My primary hobby is Music – listening and performing.
In the listening department, I prefer music from the ’60s – The Beatles first and foremost. As a ’60s kid myself, I grew up with John, Paul, George and Ringo’s songs, and even today I do not find any group that can kick in the adrenaline as much as they did.
Naturally, the recent Beatles Anthology was a milestone for me. Picture a grown man with tears in his eyes as he listened to Free as a Bird – the first new Beatles song in 25 years.
Which brings me to the performing department. Heavily influenced by the Beatles, I chose the guitar as my favourite form of expression, and I sing as well. I have been told that I am quite good at both, but I primarily sing and play for my own pleasure – if others enjoy it too, then that’s an additional bonus. In college, I played in a band, and still own a substantial amount of gear.
I own a lot of guitars, but my favourites are a jet-black Ibanez AR50 electric solid (with gold-finished knobs, fat frets, a wide, curved fretboard that lets me handle both energetic strumming as well as plucked melody, and humbucker pickups that are so sensitive that I hold my breath while playing), and a small, ugly, nameless accoustic guitar that I picked up in Goa in 1984 for a song (literally!) The latter has been with me wherever I went – college, working on my first job in Bombay, setting myself up in Bangalore, all the way to the present. Sadly, Ol’ faithful is in dire need of repairs right now.
My singing style is more “Beatles in Ballad Mode”, but I can do a screaming “Saw her standing there” at the drop of a hat – there is nothing better to work off the frustrations of a hard day’s work!
I also do a wee bit of composing when I have the time or the inclination. A few samples are “Atul’s Theme” and “Linux Can!” – the latter jointly composed by me and the amazingly talented Mrinal Kalakrishnan.