Easter and all that

We went for our first service as a 3-piece family yesterday. Down to the big old gothic cathedral of Exeter. As soon as we got in and settled in right at the back, Kiarna gave a big smile to no one in particular, and continued to smile. Hmmm… maybe it wasn’t no one. Maybe she saw something only babies can. And then she yawned and slept.

Cathedrals are supposed to be dark and foreboding but Exeter cathedral seems to be full of natural light and very welcoming. It was good being there.

Tomorrow is Easter. The central story of Christians. Far more than Christmas. The new testament spends easily 50 times as much word space on Jesus’ death and resurrection than his birth. Obviously the early church thought it more central.

The word Easter is confusing though. In the rest of Europe it’s called Passover, borrowed from the Jewish festival. Only in the English speaking countries and their former colonies do we have the word Easter. It’s supposedly from an ancient pagan festival which the Christians appropriated as it was at around the same time. The Easter eggs and the easter bunnys are connected with this pagan festival, as the goddess Estoreth had a hare which laid eggs. Or so the myth goes. Eggs were signs of life and the hares were mysterious creatures connected with the divine. So as images they remained especially in Britian and some parts of Germany. Yes I’ve had some time for research but when you have a whole bunch of Christians saying that they refuse to acknowledge Easter you’ve got to pry.

But tomorrow will be the remembrance of Jesus full bodily resurrection. Yup Christians believe that. I do. An event like no other and an event everyone is invited to participate. Full bodily resurrection for the whole of the doomed human race. For a person who’s ridiculously cynical, and can’t bear the weight of thought of the degraded environment, the starving millions, the abused women, my own selfish life etc. etc. I take hope that Jesus has somehow taken the full impact of all this evil and has died with it putting all evil itself to death and he has risen to the fullness of life that God has intended for all of us. The invitation is open.

Ya that’s the sermon. And for once I believe it.

the next band

the next band i played in was in Bangalore where I met the metal boy Rajeev. Sporting his goatee and thick black boots and the metal walk (a slight swagger possibly in order to accentuate non-existing muscles) he wanted to do only Metallica and Megadeth. At least in the beginning. Then we could graduate on to Sepultura and the like. Being the literal new kid in town I just went along since an old schoolmate was in cahoots with Rajeev.

‘Emerge’ was a classic 5 piece band. Moi on lead and rhythm. George (a tall gangly lad whose god used to be Ozzy) on rhthym and lead. Milan on vocals. ‘Rock’ Seby on bass. Rajeev on drums. Emerge made a good impression for Darpan 94. Usual condescending ‘great for a new band’ kind of thing. But we made a much better impression on ourselves. Considering that our main amplifier was Rajeev’s Sony audio system, and most of our instrumentation was borrowed we actually got together and did something. Plus… we had an own comp. ‘Run a mile’ a good old rocking number by ‘rock’ Seby.

‘rock’ Seby is one of those mysterious people who bring people together and then disappear. He played the one gig and then I rarely every saw him again. Somewhere along the line some credit goes to him for putting two of the future members of TAAQ together.

Emerge then reformed itself taking on Veeryavanta Bheede and Sumanth Walter Rao on vocals and bass respectively. The nomenclature was just too good to miss. Now a 4 piece outfit we hit IISc. we got through the finals! only because there weren’t enough bands. Saw we slaved away and stayed the night at Rajeev’s trying to work out a longer set list. Laughable gig. I was mortified. only time i’ve ever cried after a gig. Some how I had to sing ‘Seek and Destroy’ the epic Metallica song. And a few others as Veeru for some reason couldn’t sing those. So yours truly ended up forgetting all the lyrics on stage and mouthing strange syllables that even whales couldn’t understand. That was the last time I ever sang the main vocal part on stage. Maybe after 12 years I could think of restarting…

Emerge continued its emerging self by yet again reforming and taking on another bassist, lead guitarist and vocalist. Another wonderful heavy set, including ‘anarchy in the uk’ and so on. During this time I really got to observe Rajeev as an amazingly dedicated guy to the music. Which was why I stuck with him. In those days he wasn’t too imaginative, but he was very tight and very passionate. and still is.

Emerge wasn’t really a band. It was just a trial. But it set the stage nicely. Because one talented young man was yet to join Rajeev and me…