I am really ashamed that I read the news only recently. It is a great loss for Indian music lovers. I can never forget the first time I heard an Indian Ocean album. I picked up this cassette from a rusty little corner in a Oak tree road store with little expectations. Once I played it on my car stereo, I just got zapped. The fabulous rythm pumped by Asheem’s tabla interspersed with beautiful unique style of Sushmit’s guitar playing was magic. I kept listening to the cassette for a few years till it got worn out. I got inspired to learn tabla after hearing Asheem.
I saw them in concert twice – once in a large hall and second time in much smaller BBKing bar. Amazing performance. It was here that I noticed Asheem’s contribution to the band more closely. For the first time I saw someone playing tabla and singing at the same time. Mostly it is Rahul doing the singing, but then there were those special Asheem parts in their songs. His powerful voice and singing was unique. In the large hall concert, his mic stopped working and he still filled up the hall with his voice without the mic! Such was the might in his singing.
It is really hard to imagine an Indian Ocean concert without Asheem sitting on the right side with his drum assortment. He was the founding member of the band along with Ashmit. I can’t imagine how much his band will be missing him now, and really accolade their decision to move on and continue doing shows. Indian Ocean is the oldest Indian rock band and I am happy to see the saga continue. I wish them all the best and hope to catch them when they are in NYC.
We will miss you Asheem. RIP.