The Rose Bowl Article #3

Midterms: Travelling and Beyond

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A Dosco does a fair bit of travelling while in school as compared to another boy of his age elsewhere. As part of the never ending Dosco banter in front of strangers, we mostly include the incidents of busting, the story behind a YC, a (in)famous love affair with a Welhamite, epic Inter House matches, Sunday outing shenanigans and the likes. However, we often forget to mention the most glorious aspect of growing up in school, the thing that is integral in bridging us from the boyhood of D Form to the manhood of SC Form – Midterms!

No, I’m not just talking about the genuine midterms, spent trekking across unknown terrain with kerosene cans and ruck sacks but also the ones spent smoking Sheesha in Chandigarh. These travels, initially restricted and exciting under supervision become a lot more exciting when they’re independent and the budget is made to stretch, using all sorts of pretences with the Housemaster as well as at home. Taken for granted during as well as after school, we tend to forget the big lessons it teaches us. And these aren’t just cliched lessons of exploring unknown horizons and all that jazz, but the lesson behind having the drive to actually go forth with a sudden trip, or one that you’ve been postponing for since you got your first pair of Wayfarers (or that DSLR which you’ve only used to click lame black and white pictures of random things for); of the desire to shift focus from the routine indulgences and spend on the one thing that is truly valuable – Travel.

Recently, my Facebook news feed was plastered with photos a Harley Davidson, parked by the road with the chrome glistening under the sun et al. The initial thought that occurred to me was that some Dosco probably bought that beast with the intention of riding it around the city, all its glory and power wasted in all entirety. But then I looked further into the album, only because I realised that the owner was Kowkab Naim, a Dosco I trust to have a much better judgement having spent ample hours with him in school talking about random things (under the tutelage of Nishant Ohri); and I was correct. This man was travelling to Goa for the India Bike Week from his home in Sainik Farms, New Delhi taking charge of the power of several horses residing in the engine of a Harley – a feat rater daunting, for I was dead tired doing the same from New Delhi to Mussoorie to attend a rave while I was in college. It is things like these these that makes life worth living, a thought I truly realised on my flight back from the Sunburn festival in Goa this time.

The realisation was back in early January, but the impetus to write about it came to me a few days back while reading the February issue of the Lonely Planet India Magazine, which had some real authentic descriptions and suggestions for venturing into the remote parts of India. The article on the North Eastern part of India spoke of the breathtaking scenic beauty and the grandeur of the Indian Rhinos at Kaziranga, which took me back to my SC Form midterm to Kedartal (quite a tough one that was), wherein we were in a tent freezing our masculine gift from the Gods (for the lack of the apt word considering The Rose Bowl a family read), wishing for a little warmth; scared to go out and answer the call of nature, lest some wild animal came and mashed us up like humus in a little bowl!

One part also mentioned the need for a dollop of luxury after a tough trip which reminded of my first midterm without the teachers. Having ‘almost’ finished Nagtibba, we came scurrying back to Dehradun to enjoy in style the remaining 2 days of our midterm. Discreet and yet full of pride, walking down Astley Hall and into Hotel President to order ourselves the hallowed bowl(s) of Butter Chicken, a generous number of Naans, Crispy Shredded Lamb, Fresh Lime Soda and the high point – a detour to the Polo Bar afterwards for some cold ones! Such was the extreme joy, the magnanimity in simplicity, that it us made us feel like champions at having pulled off such a task.

All this thought about the midterms brings back the C Form midterm to Dodital, which was a grand affair considering a big group was going together. I remember the morning of the second last day from Dodital, when everyone was busy preparing for the return journey to school, while myself, Jehangir Chinoy and Achshay Singh pondered over our decision of smoking our first cigarette. We decided against going ahead with our plans..(However, me and Chinoy compensated for not having had shared a cigarette then with countless trips all throughout schooldays to the H & J House bogs and some behind O House along with Atto Singh, under the graceful presence Mihir Misra!)

As we progress into adulthood, we make grand plans of travelling to the farthest corners of the world, but fall short of our expectation by leaps and bounds. That Che Guevara-eque visit to Macchu Picchu, that desire to spend a month living in Goa or to the villages of Himachal in search of sunshine, the pending decision of doing a Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara style holiday in search of a Layla before a friends wedding, the definite plan of going for Tomorrowland or Ozora, all fall short of happening for real as days go by.

In his book “The Island”, Aldous Huxley speaks of the bird who keeps emphasising about “Here And Now”. Most of the times, we voluntarily took for granted the chances to milk out the best from those midterms – the same treks which I’d willingly attempt now as part of my zealous efforts to cover every nook and corner of Incredible India before touching 30 (which, hopefully, is a long way to go). My SC Form midterm to Kedartal was a serious effort, and to this day I can clearly narrate minute by minute details leading up to four of us reaching the partly frozen Kedartal (lake), the sun casting it golden grandeur on top of a peak next to it, and the immense satisfaction that came with completing the trek. An achievement, the pride of which is known to most Doscos; one that comes with a fruitful result on putting a boat load of hard work. Booking a hotel room in Uttarkashi and drinking good scotch doesn’t exactly bring in the same sense of satisfaction when you’re 17!

To end this, I’d like to quote Jack Kerouac with a small part from his legendary book “On The Road”:

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars, and in the middle, you see the blue center-light pop, and everybody goes ahh…”

Go Dosco!

What is it like to attend Sunburn Festival in Goa?

Answer by Shilavadra Bhattacharjee:

Sunburn Festival is definitely the most popular music festival in India and has grown massively over the last few years. What started off with 10000 people, attracts over 50000 people now (2011/2012) and the numbers keep going up every year.
The EDM scene in India is slowly going mainstream with big name artists coming in at regular intervals to satiate the exponential demand. India doesn’t have those many large scale music festivals as such (albeit individuals artists playing across the big cities very often), and Sunburn clearly stands out as the winner.

Like most big electronic music festivals, Sunburn has different stages with a lineup of artists playing in them. Theres a good mix of commercial house, psytrance, dubstep, trance etc that caters to listeners of myriad sub genres to enjoy their style of music.

Held at the Candolim Beach, attending Sunburn comes with the amazing vibe of Goa. You’re away from all the chaos, only to become part of a better and happy form of chaos! Goa is packed at that time of the year as it is and theres people from all across India attending Sunburn (whom Aman Singh has categorised very aptly). The point is to be part of the Goan ambience, enjoy the music and let yourself become a wild participant in the scheme of things. Agreed that it is a very commercial affair, but it’s also an amazing way to meet new people who appreciate good music, dance like no one’s watching, smile and add to the rare vibe of all round positivity. Theres definitely been a good increase in the number of people who come with no purpose but to drink and make a fool of themselves or bulls with raging hormonal levels from the cities who just want to get laid, but it’s not like the best festivals in Europe are devoid of such characters. The funniest part is that at any stage, you can easily demarcate the real fans who are absorbed in the moment from the nincompoops who are just looking around trying to locate a hottie they can approach!

The sea is right behind and you have a talented DJ spinning out your favourite banger while you dance away with a hoard of like minded people over the course of three days, Sunburn can be a treat to your senses if you’re doing it the right way. Percept has pumped in quite a bit of money into the event and the results are crazy visuals, a solid sound system and good organisation/production of the event. For a little time away from the madness, you can always head outside, catch some fresh beach air, some beer (or whatever your poison is!), smoke a few cigarettes (or whatever else it is that you smoke!) enjoy the ongoing football match at the bar right outside or get yourself a meal at the Fisherman’s Cove (of course food, alcohol and a lot of other activities are available inside). Sunburn ends at around 2200 hours everyday and you have after parties to take care of the rest. Obviously, its Goa and theres something happening somewhere. Ask around, follow where the bikes lead and you can continue dancing till the morning..

The point is that Sunburn is amazing. I went once again in 2012 and had a really good time. Goa is a treasure trove of quality parties as it is and Sunburn just adds to that list. You’re there, listening to your music on VERY high volume, theres beautiful people around, the Goan vibe has already gripped you, and you let yourself go mad for the three days. Its laid out for us to make the best of it- ignore the fools, dance away to glory. Whether you’re alone or with your friends, it doesn’t matter.

I’m definitely gearing up for 2013!

Live.Love.Dance

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Excellent track to start off 2013…

Sasha feat Donatello & Knox & Kastis Torrau and Arnas D – Smoke Cone (Original Mix)

This track’s been on repeat ever since I got it. It’s deep and has a very dreamy feel to it. There are a few remixes of this one, but the original delivers the feel everytime I listen to it. Definitely a great way to set off 2013’s fresh music!..