Tuesday, Mar 31, 2020 | Last Update : 04:05 PM IST

Only much younger

Published : Apr 30, 2016, 10:04 pm IST
Updated : Apr 30, 2016, 10:04 pm IST

Chikaraks is a rock band for children, first of its kind where they make education fun

Chikaraks, in association with Kidzania, held a concert for the kids on Saturday at a mall in Ghatkopar
 Chikaraks, in association with Kidzania, held a concert for the kids on Saturday at a mall in Ghatkopar

Chikaraks is a rock band for children, first of its kind where they make education fun

What if adults had to seek permission from children to get their entry into a rock concert To attend a gig by Chikaraks, India’s first rock band for children, you might have to do just that. For those who frantically look for Preeti Sagar’s English and Hindi nursery rhymes on the Internet and music stores, Chikaraks is a fresh alternative.

Chikaraks came into being, when Chaitanya Bhonsle, better known as Chin2 of Band of Boys fame, was looking for nursery rhymes for his three-year-old daughter. “I was aghast at the quality of the nursery rhymes that Indians were producing, and that’s when I had a faint idea to form a band for the kids,” says Chin2.

Other than Chin2, the band comprises of Manav Dhanda, Pratichee Mohapatra and Fiona D’Souza. Pratichee was a member of Viva, the popular girl band formed in 2002.

Talking more about the idea of the band, Chin2 says, “The idea is to educate through entertainment. Before we can read or write, we understand music,” he points out.

Although his target audience is between eight months to eight years, he is aware that an eight-year-old would not be interested in nursery rhymes after all. “My sever-year-old daughter has moved on to Taylor Swift and she cringes everytime I sing a nursery rhyme, but when I sing some of our original songs, she tolerates them,” he adds in jest.

“Usually when kids accompany their parents to concerts, they are asked to keep quiet, but in our ‘rock shows’ we ask them to scream and shout and dance,” he says. But there are certain responsibilities that these children rockstars have. “Unlike in adult rock concerts, we have to keep in mind that our audience can get hurt. As much as we would like to have fun and let loose, we have to be extra cautious for the kids,” Chin2 explains.

Through their ‘rock concerts’ across the city, Chikaraks are giving pre-school lessons to the children. “Through music we try to inculcate certain habits and values. For example, we have an act where we ask children to not put beads in their mouth, they enjoy it very much without knowing that they also learnt a new lesson.” The band wants to influence the children in a good way. Explaining further, Chin2 says, “Imbibing values should be fun and when kids hear it coming from their idols, it makes a huge impact. So if the One Direction guys say ‘don’t drink and drive’ it will have much more impact on them.”

After performing for almost two decades, Chin2 realises that it’s far more challenging to perform in front of the kids than adults. “Kids are ruthless to the performers. Adults will stay and listen to you patiently even if they don’t like it, but kids are very vocal about their likes and dislikes. They immediately start booing if they don’t like it. But to cheer them up and lift their mood is the biggest accomplishment for me as a performer. Had you asked me about forming a kid rock band eight years ago, I probably would have had laughed; but today, I feel ecstatic to have started this.”