Shillong’s 64-year-old Lou Majaw, better known as India’s Bob Dylan, has won the moniker through his madcap devotion to the legendary American musician and poet. Since 1972, Majaw has been seen strutting his guitar, throwing back his long, silver mane and donning his signature short, cropped denim shorts at the Bob Dylan Festival held annually in his hometown, Shillong, on the musician’s birth anniversary.
This year, however, Majaw confesses was one of the hardest. “The concert is my way of showing respect to one of the greatest musicians of all time,” says Majaw. “I started it in the ’70s without any financial aid. I put in all my money and energy to it. Over time, it became very popular and funding became easy. But this May, it was tough because the venue kept changing and the sponsors kept dropping out. So, I decided to take to the streets and sing Dylan’s timeless,” he says. Luckily, the veteran rocker found support in his friends who helped pull off another year of Dylan worship.
Tonight, Majaw and Friends will play few their originals like ‘Rose in my garden…’ and ‘Come home…’ as well as Dylan staples as he takes the stage at Blue Frog. Ask him how it’ll be different from his gig here last year, and he laughs, “My throat is blocked and my nose is runny, so I’m sure it’ll be a different rendition this time.” Doesn’t he ever get tired of playing the same ol’ songs? “No way,” he shoots back, adding, “Dylan’s songs are timeless. They have a magical effect once you start listening to them.” And tonight, Majaw is sure it’ll be a rocking night, even if a hard rain’s a-gonna fall.