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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Spin Doctor

One of the first spin masters in Chandigarh,DJ Bijan is back with more music and Persian Sufi concerts.

Published: April 8, 2013 12:50:19 am

BACK in the ‘80s,music production and consumption was a different ball game. There was Michael Jackson and Madonna,boxy cassette players and Bappi Lahiri,and the most basic audio consoles and deejay equipment. “I specially went to Singapore to buy a Walkman,” says Iran-based Bijan. The “big daddy” of Chandigarh’s nightlife in the ’90s,Bijan was also known as “Dr DJ”,who could spin any party into a total fun zone. “In fact,there is a short story behind the prefix,” says Bijan as he rewinds to the ‘80s,the first time he came to India. “It was the country’s mysticism and the movie Sholay that brought me here. I was in Europe and was supposed to join my brother in the US,but fate had other plans,” he says. Although Delhi was a “bad experience”. Chandigarh fascinated Bijan and he decided to stay here. The stay eventually extended to a longer one,and saw him graduating from high school to college to university. “I pursued my PhD in Educational Psychology,and in those days,only two DJs had a doctorate. That’s how I got to be Dr DJ,” says Bijan,who was in Chandigarh for a gig at Kava in Sector 26 on Saturday.

Barring a few grey strands,the years have not changed Bijan much. The signature pony tail and moustache is there,and so is his leanness. He says he is looking forward to taking his Indian connection and music to the next level. “I’ve been in Iran for about eight years now,teaching educational psychology at Tehran University. I keep visiting India as I have family here,” says Bijan. Music,he says,is his ethos,his culture,and now,his aim is to bring authentic Persian Sufi style to the city through a series of concerts. “Rumi,Bulleh Shah,the dervais,Iran is washed in all this. Sufism is rooted in us; music,dance and poetry is a part of our lives and upbringing,and I have always been drawn to it.” says Bijan,who adds that a lot of non-Sufi music is sold as Sufi. “Sufi music throws you into a state of bliss,of meditation,one with God. That’s why I want to bring the real Sufis here,” says Bijan,who is planning to bring Iranian Sufi group Khonya to the city. “Khonya means a state of trance with music.

In his gig on Saturday,he showcased glimpses of Persian Sufi music along with popular numbers. “I am a peoples’ DJ,” says Bijan with a wink and adds how most of the deejays don’t even like what they’re playing but they do so because the crowd wants it. “Deejaying is not that easy. We were a hit in our days because we organised the whole event. I would choose a theme,a venue,send out the invites,and play the music,” tells Bijan.

Famous for holding a “Foreigners Night” every Friday and ‘open to all’ Saturday parties at Hidden Valley (near Jayanti Devi) and playing at city’s forgotten clubs such as Cloud Nine,Jailhouse Rock,Déjà vu,Aerrizona and Las Vegas,Bijan was also the first to bring singer Anamika and DJ Akbar Sami to the city. “We would set up special signs leading to the party venue,hold fashion shows and product launches. Those were crazy times,” says a nostalgic Bijan. One thing is constant though: “The clubbing scene was bad then and bad now. It’s still not considered a family thing or a place to be for single girls,” he says.

Bijan says that things are different back home in Iran. While Bollywood is a hit,partying and clubbing is out of the picture. “The Khans and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan are very popular,” he says. It was karma that beckoned him to India,and it’s karma that’s catapulted him back. “Here is to karma and more music,” he raises a toast.

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