The Music Basement
Or more appropriately, Rajesh Sir’s Room
Some things are made for soap operas and if you’re on the lookout for one of those, Rajesh Sir’s Room is your one-stop-shot at getting all that appeals to the soul.
There’s drama, there’s action and there’s tears; hearts are broken and mended by the dozens here each day.
The walls of the staircase that lead to his room perpetually reverberate with the rhythmic strumming of the acoustic guitar, accompanied by the soulful crooning of a long-forgotten melody: providing but a glimpse of what lies inside.
Once at the door, you see lots of shoes discarded with haste-latecomers are not welcome. A large number of students, nervously fidgeting with their ties, socks and sweaters can be seen- sloppy dressers have no place inside either. Notices outside the door reveal the personality of the one-who-rules-all-inside; a stickler for discipline, hard work and the perfect demeanour.
An audience is ever-present. There might be seniors taking a break from an exhausting run-through for Bergins or just someone who dropped in to say hi. People who bunk are not welcome-many a showdown has occurred on that volatile topic. (A must-watch, by the way. If you haven’t seen someone being thrown out of the room, you haven’t seen anything yet).
Towards the end of the year, there is an endless train of seniors who keep pouring in just as you begin to sing, who always interrupt; feeling sorry that they’re leaving school and “oh, we’ll miss this room soooo much…” And it is these seniors who return on random days when they’re in college to interrupt your class yet again and say the same things again-this time in present tense; some habits die hard.
You know auditions are coming up if Sir’s in a good mood. The audience waits in anticipation for the tears, the shaky start of each singer, and the powerful finish as he/she gains confidence from Sir’s smile. The calm before the storm lingers, to be broken only by Sir’s baritone, picking out who shall be next. Most entertaining to watch and most nerve-wracking to experience are the eliminations. The future of each singer lies in jeopardy as Sir’s eyes (suddenly with a malevolent glint) survey each singer. His smile confuses you, his eyes criticise you and his words- put together with much care and delivered with a dramatic flourish can make or break you…
The room has something exciting to offer each time you visit; some new songs to hum, some tales to tell and hundreds of memories to share.
What more could you ask for, from a room that echoes with the music of the soul?