As I finally get back to work on this New Year, after the first few customary days of celebrations and making resolutions, I look back at how my past year has gone by. The year ended with a trek in a snow clad peak in the Himalayas, but just before that I had spent a couple wonderful days at Jamshedpur, attending the Jamshedpur Carnival 2018. On Day 3 and Day 4, the people of Jamshedpur were in a full musical mode, grooving to beats by rock bands on December 17 and swooning to the music of talented Bollywood playback singer Jubin Nautiyal on the 18th .
The events were held at the Gopal Maidan and the rains meant that they had to be shifted from an open air arena to a covered area but that could not dampen the spirits of the crowds, a motley gathering of people of all ages, specially the youngsters shaking their legs and cheering to what brings us together- music.
The battle of the bands: The inclement weather notwithstanding, hardrcore rock fans tuned up in large numbers to attend the evening of high intensity rock music. Different bands performed to compete for the top prize and the evening was rounded up by a performance by the celebrity rock band The Radical Array Project ( TRAP). The judges for the evening were Saumadeep Das from Kolkata, a vocalist of the Bengali band Prachir and Ayub Aind of Ranchi who is the lead guitarist at a band named Gravity.
The participating bands all had a strong Eastern connect- The Overtime Project ( Kolkata), 3 Yards Away ( Jamshedpur), Beyond Horizon ( Jamshedpur), The Blue Birds ( Kolkata), , Outdoor ( Bhubaneshwar) and Iron Horses ( Jamshedpur). The evening started slowly and then picked up as the audience got into the act, cheering for their favourite band and rocking to the brilliant music that was on offer.
The crowd became bigger as people braved the rains and gathered in large numbers and music was the winner all through. The stage arrangement, the equipment and the electronics were top notch and the couple of drones hummed noiselessly overhead clicking pictures and videos of the event.
The bands had to play their original music and also some hit number in the time span of 15 minutes given to them and they did make the most of that time. The first position went to the local band Beyond Horizon, the second position to Overtime Project and the third position to 3 Yards Away. The night was signed off on a high note by TRAP, an experimental rock band from Kolkata who are currently one of the most promising rock bands in the country and have done a record number of performances too. They treated the audience with their own hit numbers and also a few high octane Bollywood songs.
Bollywood rules: December 18 was the last day of the carnival and the skies had cleared up which meant that Gopal Maidan was spilling over. And tonight was going to be the big Bollywood night. Jamshedpur has a close connection with Bollywood, being the home of hit director Imtiaz Ali and global superstar Priyank Chopra.
The night was owned by the talented Jubin Nautiyal who took the fans on a memorable musical journey that spanned his hits, contemporary hits and finally evergreen songs from the 70s and 80s. The Humma Humma song that he sang at the beginning set the tone for the evening and gave audiences a prelude to what was to come . Currently one of Bollywood’s most sought after singers, Jubin with his boho looks, mesmerising voice and soulful music had the crowd going all through the evening till late, driving them into a frenzy.
New Year was still about 13 days away, but after a power-packed evening, the party seemed to have started. After a nice dinner, I prepared to bid goodbye to the city that had won me over during my short stay. This quiet town in Jharkhand has a vibrant character which would so resonate with the youth. If you have not been there recently it is definitely time to tick it off the bucket list!