This long haired, bearded guy brushes past me. I turn to look at him and catch a glimpse. So, I follow him to the toilet and I start peeing next to him. He turns and is about to leave before I manage to stutter a weak, "Are you re-really Rahul?"
He says, "No..", then sees me gaping and smiles, "Yea, milgaye mooth the mooth the."
WTF! Nobody, atleast a lot of people, don't get to pee next to God everyday. I'm already dazed and so I walk back to the hall, waiting like the other 250 or so people in Hard Rock Cafe Hyderabad and wondering why it was taking so long for them to start. But I wasn't to be complaining, was I. The idea of actually seeing Indian Ocean perform live, in blood, flesh and all their glory never occurred to me. For as long as I've been listening to them, they were just demi-gods who composed the finest music I'd ever heard and I was yet another of their devotees among millions. But the moment I saw them mount on stage, Ram with his turban, Sushmit with that weird guitar of his and Amit with the air of a man who's ready to Rock n' Roll, nothing else in the world mattered. The two new entrants were good but it will be really hard to replace someone like Asheem. He truly was the soul of their music.
Anyway, so once they mounted on stage, they started off with Bandeh, then moved on to Hille re, Des Mera, Jhini and a couple of other songs. They started playing at about 9.15 and after a very high intensity of playing and improvising; Amit played the flute and some sort of an Indian stringed instrument and they had this Jugalbandi stuff which was like awesome, came the concluding phase when shouts for Maa Rewa and Kandisa(unarguably their most popular song) went over the top. Probably of the 300 people or so, including a lot of Firangis, there were a 50 of us who were like the die-hard fans who sang along every syllable. I didn't recognise a couple of songs but there were people who knew even that stuff. All hail Indian Ocean.
One helluva experience that. That smile on Sushmit's lips, that look of bliss in Ram's eyes and Are-you-havin'-a-good-time? expression on Amit was ecstasy. I don't think it can get better than this. But if it can, I want it to be Indian Ocean again.