Guinness World Record

Shillong drummed its way to Guinness Book of World Records yesterday.
It was October 28, 2006 and the largest ever drum ensemble was held in Polo Ground as 7,951 drummers performed for at least 5 minutes and created history.
Titled “Positive Vibrations,” it was truly spectacular.
Thanks to a few hand shakes and quick conversations, I got the media pass and have gotten more than 320 digi shots and two film rolls documenting the event.
With a world record and the Indian Air Force jumping off choppers in colorful chutes, the day ended with “soulmate” jamming the blues away. Enjoy the pics…

India’s Future President?

His Excellency Sri M.M. Jacob, Governor of Meghalaya was at the National Seminar on Cultural Change among the tribes of Northeast India.

One heck of a smart guy. He’s supposedly nominated to take over after Kalam? Yikes, and he invited the participants for dinner at his mansion. I missed it!!! Bummer.

Renegades 2006

Few months ago when I was coming up to Shillong, I knew I was heading the right direction when the driver turned on his sound system and it was English music. (in relation to drivers in Sikkim, Kalimpong, Darjeeling where the music is mostly Hindi and Nepali.)
But I had not had a chance to catch some live music yet… until last Wednesday at Renegades 2006, Laban Basketball Court.
From budding rockers to veteran musicians, it was one heck of a free event that brought the tribes together. I think I say “tribes together” because Shillong feels very segregated despite of its “cosmoppolitan” brand in the Northeast. It is a melting pot to the untrained eye… there are so many tribal groups walking to Police Bazar but very different from so many ethnic groups walking in New York City. There is a definite line between “us” and “them” but on Wednesday everybody was rocking out and it was so rock and roll…
Shillong’s very own Bob Dylan (sorry, I don’t have his pic) performed attired in his tiny jean shorts and two different colored football socks.
Shillong’s Shakira had an amazing voice and quite the twist.
“Native Rising” hailed from Nagaland but the best was undoubtedly “The Next Band,” (pictured below) who were kinda like phoren-style “Los Lonely Boys.” They were amazing!!!

Missing the road…

Last weekend was Diwali… I got a ride down to Gawahati and we drove around town in a festive mood? For some strange reason, the fireworks, crackers and the dhamakas got a bit scary with loud booming noises and the rat-tat-tat… as if some AK47 was being fired in “Gaza Strip.”
Sunday afternoon we drove back up and I realized how much I missed being on the road.
The sights, sounds and the feel of it all.
It was a beautiful weekend away from “cosmopolitan Shillong.”
Enjoy Badapani photographs taken by yours truly.

Hmar Rockstar!

His name is Laltuoklien Krangate and he is from Vervek village, Mizoram.
It was one random afternoon with tribal filmmakers at the Hmar Colony, Upper Nongthumai. We were just chit-chatting when the Hmar rockstar entered the room, turned on some background music and started singing-rapping… After a few rounds and some nodding heads, the video camera was out of the case, the blue tarp was set up and a music-video was in progress.
The motorcycle rider looked hardcore. The rocker on a motorcycle screeched show time.
Interestingly, his last music video was on the back of an elephant…