This Sri Lankan musician stranded in Bengaluru has no choice but to wait out the lockdown

Forced to gather moss

If you were on Church Street, just before the lockdown came into effect, chances are you would’ve seen Prabu Shyam singing and strumming his guitar on the sidewalk. He’d have been hard to miss with his mirrored shades, shorn pate and bearded dreadlocks the length of his torso.

Prabuddha Shyamal, who goes by Prabu Shyam as an artiste, is the quintessential wandering musician. A certified business accountant with an MBA, he decided to pursue music. “I realised I did not want to be office-bound and work like that for the rest of my life. I wanted to do what I enjoy,” he says, adding, “My aim is to make a record and introduce my style of music to the world. There is a sense of self-satisfaction in playing your own music.”

Hailing from Sri Lanka, Prabu was in Eastern Europe when he decided to heed the call of music and make it his life’s choice. Since then, he has travelled the world, from busking (singing in public for voluntary donations) and accepting invitations to perform. He was also a contestant on the Lithuanian chapter of The Voice in 2017. He arrived in India sometime last year, touring different parts of the country from Ladakh to Goa. Bengaluru was the last leg of his journey and he was supposed to have left last week for Sri Lanka to record his début album.

This self-taught guitarist also plays the bass guitar and percussion instruments such as the cajon and drums. Rock ‘n’ roll, the blues and hip hop are Prabu’s forte as well as classic rock ballads. He lists ‘Summer of 69’, ‘Hallelujah’, ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ and ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ as the go-to songs in his back pocket.

“After all my travelling, I was happy to be finally heading home, but it looks like I have to be in India for a while longer,” says the musician who is now Bengaluru-bound after flights were suspended and airports shut down following the lockdown.

Despite the inconvenience, Prabu is grateful to the manager of the hotel he is staying in, for accommodating him. “They even let me cook a few Sri Lankan dishes there when I feel homesick,” he says, not wanting to name the establishment.

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Printable version | May 25, 2020 8:19:42 AM |

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