do keep a lookout for another interesting read and maybe a song. Also, do sign up and subscribe if you like my blog and the song and especially if you haven’t done so yet. Help me grow this by subscribing and sharing this content so that it reaches more and more people who’d like to be part of this blog and enjoy music thoroughly.