Saturday, 1 November 2008

Voice of Tibet

Last week, I was back at McLeodganj. With me was my friend, Adil. The journey was quite eventful, in the sense, that we just decided to go and left. We reached the ISBT exactly 15 minutes from the departure of the last bus. We had no tickets, and the counter had a long que.The prospects seemed dismal.

Luckily, my friend, Bali, who had come to try his luck to get a ticket to Chandigarh, found out that the bus had two passengers who had not arrived till then. Conversations with the conductor followed, and shortly we were off to our destination.

On reaching McLeodganj I caught up with my friends, the JJI Exile Brothers. Though the elder brother Jamyang was out of town [having gone to Delhi to buy equipment for the band], we had an amazing time with Jigme and Ingsel.
It took them a while to recognize me, but once the recollection was over, we were invited for a drinking session. Soon all of us headed to their basement with some bottles of whiskey. Amidst the red walled room, filled with graffitti and Jim Morrison posters, we discussed about music, their Europe tour, being Tibetan and their trials and tribulations.

JJI for me reflects the voice of the Tibetan youth. A generation, born in exile, battling with their refugee status, with substance abuse, with disillusion. And what better way to convey such sentiments than through music.

The seeds of rock music have always flourished in times of rebellion. Whether it be the voice of Dylan and Baez in the 60s America or that of the JJI brothers in present day Tibet-in-exile. Their songs, a mix of English and Tibetan, have an addictive honesty.

But, I have said enough, for the rest, I would rather let their music speak for them...

JJI Exile brothers: Songs from their debut album


  1. you have to take me there one of these days... soonish... you promised... :)

  2. i shall take you promised...