Who doesn’t like music! A world without it would have been so bland. Music acts as an invisible force (and may this force always be with you!) that binds our heart and soul together. And if you are a resident of the north eastern part of the country, you are even more blessed for our region has music running through its veins. The numerous traditional, folk and tribal forms of music that the region boasts of work as an instant magnet for any music lover. But there is also a musician from the region who has helped bring smiles upon tens of thousands of faces of the region and the country, so much so, that today his name is taken in the same breath with the name of his idol and his inspiration for taking up music. No points for guessing. His idol is the legendary musician and now Nobel laureate Bob Dylan and the musician in question, Lou Majaw.
Meghalaya’s Lou Majaw or shall I call him India’s Bob Dylan is a name that needs no recognition in at least this part of the world. His name has and will keep reverberating in the world of rock music for as long as there is music. And for all the accolades he gets, one should remember that he is a self taught man who had seen rough days in life. Lou saw the light of the world in 1947. Having been born in a poor family, music would have been the last thought to cross a young Lou’s mind for it was difficult for him to own a guitar or even a transistor for that. It was not until he went off to boarding school that he found his true calling and the means to acquire that. Lou got the taste of the music of Elvis Presley and Bill Haley at a friend’s place and that was when his interest in music and the guitar got serious. It was at his school, the Sacred Heart Boy’s School, where he got his hands on the guitar and instantly felt that this is what was missing in his life. He loved strumming the guitar so much that he would even miss dinner to be with his new found love. Later, he even learned his way around a saxophone, trumpet and the drums. Music was his escape route to a world that he wanted to be a part of.
Majaw, later went to Calcutta , which turned out to be a life changing move for him. In his initial days at the city of joy, Majaw did everything but music. He had to work extremely hard for survival and even during those days, his love for music stayed on at the back of his mind. He made friends there and together, they played at the pubs and bars of Calcutta. He played for and with various bands. But as fate would have it, one summer evening in 1966, Majaw heard the classic Dylan song –Blowin in the wind and the rest, as they say is history. The song touched Majaw like nothing before and he became a Dylan fan like none other. As he listened to more of Dylan, his style of music appealed more and more to him. He came back to Shillong and in a way totally unparalleled, he celebrated Dylan’s birthday on the 24 th of may 1972 with a music concert dedicated to Dylan. And if you are already going wow, then read this- he has organized the Dylan birthday concert every year since then without fail and today, the concert has become so huge that it sees active participation from Dylan lovers from not only the country but the world.
Courtesy: The hindu
I don’t know whether I will be lucky enough to witness Bob Dylan live but having been present in Lou Majaw’s shows and having seen him sing, dance and talk music with a never dying passion, it then became clear to me on why the man is a legend in his own right. You need to see him sing, you need to see him dance and only then will you know the reason why he is known as ‘India’s Bob Dylan.’