Dec 14, 2011

Of Parikrama, the 'high-note Toes' and being a choir member

It all started last Thursday afternoon. I had a late lunch at the Library canteen and walked around the campus, stretching my legs and killing time before my five o'clock English classes when a friend called me out of the blue. He wanted to know if I'm free for the evening for a song practice for background vocals for Parikrama. I paused. Parikrama??? "Yeah. The rockband." he replied.

A few hours later, four of us, Apuii, Moses, RC and I (one for each part) were whisked away in Sonam's car to a bungalow somewhere in Sainik farms. We came to learn that members of the band had a project for a movie soundtrack and they wanted a choir singing and humming in the background of the song. So after Sonam (Need I say he's the band's guitarist and married to a Mizo?) gave us the lines, we sat together preparing and harmonizing the notes. I must confess, we didn't do anything mighty for it was all of three lines and a bridge.

The recording, it turns out, was for a presentation. So until it got approved by the director of the movie, it's not the 'real' thing yet! But that didn't stop us from going into recording the next day. We spent a good couple of hours in the studio and wrapped it up as the band has a show the same evening and we had a funeral to attend. It was only for a few hours but were we proud to back up even just a demo recording for the band!! 

What surprised me was how pleasant the guys were during the practice and the recording. They talked a lot, laughed and joked with us and were so pleasant to work with. During the practice, either one of the three guys present there would pop in every ten minutes asking if we need anything. And during the recording, if there's one thing which amused everyone, it's my multicolored skull socks. And I thought I was so rocker-chic sporting them!! And before I could get over the amusement, Sonam would point at my toes yet again and laugh!!

When the recording started, My-oh-my, was I nervous!! Apuii was the first one to record her part and she didn't have any problem with it. But when it comes to me, my first take was all pitchy and flat! And I realized I  was shaking when I couldn't hold a note for a mere three seconds. But a few more takes, a lot of deep breaths and bouncing around the room helped me gain back my confidence until I came to a particularly high note. Then the choir girl in me broke loose. I tiptoed while working to hit the high note, silently wishing I had my high heels on!

Well, for people who didn't get the tiptoe, my way of hitting a high note is by transforming myself into a string puppet - neck stretched, shoulders pushed back and low and working every muscle in my legs down to the toes. I didn't even realized I was doing the string puppet posture when the room bursted out laughing. Moses and Apuii were quick to point to my toes while Nitin confessed that even though he was staring straight ahead, he couldn't help but notice my colorful pointy toes. Then he quickly added that his way of hitting a high note is by tilting his head with a slight neck twist. Ah! I should remember to look out for that  move when I go back and stalk him! Hee Hee!

This experience will go down in my CV for a lifetime. And whenever I come across another Parikrama fan, I'd tell them of the experience. But then again, coming back to the main motive for this post, I'd never have this experience had I not been an active member of the Delhi Mizo Choir.

I was 16 when I left home for my studies, and hardly active in my own church and choir. Even though I was a member of the church worship team during college, I didn't get the chance to be a part of any choir until I came to Delhi where I decided that I would not waste my time by NOT being a choir member. Of course, being a choir member here in Delhi takes a lot of your time, your money and energy. You have to pay for your own travel expenses to and fro practice, sacrifice your leisure time and most of the practice evenings, you miss dinner hour in campus. But then again, we all have to make sacrifices for the things we love doing and I LOVE singing in the choir. But it doesn't take long to realize that those little sacrifices pay off. My closest friends are people I met in the choir. They are people I rely on and people who pull me back on track when I needed it. My five years with the Delhi Mizo Choir has seen me, of all the people, singing for the President of India, the Prime Minister of India and countless other religious dignitaries. And now, a contrast, a Rockband.

I know for a fact that most parents back home, send their children out with the line " i zirna zu ngai pawimawh ber la, kohhran leh khawtlangah zuk inhmang tam suh ang che ". Even my family is not free of such parents. My uncles, still have a problem with me being an active member of the choir and a sunday school teacher. But then I thank God for a father who told me 10 years ago " Theihtawpin i zirlai i zir anga, mahse kohhran leh khawtlang hmantlakloh lehkhathiam nih hlau hle ang che". If I'm bragging, then please let me brag, because 10 years later, I'm just beginning to realize what a sound advice that was.

But then coming back to Parikrama, I decided that night that I'm way too old to be a screaming fan girl. But I now regret. I should've taken a picture with Nitin Malik. Apuii and I developed a huge 'old maid' crush on Parikrama's frontman but we decided to stay classy and composed!! Who were we kiddin'?? The composed girl wasn't so composed when she spotted the Les Paul Slash Signature that she stole a moment during a tea break for a picture ! Ah! How well do I know myself ?! I guess I was a bigger fan of the guitar than the vocalist! Sorry, Nitin, we still love your no-hair! :)

The Les Paul Slash Signature and the 'amusing' skull socks! :D

1 comment:

Mizohican said...

Although I already said enough on your facebook update, I will also comment here, just to gloat again about my experience with Parikrama. hehehe :)