The rhythm had everyone mesmerised, the drummers included. The air was charged with energy as scores of citizens sat around in a circle trying their hand at drumming.
The Rangoli centre at the Namma Metro Boulevard on M.G. Road was the stage where citizens came together to participate in the Drum Jam session on Sunday evening.
Young and old were grinning from ear to ear while trying to match the beats of the professionals.
Agastya Srivatsa, a second standard student, was seen with a tambourine, happily swaying to the beats. “This is a lot of fun. I loved coming here. It is much better than school,” he chirped.
C.S.V. Shetty, 86-year-old resident of Jayanagar 8th Block, seemed very happy sitting around the drummers. He occasionally shook a tambourine, but seemed content looking at the youngsters enjoying themselves. “I have not been to such an event earlier. I do hope more such events are held where the young and old can enjoy themselves alike,” he said.
‘Great stress buster’
School teacher Sangeetha Padmanabhan had never played an instrument. So, playing the African drums was a unique experience. “It felt amazing to try and match the beats. It is a great stress buster,” she said.
The unique event was organised by Drum Jam, a pioneer of rhythm-based activities in India, along with Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL). Vasanth Rao, general manager (finance), BMRCL, said that the aim of the event was to remind the citizens of Old Bangalore, when there was music even in the parks. Claiming that such events “soften the city,” he said the Drum Jam brought together complete strangers and joined them harmoniously.
“Drum Jam has shown us that there is rhythm in everyone. The instruments were kept around and citizens were allowed to play them as they please, with professional drummers setting the tempo. Given the response, we can say that the event was a success,” he said.
B.S. Sudhir Chandra, BMRCL director (Projects and Planning), said there was lot of criticism when the boulevard was destroyed ahead of the metro construction. “Now, we have given back to the people a boulevard that is educative and provides entertainment to the people. It is a public space for people of all ages,” he said.
Roberto Narain and Vasundhara Das, founders of Drum Jam, said that such sessions have been held for education institutions and corporates.
“We wanted to give something back to Bangaloreans. When we explained what we wanted to do, BMRCL came on board and offered us this space. We now hope to organise such sessions once a month,” Mr. Narain said.