Music: Rock revival – Hindustan Times


The Shiv Sena’s staunch stand against the Pakistan cricket team has meant that not many India vs Pakistan games have been held at Wankhede. In fact, in October 1991, Shiv Sainiks dug up the Wankhede pitch and the entire series between the two countries had to be cancelled. The two teams have played each other at this venue just once: a Test match in December 1979, which India won by 131 runs.

As a Mumbaikar, Ayaz has fond memories of the Wankhede Stadium. “Who can forget Dhoni hitting the majestic six and India winning the 2011 World Cup after 28 years?” he asks. He also has fond memories of the other stadium in Mumbai—the Brabourne Stadium—where, as an eight-year-old, he watched his first live match between India and Australia. India, led by MAK Pataudi, won the game by two wickets.

Farhad moved to the US in 2013, and hence had to forgo organising the I-Rock festival

Sibling goals

Designer Ashish Soni and his sister, Smita, on how the festive season brings them closer together

Farhad (left) performing with guitarist Ehsaan Noorani at an early edition of the I-Rock festival
Their festive message
Vishal Dadlani’s band, Pentagram (right) was discovered during the festival. They will be back for the 2022 edition
Akriti says, “Ankit’s developed a love for sneakers, so the idea is to gift him a nice rattan cabinet, so he won’t leave his shoes around all the time!” ; Ankit says, “I’m going to gift Shruti a three-day cleansing and relaxation retreat to Ananda in the Himalayas”; Shruti says, “A laptop bag. Akriti’s really particular about what she wants, so it’s going to be tough!”; On Akriti: Suit by Vasansi; Juttis by Saya; Earrings by Punjab Jewellers; On Shruti: Kurta and pants by Westside; Juttis by Saya; On Ankit: Kurta by Gita Chopra; Shoes by Toms (Raj K Raj)

For Shruti Dutt, 31, a lawyer, festivities mean parties and melas, but also celebrating the festival day at home with family.

For the trio’s favourite festival, Bhai Dooj, they’ve made their own traditions.

“We meet at home and do the ritual early in the morning,” says Akriti. “There’s a lot of masti (fun) with Ankit and me negotiating money and gifts, while Shruti jumps in, demanding her own dues. After that, we grab our other friends with their siblings and go out for a cup of coffee.”

First of many

Fashion designer Samant Chauhan and producer Shweta Singh on their first festival as a family

What is Farhad listening to these days? “Indus Creed, Parikrama, Pentagram and Zero, besides Bloodywood and Arinjoy Sarkar, and a whole bunch of brilliant musicians from Kolkata. Adele is brilliant; Jacob Collier, Blake Shelton and Harry Styles are great. K-Pop does nothing for me but there is a huge market for that. But they don’t have staying power. You won’t remember them in 10 years, unlike Led Zeppelin, who you will remember after 60 years too.” 

Hardcore rock  

Ask his opinion on those who say that rock is near-passé today, and he’s quick to quote stats: “The acts that top the number of tickets sold are U2 and Bruce Springsteen, not the Justin Biebers. In the US, Billy Joel plays the Madison Square Garden twice a month. Show me another genre that’s doing that,” Farhad says.

Bloodywood is the newest band to join the festival’s 2022 line-up

  “Fact is,” he adds sheepishly, “the cool kids always listen to rock.”  

Farhad claims that the audience of the 2013 edition of the rock festival mostly comprised college kids. Only 20 per cent were over 25 years old. 

“The genre cuts across age groups. I’ve seen kids singing along to Iron Maiden because their dad plays their music all the time. Good music cuts across age groups and genres. One of the best Blues guitarists in the country is Ehsaan Noorani, who people only know for his commercial work. Loy Mendonsa is a brilliant bassist and pianist,” reveals Farhad, who still plays covers and originals every week at bars back home in Austin. 

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From HT Brunch, October 22, 2022

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