Consultant, Infosys Ltd
Amit Khadikar got all the musical instruments he wanted a year later. His mother Shalini, then a bank employee, had to even close one of her bank fixed deposit accounts to buy him a big keyboard on his 13th birthday, though he had asked for it the previous year.
The electric guitar also came late, when he was in his first year of B.Com.
But these minor issues never gave Khadikar the blues nor dampened his musical aspirations, for he was happy playing the guitar for 7 hours a day in the kitchen of their crammed single-bedroom flat in Borivali, a suburb in north-west Mumbai, where he grew up.
Khadikar, 28, is now a consultant for Infosys Ltd in Pune since 2007 when he finished his master’s in business administration (finance) from L N Welingkar Institute of Management Development and Research in Matunga, Mumbai. Friends say he follows both, music and work, with great passion, often sleeping for just 4 hours in the night.
Some years ago, Khadikar was also an equally devoted cricketer, but was plagued by asthma, which ended his sporting career in college. It was also a reason why his mother did not mind gifting him an expensive guitar to soften the blow of losing out on cricket. Music took precedence from then on, besides academics, of course.
Khadikar’s struggles to get this additional career as a musician started first with the idea of floating a band. In May 2008, he managed to form one with people largely from Infosys, but members kept getting transferred or heading off to long overseas assignments. It’s only recently that Khadikar has managed to get a stable team together with Yayati Zende, Hemant Aligi, Chetan Sindhwani and band manager Devashish Sharma. In April, the band came out with its first CD titled Our Time Is Now. On Thursday night, they performed at Hard Rock Café in Pune.
Though he would like to take this group to performances abroad, right now they are just as comfortable in places such as Kolhapur, where pop music is not exactly popular. “The idea is to cater to the masses. To them, the time is now and be in the moment,” Khadikar says.
He reiterates that his journey so far would not have been possible without the sacrifices of his mother, a single working parent, with two boys (he has an older brother). “Through all my personal difficulties, my mother has supported me, which has been critical in getting things started,” he says.
Khadikar adds that no matter how far one goes in life and achieves everything one is meant to, one should never forget one’s roots. He repeats the message in the lyrics of one of his songs:
Days and years go by and by,
Your river of hope is running dry,
Life you know has left you sore,
It’s now you realize that the hand that rocks the cradle… isn’t there anymore...
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