By Isha Manchanda
How has your family influenced you?
We’re a pretty tight family, just me, my mom and dad and my sister. I have two magical nieces too. I’m everything I am because of them. My parents have given me everything in terms of values, creativity, talent. I’m a mere reflection of them.
What do you turn to in a moment of despair?
I have no such moments, I’m a musician. When I’m composing with Shekhar, we pretty much sit around the studio and chill. When I’m with my band, we travel the world and perform in front of great crowds. Doesn’t really leave space for bad moments.
What’s your take on marriage?
I’m married to the most wonderful woman on earth. I used to be an aggressive and stupid kid and then I met someone who levels me out. That has really sorted me out. She keeps my feet on the ground. I remember composing Woh Pehli Baar from Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi for her. It was my first love song.
The most outrageous thing you’ve ever done?
Don’t think I even want to go there. I’m in a rock band, I’ve done loads of stuff. It came with the territory to begin with and now it’s become a way of life.
What do you dislike most about yourself?
I’m magic. I’m working on my humility, though.
What are your inspirations?
Brilliance. I see a fabulous documentary or a work of art and that could make a song happen. It makes me aspire to the same level of genius.
When did you compose your first song?
At age 6. I don’t remember the song but I remember the act of composing. It was addictive.
What was your first concert experience like?
It was with Pentagram, so many years ago. The audience was all of 40 people, mostly friends and family, at Essel World. I remember we were trying to figure out what to play and decided, just a few minutes before the show, to play originals.
Are you religious?
In a strange way, yes. I have a very irreverent view of religion. It’s starting to seem like God is a rickshaw driver in Bandra. He’s busy getting from one point to another without looking anywhere. One day, when he spits, cuts the signal and changes lanes at the same time, the universe will explode. I am a believer but I’m trying to find an explanation for the way things are. When songs like Allah Ke Bande happen, my belief is reaffirmed. I look at him more like a friend and you don’t have to be polite with friends.