My Highlights of 2008

On the last day of this year, I thought it was only fair to write about the lovely year its been for me. After I decided to make this post, I thought about the year and the events that I should write about, and the only points of reference I had were the photographs I had taken through the year! So based on the strength of my photoblog, here I go!

The new year was brought in just the way I like it! I went for midnight mass with the family and then headed to spend time with Shilpa. We even made pizza ourselves! I like this over the partying and the madness! And the rest of the year was going to get crazy anyway .. and it did 🙂


It was by complete accident that I started taking photographs at weddings. I carry my camera around with me all the time and when I first took some photos at my friend’s wedding, it was because I wanted to keep myself occupied! Some of the couple’s friends had made a movie about their life together and wanted to show it at the reception and since I had both my camera and my mac with me, I took a couple of hundred photos (like I do always), transferred them to my mac and ran a slideshow on the projector that was set up for the movie! This became such a great hit because a typical wedding photographer would take a month after the wedding for you to see the photos even and here guests who came in a little later could see what had happened earlier in the reception!

I started getting offers to shoot weddings which I still don’t take up for money. I am just not good enough yet and am still doing this as a hobby and for only my close friends. But then, sometime later this year, I should possibly start charging for it 🙂

Much to my liking, a LOT of music happened this year, with the new project (tentatively named – Allegro Fudge) that is making some very interesting music, to playing with old friends at Opus and other places around the city to the lovely ‘Raghu Dixit Project‘, its been a time when I grew a lot as a musician and I hope that will continue right through.

February 26th, 2008 was when The Raghu Dixit Project’s debut album was launched and from there its been a crazy ride with the band this year. From being MTV’s artist of the month, to seeing our album for sale in stores, to playing all over the country and some parts of the world, being part of the Roots Music Festival tour of the North East of India, to travelling around 5 countries in South Asia, to being part of a superhit movie score, my journey in music with Raghu has been tremendous this year! And I only hope next year will top it and will see me get better with the bass guitar!

This is my favourite picture of the band on stage taken this year. This was taken by Sayan ‘The Red Bantoo’ Datta, who is one of the best concert photographers I have met in the country!

The trip to the North East of India that I went on with the band, was more than just the music for me. It was a great lesson in management and I learnt more on that one trip about how to organize concerts, negotiate with people, delegate work, get work done, and just manage things than I have learnt in the past 25 years of my life! From the accident to having to set up promotional deals with radio stations in the North East and making sure things were on track in a place I have never been to in my life, in a language I don’t understand was quite an experience!

It was on this trip that I spoke extensively with Vijay Nair about the various things that we can in the realm of Indie music in India. Many of those ideas are being brought to fruition as we speak :). This was also the trip that fuelled my leaving IT and eventually landing up where I am today. We’ll come to that in a bit.

2008 was the year that I was finally able to do music and work in the music biz a little more seriously and a large part of that was because of winning the IYME award for India. That was one of the best experiences I’ve had all year. I got to go to London, Liverpool and Manchester and see how the music industry works there and make friends and contacts that will be invaluable to me as I continue on this path in the music biz.

2008 was in many ways, the year for travel! Most of this was not purely travel, but I did get to see a LOT of the world and I am thankful for it. I will seriously invest time and money in travel over next year and the years to come. Its just the best thing in the world I should tell you! I used to be this person who completely disliked travelling on IT work because you are going to be stuck in an office in another country like you are now and it will only be a change of location. But I strongly urge you to travel when you can and do it NOW! go to as many places and see the world .. there is a lot you will learn 🙂

2008 was the year I finally quit IT! to pursue a life and career in the music industry and as a great first step, a series of co-incidences and great timing made me the VP for MuckWork and getting to work with Derek Sivers can be a great start to a career in the Music Biz and I can’t tell you how thrilled I am for it. More updates on how everything progresses will be made as things happen. But I am finally doing what I LOVE from my heart and its a great place to be and I am determined to make this count 🙂

There are a lot of interesting projects I am part of in the Indie Music scene in India and I will tell you about them as they happen. Right now its all just concepts but they will come together soon.

RadioVeRVe :: Just Tune In

The project that started it all was relaunched late this year and I am really proud of what we have got here. The brand new RadioVeRVe now has more music and a LOT more features. I strongly recommend that you check it out and tell me what you think about it. This is just the start for the new RadioVeRVe. There is more that will go there and it will happen soon!

Another great project that I was part of late this year was FOSS.in. It was haphazard to start with, ambitious when it came close and finally when it happened, it was grand! there is a lot we did right this year, a LOT we didn’t and we learnt with everything that din’t go as planned. The team ‘bash’ after the event was quite an event and I hope that it makes us strong as a team together because there is a LOT of good that will happen with the event next year 🙂

Finally, Shilpa and I have been together for almost 5 years now and I could not have been happier about it! this has been the year when we grew a LOT closer to each other. When it was smooth sailing almost all year long 🙂 The year when we started respecting our own space and learning or rather getting used to each one doing our own thing and not having to be around each other all the time. In many ways, that has been the secret to how close we’ve become.

This was also a year when I reconnected with a lot of old friends, made new ones, started many new projects and got qutie a bit of work done and enjoyed every moment of it. In a tremendous number of ways, this has been the best year of my life yet and I see a lot of good happening in 2009 as well. There have been many things I have forgotten to mention and I am sure they will come back to me soon and I’ll probably make new posts about it!

For now, cheers to a great year and here’s another one hoping for an even better year ahead 🙂

Gaurav