the british folk rock quartet, Magna Carta were touring India
and they played unplugged to a full house at Kala Mandir in Kolkata.
it was a longway back in the when,
we were four fresh faced singers and guitar players,
trying out our nascent skills in a band of our own.
we were one of the first ones to queue up to buy tickets,
sitting as close to the stage as we could afford,
for a couple of hours we sat awestruck
listening to the singing
and the amazing guitar playing
we were mesmerized.
there was one song, we had to learn.
MAGNACARTA at Myspace Music
and having spent hours and hours listening to the track
and swapping chords and tabs with friends we learnt to play it fairly well.
the coffee and biscuits
with three trekking friends of mine, I was walking in the Himalayan foothills.
we were walking towards Khecheopalri lake in Western Sikkim.
and stopped at a tiny village called Thingling.
there were no shops
we were desperate to buy some food and a hot drink,
a couple of school teachers invited us to their house and made us coffee and offered us biscuits.
in the corner of the tiny room stood a guitar.
one of them was trying to learn how to play;
he asked if we played.
I was the guitar player in the bunch,
I picked it up and started playing and singing this song
my other three friends sang and hummed along.
the two teachers nodded and tapped a table in rhythm.
we had many miles to go,
soon it was time for the leaving,
we got up and brought out our wallets to pay for the biscuits and coffee.
smilingly our hosts declined,
they said the song was more than enough in exchange.
many years after
today, like a stuck jukebox,
I wonder why the song has been playing on and on in my mind …