TODAY -

Home Coming :: Rock Music, Memories and Heavy Water

Anthony Chirom, Ringo Pebam and Rowland Soibam *



"Johnny was a schoolboy when he heard his first Beatle song,
'Love me do,' I think it was. From there it didn't take him long.
Got himself a guitar, used to play every night,
Now he's in a rock 'n' roll outfit,
And everything's all right, don't you know?
"
- Shooting Star (Bad Company)

Rock concerts are often associated with certain kinds of behavior. Head banging, dancing, shouting, singing along with the band. Fortunately or unfortunately, when rock bands of Manipur origin hit the stage, there are no ostentatious displays which otherwise are common in other parts of the world. Some very successful rock bands have avoided gratuitous flash in favour of understated performances focusing on the music itself.

When the bands perform a good lead solo or a song, we play air guitar and head bang. Overwhelming of power surge letting your hair over the head banging. You still know that your neck will get sprain and your throat will sore. Who cares under the hypnotic enthusiasm adrenaline on music?

Like rock music in general, rock concerts have become an emblematic of Manipur's urban and semi- urban youth culture. Such concerts have been crucial to the formation of youth identity in the Manipur.

The phenomenon becomes even more well entrenched during the time of social unrests and has continued to represent elements of society frequently seen as "rebellious," especially against the social and familial strictures. And not to mention the wrath of ever protective parents.

Parents/ elders consider the "Rocker" as a low life or junkie. Tying pony tail, wearing torn jeans and growing goatee were never missed frisking by Charlie (cops). Sometimes people consider as junkie/pusher or the real junkies will ask for piece of stuff. We were considered outsiders even in our own house. Even today rock music is called sick/gross and this music is only for stereotyped people.

As urban raised school kids or a wannabe rock stars, we used to bunk classes to get a chance to be in the front, shouting and chanting after seeing the rockers put themselves on the line; their training and magnetism overcoming the technical difficulties and engage with the audience's emotions.

What was performed, how did it sound and how the band members feel about the performance and the occasion—these are elements that exist only for a fleeting moment and can never be repeated. As an audience responds to the excitement of such moments, feelings are exchanged between the stage and hall and all those that occupy these spaces.

These feelings have a real impact on the performance. After the Rock show, the music lingered on infusing us with the euphoric feeling - walking on the rainbow and humming the songs, after witnessing a live show.

Coming home late after tuition, on the excuse that classes got extended, when actually we went for the concerts at Ranch and MFDC grounds with bicycle and 'leirik- khau'. The 'leirik- khau' often bulging out with the cassettes stuffed in to be shared with friends in school. Befriending friends who had big brothers who had wide range of audio cassette collection and guitar/ music magazine.

As far as we understand one of the Pioneer Rock Bands of Manipur "MAGNETOS" started it all. Hard/ heavy rock or pure metal bands like Cannibals, Phoenix, Dark Krusaders, Post Mark and many other bands... created the rock scenes of Manipur. They were/ are the guys who inspired our generation!! Hadn't it been for them, we won't have been writing this very write- up.

Phoenix in early 90's


We are sure many of us have had experienced the magic which rock music has put in all of us. Some are nostalgic, singing from the last bench of your classroom with one banging the desk to sheer wood pieces and filling the room with noise yet a subtle melody.

Fill the room with the noise - be it 'Breaking the Law" or some Maiden fans shouting "666 – number of the Beast "or "Am I Evil?". Selling old newspapers lying idle at home to buy the guitar strings, playing the audio cassettes till they are worn out, with constant play- rewind button to find the lead solos, to write down the lyrics.

Borrowing electric guitars and drum kits from elders when the D Day of the shows arrived. We replicated the sound of the original lead solo or guitar riff with palm muting (palm trick) without proper gadgets. There are these images and voices from the past to enliven our memories.

As aptly put by Meghanath Ngangom, lead guitarist of Heavy Water
"For us guys who always dreamt about playing someday on stage (not becoming famous..never really thought of that when we were young)..it was a childhood dream. Getting soaked in the rain on a bicycle with a guitar borrowed from a friend and learning to tune it for the first time ... I am sure most of us would have had this dream. And now that we have the resources we are all so busy with work that there is hardly any time to live the dream."
Meghanath Ngangom was part of 'The Young Ones' the band whose concert posters we grew up seeing.

Martin Haobam says,
"I last played in 1992 in Manipur, when I was in class 11/12. Have played all these years outside our home state, but the thought of playing again in Manipur gives me intense joy."

Now these guys have grown up, matured and pursued their hobby as a passion. They are not rebels without a cause anymore. They have a cause - to change the traditional perception of their music and to use it to bring joy and peace.

On the 23th of July 2009, Heavy Water, a Bangalore based hard rock metal band comprising of Manipuris, will be performing at Iboyaima Shumang Leela Sanglen (near BOAT), Imphal. Veterans like Vivek Sharma (former Phoenix/ Phynyx) will also be jamming up with them.

Vivek Sharma (see Ooba video profile here and his video "Stop the Killing" here ) - a household name among the rock community of Manipur and a guy who needs no formal introduction. A walk the talk guy, with talents from the likes of Yngwie Malmsteen to Jimmy Page to various contemporary rock artists. He has been a source of inspiration to many budding talents and a childhood idol of HeavyWater.

Romi Aribam based in Delhi - former band mate of Martin Haobam (vocals HeavyWater) in the erstwhile 'Valkyrie' will also be belting out some numbers. Monks, an Imphal based rock- blues- band will be opening the show. They promise to treat you with covers, interpretations and originals.

Be there!!

Heavy Water





* Anthony Chirom and Ringo Pebam are based in Bangalore, Rowland Soibam(Thrash) is based in Delhi, and they are high school chums from DBS and St Joseph's, from the batch of 1993- 94) and contributes to e- pao.net regularly. The writers can be contacted at tull_chirom(at)yahoo(dot)com , ringo(dot)p(at)gmail(dot)com , thrash666ad(at)yahoo(dot)co(dot)in respectively.
This article was webcasted on July 24th, 2009.




* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.




LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Mix Media Festival #3:: Gallery
  • Khurumjei eethou eekan :: Radio e-pao
  • Shaheed Manoranjan football :: Gallery
  • Birth Anniversary of Maharani Dhanamnjuri
  • Buddha advised to follow the moderate way
  • A hope of second meeting with dear mum
  • Sadar Hills Demand 2011-2017 : Timeline
  • Killing Culture in Manipur
  • Lingering allure of lotus after polls
  • 30 mn trafficking victims worldwide: CJ
  • Tough for some to be out of news
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #3 : Ooba
  • Yaoshang Sports #3 (Mar 16) :: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Glimpses of Puppets in India
  • NE important part of 2nd World War
  • Strategic place branding of Manipur
  • Non-biodegradable solid wastes mgmt
  • Skill oriented vocational training
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • No pact on integration of Naga areas
  • Nobody is a fool, introduce Lok Ayukta
  • Khoupum Valley Expedition #5:: Gallery
  • 36th World TB day Rally :: Gallery
  • Veteran Cricket Tournament :: Gallery
  • And thus she became a fast learner
  • Coalition Government & its periphery
  • Know your test: Uric acid
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • No compromise on territorial integrity
  • Ten meritorious students sponsored
  • Anti Corruption Cell to be set up
  • Centre, State: Put RIMS back on track
  • Minister promise on Imphal Jiribam road
  • Students for HSLC Exam :: Gallery
  • Governor Cup Polo tournament #1:: Gallery
  • Blast of Md Kora & his shadows
  • A Drunken Dream :: Poem
  • Downfall of Congress party in Manipur
  • Corruption a part and parcel in our society
  • Hangkhanlian, Radheshyam, Nemcha ...
  • Lecture on TS. Eliot's contribution
  • Naga integration via FA: Game of word play
  • Almost perfect team...missing "Lok Ayukta"
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Yangkholet, Somatai, Mangaleima :: eMing
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #3 :: Gallery
  • Lanmei Thanbi Re-imagining the Light Spirit
  • Did we glorify the UNC highway blockade?
  • Career penchant in Anthropology
  • The formation of new BJP-led Government
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Nagas safe under Framework : NSCN-IM
  • New fish species discovered in Assam
  • Making Manipur bandh & blockade free: Guv
  • Politicking the politics
  • Photo : Governor with all Elected MLAs
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 3 activities #2 : Gallery
  • Kanchan Soibam in Femina Miss India 2017
  • RIST talk 28-Transition in amorphous solid
  • Formation of Gender Champions @RGU
  • Free spectacle distribution at Loktak Station
  • Naga history of transition stands unique
  • Delhi warn NE against shady land deals
  • Screen kids' films in NE languages
  • Looking at the pre-poll promises of BJP
  • State govt- perceptions & premonitions
  • MLAs took oath of office : Gallery
  • SundarGopal Condolence @Ghy : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #2 :: Gallery
  • What Term of Negotiation btn GoM & UNC?
  • Class 12 marks may decide your college..
  • N. Biren led Govt won the floor test
  • Job @ VK NRL Hospital at Numaligarh
  • Cycling from Jessami to Mantripukhri
  • Lifting the longest ever blockade
  • Hope amid the hesitations
  • Tenwa Chandrasakhi :: Funga wari
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #2: Gallery
  • Day 3: Yaoshang activities #1 : Gallery
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #2 : Gallery
  • Drinking bottled mineral water culture
  • Condolence meeting for friend of Assam
  • Food Outlet at DM Community College
  • APFEJ urges Delhi to be respectful to media
  • TSA Ceremonial Rite to its Former SG
  • Statistics not telling the whole story
  • Kangleipak Kang Trophy #1 : Gallery
  • Day 5: Yaoshang Activities #4: Gallery
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #2 :: Gallery
  • Insurgency as reflected in Chagi Khuji
  • Yaoshang Meithaba @Uripok: Gallery
  • Women Empowerment
  • Construction as career choice
  • Condolence meeting for Sundar Gopal
  • Manipuri group to stall trains
  • Manipur State Archery Championship
  • Miss Manipur Queen 2017 #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Halankar celebration : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Nungba #2 :: Gallery
  • Art of Lamangdong's stone bowls & Toupokpi
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #2: Gallery
  • Pabung Sunder Gopal funeral at Mandalay
  • Emotional integration of all communities
  • Training on Traditional Snacks
  • How to take along disparate parties
  • Yaoshang Day 5: Sports #1: Gallery
  • Meetei Pokpi :: Radio e-pao
  • Day 3: @ Bamon Leikai #1 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #4: Gallery
  • Letter: Manipur Public Service Commission
  • Career as Chef
  • HQ IGAR celebrates 14th Raising Day [upd]
  • N Biren sworn-in CM #1 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Thabal at Pune #1 :: Gallery
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #2 :: Gallery
  • Yaoshang: Journalist Sports #1 :: Gallery
  • Nongthombam Biren sworn-in CM, Mar 15
  • Glaucoma Week : March 12 - 18, 2017
  • Annual Yaoshang Thabal 2017 at Pune
  • Course in Butterfly Studies at BNHS
  • Yaoshang- with DJ @Sekmai :: Gallery
  • Kangleipak Football Trophy 2017 :: Gallery
  • Thabal chongbagi Peisa khaiba #2:: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #3: Gallery
  • Cue card for the new Chief Minister
  • International Rivers Day at Tamenglong
  • What kind of Nagaland are we moving..
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Loukhatpa #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #2: Gallery
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #2:: Gallery
  • Ending TB is going to be hard...
  • Holi Pala performance at Raj Bhavan
  • Archery Championship at Keithalmanbi
  • NPF to support non-Congress coalition
  • Workshop on filmmaking at MSFDS
  • Yaoshang Day 1: Mei Thaba #1: Gallery
  • Yaoshang Day 1: AMWJU Sports : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Chandel :: Gallery
  • Testing patience of Manipuris, Cong-UNC
  • Bangladesh Meetei leisabi at Sylhet
  • A Hindi tract with feminist ideals
  • Condemns decision on Sajibu Nongma
  • Churchill Brothers vs Shillong Lajong
  • Election: Counting & Winnners #1:: Gallery
  • Mamliba maikeise :: Radio e-pao
  • Saroi Khangba #3 : Gallery
  • Yaoshang :: A flash presntation
  • UNC in Manipur Electoral Politics #3
  • The Election Trap :: Poem
  • Mix Media Art exhibition #1 :: Gallery
  • Mountain Division Polo #2 : Gallery
  • MCA T20 Luwangpokpa Trophy :: Gallery
  • Possibility of hung House
  • BJP will form government in Manipur
  • Trade connection with Southeast Asia #2
  • Breast Cancer Conference :: Gallery
  • Saroi Khangba #2 : Gallery
  • 2nd phase Polling @Sora :: Gallery
  • Judgement regarding MCSCCE - 2016
  • 2nd phase Polling @Nungba #1 :: Gallery
  • Thabal chongbagi Peisa khaiba #1:: Gallery
  • Featured Photo for 2017 #1 :: Gallery
  • Exam Centers for HSE 2017 : Download
  • 'Thammoi Tahoure' : Muslims' musical
  • International Women's Day at Delhi
  • International Women's day
  • Thoubal Keithel #1 : Gallery
  • Gita-Govinda- Dance Drama #2: Gallery
  • Women's Day: Women Safety in Train
  • All eyes on 2nd phase polls
  • Not so hard verdict, but perhaps..
  • Kabui Keioiba & Lai Khutsangbi ...
  • Rahul Gandhi @Imphal #2: Gallery
  • Mountain Division Polo #1 : Gallery
  • People's Convention on FA : Gallery
  • Manipur hills as tourist destination
  • Armed Violence & Nationalism : Report
  • Saroi Khangba #1 : Gallery
  • Polling for Assembly election #2 : Gallery
  • PM Narendra Modi #3: Gallery
  • Maphou Dam :: 360 View Panorama
  • Laisram Birendra Kumar: PadmaShri Award
  • Trekking to Dzukou Valley #2: Gallery
  • Biju Ningombam (Photos) #3 :: eRang
  • Laihui @Tanglei Music Festival :: Gallery
  • Landscape of Manipur #5: Wallpaper
  • Wareppa Naba :: Profile of Theatre Actor
  • Meiteilon Folk & Tangkhul duet : Ooba
  • Khunung Eeshei/ Ema Emoinu #3 : Radio
  • SPONSORED ADS