Music is always a great unifier. Even staunch enemies like Pakistan and India are united when it comes to music (and cricket of course). It’s not surprising that the techies too find solace in music and other form of arts, when they want to run away from the grind of work and soak into some creativity. Perhaps music is the most effective stress buster, which acts like meditation, or may be like spirituality, rejuvenating the mind and body. The story that the two Steves, who founded Apple, were big Dylan fans and that they took inspiration from the now Nobel laureate-singer-composer is already a legend.
With the golden jubilee celebrations of the IIT system in the early 2000s, perhaps it was for the first time that the alumni associations of all the IITs started coming together. The celebrations continued for a few years in various forms across the world, including Bengaluru. More often than not, it became a common practice to invite all the IITs in an alumni event of any particular IIT or have Pan IIT events involving all the IITs. Then sometime in 2009, a few of us, who had been associated with various music groups in our own capacities, within and outside the IIT alumni networks, decided to setup a group of enthusiastic and musically inclined IITians in Bengaluru so that there could be a readily available team to perform. I and a few of my friends from IIT Kharagpur had already started a band called Kohal two years ago and we already had a full set-up here. All of us - myself, Anandaroop Bhattacharya, Kanishka Lahiri and Ranjita Bhagwan - got associated with this new group of Pan IIT musicians.
It was indeed a very special privilege to get closely acquainted with so many IITians from diverse walks of lives, all very established and accomplished in their individual professions but still so humble and juvenilely excited when it came to music. Few of us - Vijaya Verma (IIT-Bombay), a serial entrepreneur and the unanimously anointed “band-master”, Dhananjay Collur, popularly DJ (IIT-Kharagpur), an entrepreneur and our excitement engine, CS Balasubramanian, simply Bala, (IIT-Delhi), an amazing mandolin and sarod player, apart from being a very high flying senior executive in the semiconductor industry, the couple Dilip and Shanti Panicker (IIT-Madras), both entrepreneurs and passionate musicians with a contagious level of energy and enthusiasm - have been together since a decade now.
When we had to finally choose a name for our band, someone came up with “11th Hour Band”. We stuck to the name almost for a decade tillonly recently, when we changed it to Bindas Band” because we felt being “bindas” is what it takes to do things at the 11th hour.