Dylan did it for me…
I want to start my writing career all over again. But the moment has lacked a trigger. Something to mark the beginning. And then came the Nobel Prize Committee’s announcement to honour Bob Dylan for literature earlier this week.
Oh man, I got the trigger! Back in 2000, my good friend Krishna Rajesh (who is older to me by four years) was graduating in medicine. He is now in the U.K. He knew I was about to start my journalism training at the Asian College of Journalism. Back then, I just wrote. I wrote. I wrote. ’Cause I loved it. Rajesh had a gig coming with RPG’s musicworld4u.com and asked me to join him in writing a number of music reviews. We listened to brand new tapes, we wrote. We talked about it.
Dr Rajesh loved his CDs, I could muster audio tapes. Rajesh would generously give me his extra tapes. This was before the iPod changed everything for us, even as Napster was changing music forever. I was 21.
We’d go to Commercial Street in Bangalore, buy tapes, and he would educate me in the pre-Google era in India. He introduced me to Travis, that wonderfully Scottish band. And we talked Bob Dylan. About this ‘Judas’ moment and then the song that is possibly my favourite Dylan track. So apt now, Like a Rolling Stone.
I met Rajesh just once after finishing journalism training. It was my first beer at Pecos, 2004, with his peer and my other good friend Satish Shanbhag.
But the Dylan memory with Rajesh was him explaining to me the legend of the ‘Royal Albert Hall’ concert in 1966, a year after Dylan had moved on from making American folk music. His music had turned electric. Rajesh is a classical storyteller; he was a formidable quizzer with his mates Satish and Sunil (a Beatles buff).
I needed this throwback. Thanks Rajesh, and thanks most of all Robert Allen Zimmerman… your Nobel did it for me. I feel like writing all over again.