2 years back. Oh ya, 2 years back. A lazy day I decided to get started with something. I wish I could say I was visionary but frankly speaking I was not. The goal was simple and more a personal one. Take 15 mins out of the daily grind and listen to songs which I have enjoyed.
My relation to music has been from very early childhood. The days when my dad used to return from office and sing songs for us ( me and my 4 siblings ). It was part of a routine. Some of the songs which were regular were – Mere saajan hain us paar, Aap ne yaad dilaya to mujhe yaad aaya, Dard-e-dil dard-e-zigar etc. Then one fine day we got a old style tape recorder at home. The first few cassetes were Udan Khatola, Baiju Bawra. The songs repeated again and again and music became an essential part.
The second brush with music was when I was preparing for IIT. I used to study for 10-12 hours at a stretch and music playing on radio was always there for company besides mom waking up at midnight to cook something for me and my brother. That phase introduced me to a broad variety of music directors. Understood the difference between their musical styles.
The third musical wave came when I got into college and stayed in hostel. Here I got introduced to Ghalib and lot of Urdu poetry. The relationship deepened. Ghalib and Nusrat were two dominating influences. Did listen to some western music also but mostly restricted to John Denvers, Cliff Richard and Elvis.
And then the unthinkable happened. Corporate life and usual life issues took me away from music. And it was a long duration. Almost 10 years. I hardly had much music during this time. And then one fine morning it came back. Back with a bang. BBG got started as more of a personal venture but I was amazed to see howÂ people identified with songs. More and more people kept joining and kept sharing their memories associated with the songs. But we were a more or less a virtual entity at that point.
And that is when meetups entered the scene. We decided to organize meetups in every city. The first one happened in Bangalore and it was an amazing experience. And then Mumbai which was a great experiences. Lot more cities came to fold like – Pune, Ahemdabad, Bhavnagar, Ghaziabad and Hyderabad. Everywhere we went we got so much love and affection from everybody. The BBG family kept expanding. The music connected all of us and BBG became a platform to bring happiness to people via music.
All I can say is that it has been a fantastic journey and if I start counting the names of people to thank it will run into pages. When we do events and see people happy, it fills us with so much of joy. When we go to unknown city and come back with hundreds of friends, it makes our soul happy. That is what BBG stands for. Our endevour to make people happy.
It is a good time to reflect on what we have achieved but we still have to go a long way. We would like to hold events outside India. We would like to help more artists who are in need. We would love to see mainstream talent emerging from BBG platform. We would love to see more and more people losing stage fear and sing infront of an audience. We would love to see more and more people spending sometime every day devoted to music. We would love to see music healing the wounds created by boundries.
Miles to go before I sleep, miles to go before I sleep…..
Dear Mr Birla, I wrote to you sometime back as well. I am a journalist doing a feature on 100 years of Indian cinema. I am very keen to talk to you. Could you please tell me an email Id or number where I can reach you?