My favourite track was Tin Purush, a catchy song about how the third generation of a family suffers when the second generation squanders money. My own family was going through a similar crisis, therefore I found solace in that track
Today marks the date on which legendary musician Ayub Bachchu was born.
The first time I heard AB’s music was in 2001. My uncle had just bought a new cassette-player, which was small and much more mobile, and the first album he bought to play on it was a duet album by Ayub Bachchu and James titled Piano. I kept listening to AB’s songs on repeat, as I could not help but love the catchy chorus, the guitar playing and very relatable themes of the lyrics in his tracks.
My favourite track was Tin Purush, a catchy song about how the third generation of a family suffers when the second generation squanders money. My own family was going through a similar crisis, therefore I found solace in that track.
In grade seven, when my friends formed a band, I decided to be their lyricist. When I showed the first lyrics I had written to my best friend, his immediate reaction was that I probably listen to AB too much. Swelling with pride, I asked what gave it away. He replied that it was the way my lyrics were structured, full of easily discernible imageries and regular rhymes in the sentences. To this day, I have not gotten over the tendency of trying to force a rhyme when I write verses in my poems.
The influence of AB on my life cannot be understated. My mother turned out to be even more of a fanatic fan. She bought DVDs of AB’s music videos and concerts, and they would be playing in the background whenever she cleaned our apartment.
In 2009, when I went for an exchange program to the United States, I told everyone to call me AB, even though they were not my initials. My friend Hummam correctly guessed why I was doing so, and informed my host family once. Again, I swelled with pride.
However, my most favourite memory of him would definitely be when for the first time, and unfortunately the only time, I saw the man in person. I was given the assignment of interviewing him. Feeling nervous, I called his number to schedule an appointment.
His voice was deep and kind. He gave me an appointment at his studio the next week. I showed up on time, and gave one more call to identify the building where his studio was located. This time his manager picked up and guided me towards the door. I sat on a couch and waited with much anticipation.
Finally I was summoned to the studio. When I walked in, that charming man was already seated on a revolving chair, with a guitar in his hand, as if right in the middle of composing a song. I spent a good half an hour with him, and I was so star-struck, that I kept trying to devise ways to prolong the meeting. However, being so nervous, all my attempts came out in a trembling voice, and needless to say, the interview was not prolonged.
On my way home after the interview, I consoled myself by thinking that it was good that I did not overstay my welcome, or ask for any souvenirs in my first meeting with him. I wanted to do so in my next meetings, and if possible, form a life-long friendship and so on.
Just two months later, on October 18 of last year, all those dreams were shattered with a phone call from my boss, informing me that the legend has passed away.