The story of an MBA who quit his IT job to become a rockstar
Tirthankar Poddar, lead vocalist of the rock band Zedde talks about his journey from small town Agartala to Mumbai and why he chose to quit his IT job to be a rock artist. Read on.
To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
However, few people around us exemplify the power of perseverance.
Tirthankar Poddar better known by his stage name 2Blue, embarked on a journey -- from Agartala to Mumbai, from an engineering graduate and MBA to being the Voice Box of Zedde a leading Indian rock band -- from a day time IT job to a rock and roller by night.
In an interview to Gyancentral.com, 2Blue talks about his journey as a small town boy who dreamt of being a rocker in India and his journey towards success.
What drove your interests and passion towards music?
I was born in Agartala, the capital city of the north-eastern state of Tripura. Now that is a place which is light years away from rock n' roll.
You had to fly to Kolkata to get your favourite music those days. Of course, music, love, and most other things of human interest were made freely available on the Internet only much later.
Everyone around listened to either of two genres -- Bollywood or Tagore. So on that rare occasion when you would meet somebody who listened to the Scorpions, Deep Purple, or anything even remotely rock n' roll, it would give you a certain sense of accomplishment.
I loved being the black sheep though. I still do.
In more ways than one, my journey has been that of the starry-eyed small town boy who always wanted to have a band in the entertainment capital of the country. So when my folks suggested that I move to Mumbai after my engineering to pursue my MBA, I knew exactly what the future would unfold.
'If you love what you are doing, it will seldom tire you out'
What attracted you to rock music?
The same thing that attracts sharks to the ocean waters and eagles to the wind, I guess.
You are an engineer, an MBA and a musician. How do you manage these extremely demanding careers and still maintain your energy levels?
I am many other things too, including a pest in the studio and a smoke-alarm in my building. But hey, thanks for being so kind.
It is just that, if you love what you are doing, it will seldom tire you out. The energy comes from knowing what you are and following your heart.
What do you think about a career in rock music in India without commercial music?
With the Internet bringing fans and followers closer to artists and bands, the old rules do not apply any more. This is the 21st century.
If the music that you create is something that people can grasp on to, sooner or later, your time will come. Then again, you cannot really expect rock music to become nearly as popular as let us say bhangra or Bollywood here in India. But to be very candid with you, that is what gives us rockers a sense of exclusivity we enjoy.
When you look back which are the incidents, you wish you had done differently?
Smashing a cordless Shure SM58 microphone at the Ruia College festival in 2007 -- that is something I wish I had not done.
Image: Tirthankar during one of his performances at a rock show
'If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you are wasting your time'
What are your future plans with Zedde?
With Zedde, my future plans include releasing an album within the next 365 days and playing outside the national border.
Outside the band, I would like to make a baby within the same time frame.
What is your advice for budding rock musicians?
I may have said this countless times before, but I will say it again. Follow your heart, even if that means going against the grain and taking the route few have taken before.
Passion is everything. If you are not passionate about what you are doing, you are wasting your time.
And most importantly, always remember: art wallows in sacrifice. So, be prepared.
Illustration: Uttam Ghosh