This is a three-part story on self belief, one that began when I was still in school. I started playing the keyboard when I was about eight or nine-years-old, and spent the next five-seven years learning everything I could about the instrument. Then, when I got to class 9, a few of my musician friends and I wanted to form a band. You see, the school I attended had an annual Founder’s Day (School Birthday in our school) and we had wanted to perform at it for as long as I could remember. The only problem? We were missing a drummer.
Till one day I saw that the same school where I’d been learning the keys also organised drum classes. On an absolute whim, I decided to give it a shot so we could complete the band. “How hard could it be?” I thought to myself without realising that was the first day of the rest of my life. You see, the minute I held the drum sticks in my hand, I had already begun a journey that would take me around the world, playing gigs with many bands, including Parikrama. Needless to say, I also performed at the Founder’s Day.
In 2012, I began accepting music production offers but there was a catch: I had no clue how to produce music. A fellow musician and friend, Arsh Sharma would sit in a little corner in his parent’s house learning and he would teach me how to make music. It was here that we went on to record bands and also produce some of our own songs, together as Fuzzculture, with Arsh guiding me the whole way. A few months later, another friend of mine, Nikhil Malik told me that someone he knew was making a movie and needed music for it that he was going to have to produce. Again, on a whim, I pitched the idea of the three of us getting together to do it, instead. By some chance, Nikhil agreed and that right there was the beginning of Studio Fuzz. Together, we worked on the background score for a full-length feature film, MCream when we didn’t have the slightest clue how we’d get it done. What we did know was how to say ‘yes’.
Third time lucky?
In 2015, I got curious about making photographs, and decided to make 365 great photographs, one for every day of 2016. This challenge led to me shooting constantly, getting better at photography and, eventually, even getting offered professional photography assignments and a music video–all of which, yep you guessed it, I said ‘yes’ to.
Back to the present
A few days ago, on a particularly rainy and grey morning (the ones that are perfect for a little bit of regression or a pause, if you may), I realised that the one thing that was common between my best work, over a 15-year period, was that I had no idea how to do it at the time that I decided to do it. In retrospect, learning on the job has contributed entirely to my evolution as both a person and an artist. If I hadn’t said yes to any of those projects, I wouldn’t have learnt to do any of the things I do every day, and my life would’ve looked very, very different.
So, say yes! I’m sure you’ll figure it out (whatever ‘it’ is) as you go along.