Durga Puja 2014 - cassette recorder

The vintage Cassette Player

Its not easy to overcome a personal obstacle at this age and if that obstacle is of fear and apprehension,and that too during a big event like Durga Puja, then its even tougher . I have suffered from stammering during my adolescent years and have suffered from all emotional problems related to stammering. Stage fright,losing key words at key moments , public speaking fear ( yes, although somehow it disappeared when i started giving Pre Placement talks), all confirmatory symptoms were evident in me. When the request came for participating in a bengali play for this year Durga Puja from our next door ever smiling doctor couple Partha da and Arpita di, I immediately rejected it. However my ever enthusiastic wife happily gave in .

Durga Puja 2014 Rehearsals

The ever smiling Arpitadi and Parthada

I dropped the first session of rehearsal, however after much pushing and coaxing and cajoling from my wife, just to make new friends I joined in the next session. 10 team members , all seniors , managing senior roles in diff fields, which varied from Head of operations of a reputed Cement manufacturing company to college professors to pediatric oncologists, was the team .

Durga Puja 2014 Rehearsal 1

The full team minus the author

Slowly I started liking it and the late night rehearsals started . After a days hardwork ,with tremendous stress of several work related issues, I honestly started looking forward to these sessions on a daily basis . Within no time I realised that this is actually acting as a stress buster . But who knew, there will still be surprises left with 3 more days to go before the final act .

Durga Puja 2014 - rehearsals 2

Some more rehearsals

Our background music was supposed to be scored and conceptualized by a gentleman named Robin . So the last Sunday , we had our first rehearsal with Robin and this post is about him .

Music Magic -Durga Puja

Creating magic through music

Robin Das or Robinda as we call him, uses two Cassette Players. Yes, you read it correctly –  cassette players (which look antique and auction worthy ) and some 30 – 40 cassettes to create wonders in Background music . He has been doing this since the last 30 years and with the grace of a DJ, his fingers shifts between cassettes , caress the switches and buttons of the players and comes up with music and sound effects which are game changers .

Cassette Player - Durga Puja

Those Magical fingers


No, the cassettes are not even properly indexed other than few handwritten words like ‘relationship’ , ‘mobile – on /off ‘ etc written on them . On being asked, he answered me that although all this is converted to CD, he is only comfortable with his vintage cassette player .

Durga Puja - Music Magic

It takes two to tango

An institution in himself, it was a pleasure and an experience to work with him and to watch him also . Impeccable timing and great sense of music with an understanding of the script makes him a master craftsman of the trade . A nonchalant face which hardly makes you feel that he is even attentive, immense love for his vintage instrument or the magic wand as I will like to call his tape recorder.

Durga Puja Kolkata - Music Magic

A keen listener with immense love for his Cassette Player

Durga Puja 2014 - Magic of Music

moods of Robinda

It transports you to a bygone era when music was not based on tuners and technology, when remembering the sequence of the songs of both sides of an audio cassette was an achievement and ‘download’ was an unheard word .  I have grown up listening to a walkman and a standalone Cassette Player  but that was like an old mate with whom I lost contact a long time ago – never knew we would be crossing paths and embracing each other again.

The play was successful was the feedback from the audience. My wife was feeling proud about the fact that I got a special mention for my acting – although the secret lies in the fact that the character I played was of a stammerer. Personally, it was a huge moment for me to speak in front of a large audience and that too with emotion and timing . Now I will definitely look forward to next Durga Puja for driving away some more personal fear of mine  Never knew that my once weakness can also be a strength some day . Anyone for a case study in SWOT Analysis ?