Hunting For Cough Syrup with Raghu Dixit

Hunting For Cough Syrup with Raghu Dixit

  • 16 Feb 2015
  • Features
Text: Maria John  Photos: Daisy Costello, Gomtesh Upadhye
My day was not turning out to be how I had planned it. Itwas turning out to be better! Listening to the Raghu Dixit Project at JTPAC wasin all its sense, pretty brilliant. When they say that music transcendsboundaries, this band is a great example. The Raghu Dixit Project has come along way from its humble beginnings. It is a story of perseverance and passion.A man who never gave up and was touched by ordinary people to have anextraordinary life.
It all began when Raghu Dixit quit his job as a scientistand followed his heart for the art. He was playing small gigs and scrapingthrough life with big dreams. His break came seven years later in Mumbai in theform of Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani.Ironically that was the day he was planning to quit ‘this stupidity’ as hecalled it. The rest is history. The number one indie act in the country today,The Raghu Dixit Project is about feeling the positive power of music.Regardless of which language the song is in, the band draws you in. Raghu explains each number before theystart. He talks about positivity, love and just learning to embrace life. Theearthy and upbeat music had the audience captivated. As we clapped withenthusiasm with the beat of the drums by Joe Jacob, Parth on the flute provedto be unrelinquishing. Gaurav on the basskept the tempo up  

I should rememberthat small talk sometimes turn into big actions. When I casually asked Gauravif they had tried out any Mallu food, he gave a big grin and surprised me byagreeing to take them out for Porotta.Raghu of course wanted his favoriteMosaranna. But we had a mission before dinner though,and that was to get some cough syrup for the ailing Gaurav. The first fiveminutes was spent in shock as I kept telling myselfthat it was Raghu Dixit sitting in my car! That wasfollowed by the realization that I had the dumbest phone in the worldwith which if I took a selfie it would probably look like the map ofKazakhstan. Raghu Dixit is, in the language of today'sworld- one chilled out dude. Wepassed  medical shops that had closedtheir doors for the night and we didn’t give up. I don’t think that word is inhis dictionary. He waited seven years forhis big break. He tells me about the life of a musician. The traveling, the hotel rooms, the unpredictablefood. Yoga keeps him sane at the moment. Thiswas their 72nd  gig since October. On average, they play 17 gigs a month, whichis one every other day. We enter the casualty ward of a hospital but of course if you require cough syrup thereobviously is no emergency. Raghu plunged he always does. Because ‘ hehas not found anyone hotter than music.’  Every timehe is feeling low he remembers his childhood and the sunsets on the riverGodavari – an instant cure for his ailments. Thisis beautifully captured in the song YaadonKi Kyari. He remembers his childhood well and it keeps him going.

We sit down for dinner of appam,porotta, and various spicy curries, As weindulge in the fair, the team jokes around. They are a band of brothers as theymake fun of each other with Parth beingthe hapless victim. If you can't bring Mohammedto the mountain says Gaurav, take him tothe lake. With such repartees and more we talked about music, shows and food.We are interrupted for pictures, andRaghu always obliges. As the jokes catch on,Gaurav apologizes that they don’t want to make a bad impression. I smile encouragingly and remark that there is no goingback as they already have. As we move through quite a lot of food in mycalculation, they discuss their first performance ever in Kochi. The crowd hadbeen just amazing, and there was a lot oflove and support. Especially the tea and butterbiscuits before the performance that Raghu has packedalong with chocolates a fan had sent. You cannot but laugh with them and startto understand the camaraderie. Manasilayo’ they claim that they have heard thatphrase at least 17 times that day. Wereorder food to the chetta, and we joke about accents. They are definitely going to be back, and when they do Raghu says that a Malayalam song is on theset list. We will be there Raghu!

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