The Unsung Music Men (PART A) : Our Wedding Band-Walas ! - LTO BLOG

The Unsung Music Men (PART A) : Our Wedding Band-Walas !

Posted On:06.21.2016

The Dhol, The Noise, The Music….Laughter, Aunties cheering, Cousins dancing, horses, elephants shutting down the main street, pulling strangers into the celebration, combined with an overhyped Bollywood number blasting in the background. By now you must have guessed what we’re getting at. Yes, you’re right, it’s the scene at a typical Indian wedding.

 

But, this is not just another write up about those overrated Indian weddings. It something more. Have you ever wondered what these fancily dressed musicians do in a day? Well, we have. So put on your seat belt as we take you on a ride on what a regular day seems like in the life of a band wala. LTO walks you through a Day in their life !

While talking to a band member, Keshav ( name changed), who has been playing trumpet for around 18 years for the famous ASHA band, we were taken aback by their jam packed schedule, especially during wedding season.

7:30 AM :  While everyone is still in the warmth of their comfortable beds, members of the band have to wake up and start preparing to perform at the pre -marriage morning festivities. The members put on their uniforms: trousers, white shirt and a trademark red coat with golden epaulettes and sit down for a last minute rehearsal.

8:00 AM : Their team leader signals that it’s time to leave. The members take along their trumpets and drums, and squeeze into a microbus and set off for the day’s big event.

10:00 AM : They arrive for the bhaat pujan and other pre wedding ceremonies at the wedding house and the moment the trumpets begin to play, the festivities begin in their full glory. The ceremonies usually continue till 12. God! Playing an instrument as hard as trumpet. We can only imagine! Normally we start out by a Ganesh Vandana and an Aarti, but for the Punjabi clan, we initiate the ceremony with Jai Bole Sonihal , for Jains, it’s the divine Ahinsa Parmodharma.

4:00 PM : They again begin another mission. With the ghud chadayi , Sehra Bandhi and endless festivities, again they arrive at a spot and then  march to the venue. With jhoomar lights, and the crowd’s all time favourite “Aaj mere yaar ki shaadi hai” playing in the back, it sets the mood and makes the crowd groove to the rhythm. “Throughout the way, we attracts angry glances from motorists whose commute has been disrupted by the wedding procession” * laughs* It usually continues till 10 or 11, which largely depends on the groom’s side. “This is a seasonal job where the numbers of our bookings are determined by the stars,” he further added.

11:00  PM : We are always behind our schedule. It’s always late by the time we reach our houses. Tomorrow is another day and another wedding. So the drill continues.

Talking  about wedding season, they have a whooping 15-20 bookings in a month. That’s one big number! “We are often disrespected at venues, but are pretty much used to all that now”, Keshav said with disappointment.   “November ,December, January, February come under the peak season. These seasons are the busiest and we generate about 70% of the revenue from these months”, he adds.

Growing up in a village, Keshav started learning the trumpet in the village itself, from his uncle. After moving to Delhi, he started his career in Inder band. And after 8 years of gaining perfection, he finally moved to Asha band. On off months , we still have 4-5 bookings plus we make extra cash by performing at other events.

Wel, well, well ! Now we get it, there’s more to their life than just playing an overrated item number.

Team LTO salutes all the bands walas out there. You are our unsung Music Men !!

 

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