His t-shirt yelling ‘Pure F***ing Rock’ is enough to get you interested to chat him up. You know for a fact, what’s going to follow is not going to be a conversation worth forgetting.
Meet 42-year-old Parikrama band member and manager, Subir Malik. Been associated with the band for the past 22 years, the synthesizer player walks us through the journey of our much-loved rock band.
“I’m one of the founding members of the band, which took birth in 1991. Up until 2006, I had been running my family business in Delhi, while being an active part of the band.
When we decided to form the band, we indulged in weeks of brainstorming, and came up with some rules.1) We will not even touch liquor before going on stage.2) Anyone who doesn’t drink after the show will be beaten up by the others.
3) An absolute NO to drugs,” he says and adds, “I’m sure you don’t know many rock bands that have such rules. Rock, in fact, is associated with drugs and alcohol. For us, rock & roll is a way to find peace, contrary to people’s perception.”
Is that what made the band survive all these years? “It has survived because of the positive attitude of each band member. We do 160 shows a year and are usually seen performing at top colleges such as IIT Chennai, IIM Calcutta and IIM Bangalore.
We are an English rock & roll band by choice, that’s our USP, also because all band members have grown up listening to artistes such as Pink Floyd, ACDC, Led Zeppelin, Purple, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jimmy Hendrix. We only play what we would like to listen to, and we knew for a fact that we wouldn’t give in to the needs of the market. Thankfully, each one of us has a primary source of income, so we don’t have to depend on the band for our survival.”
Is that why the band never came out with an album or enter Bollywood? “Dozens of offers from Bollywood were rejected; we believe the industry is very fake; besides a few genuine people, of course. Like Saif [Ali Khan] is a good buddy. People such as Shankar Mahadevan, KK, Ehsaan and Loy are the very few genuine ones. We can’t lick anyone’s a**, you see,” he says and follows it up with an apology for his language.
“Hum kisi ka patta nahi kaat sakte, as they do in Bollywood. We are happy in our own world. There is not much difference—instead of a Mercedes, we travel in an Innova, but we are happy.”
Besides managing Parikrama, Malik also runs a company called Parikrama Inc, which manages various other bands. With a sense of pride in having come so far with Parikrama, he says, “What Parikrama is today, is only by word of mouth.
We have travelled in buses and local trains and earned our place ourselves. Even on our fan pages, the likes are authentic. We don’t buy likes, unlike some others. The one lakh likes on our Facebook page are real.”