You are credited with literally 'rocking' Marathi theatre with its first ever taste of
western music. What prompted you to take on that challenge?
Rock music has always had a great tradition of experimentation. The free spirit of Rock made a rocker like me take on a "challenge" like this like a duck takes to water. Rock music itself is an amalgamation of so many influences i.e. blues, jazz, country, hip hop and it is always ready to accept any new influence. I was also keen to relate to the people of my country in their own language, with the language that I understood best.
Did it ever seem like an up-hill task or even worse, a far-fetched exercise?
I do not enter an artistic project with pre-conceived notions of results. I can only be sincere to what I have to do and try and do it to the best of my ability. The creative process cannot be viewed as "up-hill" or "down-hill" as it is do with your entire being. It is a most enjoyable process that can take years or could be over in minutes. In my experience, my greatest creations have taken moments! It is just adorning these creations with frills that take time!
Did you feel people did not appreciate or were not capable of appreciating your
effort for its worth? Did you ever feel despair on the project? If so, what kept you ticking?
One always hopes that your work would be appreciated by one and all! This plays a very important role in motivating you in the future.
In the case of "Teen Paisacha Tamasha" I was amazed at the passion with which our work was both loved and hated. Passion is at the root of all creativity so I respect it immensely. I respect the opinions of my audience in whatever I do, as it is their own personal truth. However it does not necessarily change the way that I feel about my work. I was surrounded by people who respected and loved me for what I was doing and probably protected me from the animosity that I may have created among some. Being optimistic by nature, I fortunately reacted to the Positivity.
Appreciation for the work that I did so many years ago continues till date and it was years ahead of its time! As an artiste, I can only create my art. The rest I leave to the Almighty!
How do you relate that experience with to-day's fusion projects... Marathi pop,
Marathi country songs etc. Do you think, it is possible to have a genuine Marathi rock band,
or will it always remain an exception? Or do you agree every music is a prisoner of its own
Music is a reflection of Society and as our world gets more 'westernized', so will the music. In any genuine art movement, the truthfulness of the artiste's feelings will determine the success of any future project. As for the projects dealing with fusion etc., superficial and manipulative strategies cannot work. The answer to the possibility of a genuine Marathi Rock Band rests in my question to you. Would you and your friends buy a ticket to go and see one? Rock is a reflection of the conditions that prevailed in the west during the late fifties. If similar conditions prevail in Maharashtra, then we are bound to see changes in the music. Rock stands for rebellion, freedom, experimentation, power, energy, protest etc. If the society in Maharashtra needs to assert itself than it definitely needs some form of music that addresses this issue. "In my opinion, the time has long since past, when Maharashtrians have asserted themselves and have been counted as the leading force in the nation. We are perceived only as good servants and unfortunately the Shiv Sena movement, which was the only "proud to be Maharashtrian" movement, has made the rest of India look at us like goondas. The cultured, educated middle class Maharashtrian, like you and me has never asserted himself/herself and in a group, we prefer to be thought of as Indians and either work for somebody else or have small businesses. All the doctors, computer programmers, artistes, engineers, managers etc. of Maharashtrian descent have not been able to change the perception of a Maharashtrian being either a servant or a goonda. As my Millionaire Industrialist Punjabi friend keeps on saying, especially when he has had too much to drink, "You Ghatis are just good for eating tumbaku" Its time to wake up, my friend!"