I picked up the guitar pretty late. SSC (1998) had just got over and there was a huge 3 month gap before anything else could happen and so I ended up getting myself a 6 string to play with for that duration.
I bought a standard sasta Hobner for about 2000 Rs from Furtado's @ Metro. It was the first time that I had ever set foot in a music store to actually purchase something rather than just fiddle around with all the paraphernalia. Walking into a huge store with all these musical instruments around is a very different experience than walking into any other consumer goods store. You can see all the instruments lying around and you just know that there could have been a concert right then and there. Also when you walk down the walls of guitars in the store you have an urge to just pick one up, irrespective of whether you intend to play it or not. I have seen people going speechless while walking down that section.
I got the guitar back to my place and decided to join a local instructor. I wasn't the only one though and there were a couple of my other friends who also had decided to take up the guitar. The first couple of weeks were rather boring and also it didn't help that my fingers hurt like hell. We spent the initial couple of weeks just going through the basics and going through the scales to build up speed and harden the finger tips.
Many people who pickup the guitar ask me "Tell me the notes to play Hotel California/Stairway to Heaven etc. etc. I want to play only those." It isn't easy to explain it to them that learning songs takes time and patience. These songs are considered masterpieces in the own right and it took quite sometime before they were even composed so how can someone learn to play them outright.
I later soon left the instructor as school had started back but I still kept at the scales and still practiced them regularly. I took breaks quite regularly especially with the HSC coming up close. The vacation I got after the HSC was a really long one as engineering admissions for Mumbai Varsity took about 6 months to finalise. It was during this time that other friends joined in.(Amba, Jayant, Darshan, Rahul, Boney)
Engineering college started and finally I actually started on my guitar education. I had joined another instructor during the HSC break and soon quit there as well. I discovered the PC and after that there was no looking back. Jayant, Amba and myself spent countless hours perfecting some scales. There was always an interest in getting tabs, chord tabulature for some song or the other. One of the first songs we learned was "Nothing else Matters" by Metallica. We all felt on top of the world after we had accomplished it. There was no looking back after that and GnR, Floyd, Iron Maiden were being constantly practiced. It isn't easy for the person who doesn't play the guitar to understand this but its literally like a high that you get onto after getting one riff perfectly. ( I know people who have made the other person hear a particular song that they may have picked up, on the phone by keeping the phone right next to the guitar.)
After moving to Rolla I went to visit the local music store, Merles Music. It was quite a large store and had quite a few choices. Gerry helped with funds to setup the purchase of a Jackson Dinky. Sid had a basic Digitech RP80 processor which he had got from India. He had purchased the FX2000 and so I went to Merles and got myself the necessary adaptors and cables to hookup the RP80. Regularly then I had sessions at the apt also Diwali Night was just another excuse to pickup the guitar on and off. The jam sessions with Sid, Rommel, Arvie, Spandan and Romy will remain in my memory for a long time. More than anything else we were primarily interested in having fun.
As time passed however I didn't get a lot of chances to play, blame it on time constraints or just another party in Rolla. The Jackson is right now in St.Louis and I intend to go back soon and get it back with me.