Coal town on a song

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By Band members during a practice session in Dhanbad. Picture by Gautam Dey Shashank Shekhar
  • Published 12.11.13

Nine boys, three girls and a teacher — bound by their passion for music and mirth — are strumming up a merry mood in Dhanbad these days.

Meet Rudra Rock Band, a gang of music lovers from diverse backgrounds, schools, colleges and even states who have come together to make some great music and spread happiness and cheer wherever they go. Since its formation in May, the band has performed eight shows in the coal town and is rapidly gaining popularity owing to its multilingual and socially relevant compositions.

It’s USP? Band members don’t charge a fee for performing and instead request the organisers to pay them whatever they can. Not quite surprising, considering the fact that the urge to do good for society and people had initially brought them together.

For band leader, composer and guitarist Rohit Benjamin, music is a way to cope with the worries of life.

“I found hatred wherever I went. So, I started looking for people willing to share the message of love and peace. I met 11 students and we came together to form this band. Our maiden performance was at Jalratri temple in Hirapur and we followed it with a show at St Mary Church,” said the 22-year-old.

Their performances during Durga Puja won thousands of hearts, Benjamin proudly added.

There is another unique aspect about the band, the members sing in different languages. “Yes, we believe that music goes beyond language,” Benjamin said.

Apart from Benjamin, the band has eleventh graders Kaushik Kujur, Kunal Kumar, Kaushik Kumar, Divyanshu Sagar, Kaushal Burman and Abhaya Karketta, final-year engineering student Vishal Raj, final-year management student Nishu Kumari, NCC cadet Maya Thapa, Indumati from ISM, polytechnic student Akhilesh Singh and Subal, who is preparing for competitive exams after Class XII.

Vishal and Nishu are from Dhanbad but are pursuing their studies at Kerala and Bangalore, respectively. Drummer Indumati, on the other hand, hails from Andhra Pradesh but studies at ISM. “We want to spread love and affection in the society and foster values like parental respect through music,” said Indumati.

But will she be able to continue with the band after passing out? “I might leave Dhanbad for professional commitments. But I plan to come back and perform whenever I get time,” she was candid.

Likewise, Nishu also performs in the shows whenever she comes to her hometown. “We are not professionally trained singers. We are music lovers trying to spread joy through music,” she signed off.


Go arty: Students of Jamshedpur-based schools were at their creative best in a sit-and-draw competition (picture above) organised by Gulmohur High School, Telco, in association with The Telegraph at Centre for Excellence on Sunday. About 150 students from 18 cradles took part in the contest, which was a part of the school’s diamond jubilee celebrations. An exhibition of paintings — Indradhanush — was also organised. Inaugurated by Tata Motors plant head AB Lall, the exhibition continued on Monday as well. Gulmohar principal Sunita Sinha said the event provided a platform to the budding artists to exhibit their talents. Picture by Bhola Prasad