Jan 13, 2013

Nagaland sets a real Guinness World Record

Nagaland has set its first ever practical Guinness World Record. The tiny, hilly tribal Indian State nestled on the fringes of the subcontinent’s war-torn North East Region, has set a new Guinness World Record of the title ‘World’s Largest Electric Guitar Ensemble.’

An estimated 500 participants – including some of the biggest names in the Naga society, government, entertainment and fashion, Media and music industry – with their solid electric guitars thronged the Agri-Expo ground, at 4th Mile in Dimapur on Saturday, January 12, 2013 to set a record which Guinness World Record Official Nikhil Kishore Kumar termed “big” and “not a cakewalk.”

However, only 368 solid electric guitar players were officially confirmed for the official title count to qualify for the record. Citizens may note here that there was no current record in the stated title. Guinness World Record stipulated the minimum requirement at 250 participants.

(A section of the guitar players seen here during rehearsals to set a new Guinness World Record for the World Largest Electric Guitar Ensemble. We set the record, Yaya \m/ By the way you can seen me right at the top-center-standing lot, of the photograph, in a white Ibanez, hand on my knee.  Photograph: Manen Aier © copyright 2013)

Nagaland has two standing Guinness World Records (both are natural records) – tallest Rhododendron tree in the world and tallest paddy plant in the world. Nagaland most famous import yet, the pepper ‘Bhut Jholokia’ or ‘Naga Morcha’ held a Guinness World Record in 2007 as the World’s Hottest Chili briefly before it was toppled. However, the new Guinness record is the very first material record (meaning, involved human effort) Nagaland has achieved and may go a long way in consolidating Nagaland as one of the most musically-rich societies in India.

“It is a big number; you have to understand the efforts and facilities that went into it first and it is clear that the record was not a cakewalk,” officiating Guinness World Record rep Nikhil Kishore Shukla told The Morung Express at the Agri-Expos site. He alluded to the immense technical and managerial resources the event required and the mechanical corollaries it resulted in. “It is not a cakewalk,” Shukla, who has been in Nagaland since Friday, said.

The man behind the Guinness World Record idea, Yanren Kikon, CEO of chief organizing group Sky Entertainment had nothing to say except a huge wave of relief and a hug. Financial management services organization, the Sky Group, has been active in introducing entertainment variety in Nagaland. They are responsible for bringing in Nagaland American hard rock group Firehouse and artistes such as the assorted band ‘Los Angels’ comprising former Alice Cooper singer Eric Dover, Motley Crue John Corabi, White Lion drummer Patrick Farrell among others. The current event was organized with the support and sponsorship of the Nagaland Government’s Music Task Force and other business interests.

The scene at the Agri-Expo today was witnessed by throngs of parents, well-wishers, supporters and musicians and curious public members. A confusing tangle of electric cables meshed the ground as did the astonishing array of electric guitars that glinted in the arms of the hundreds of participants who have now rightly – and successfully – staked claim to having been a part of one of the most momentous moments in India’s music history.  

For those who enjoy details: Music Task Force’s director Gugs Chishi was there strumming away across the universe as were Nagaland’s own accomplished models the lovely Esther Jamir and Carol Humtsoe.

(Here is another one. The group of colorful youngsters to my left (I'm the one with the full white Ibanez guitar, top standing) were from Kohima. I was like 'Wow, Rainbow rocks! Super Rock Cool guys these kids were.  Photo credit: Unknown Facebook someone)

The two well-known models had an Ibanez each to strum on the Guns N’ Roses version of Bob Dylan’s iconic ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.’ Members from some of Nagaland’s best known bands were also there. Representatives from the army also came in with their guitars; so did a number of not-so-young music enthusiasts who reveled in the moment. For the record, a number of 7-10 year olds were also a part of the wonderful moment. It was truly an event worthy for the records.     

 The walk of life that attempted the Guinness World Record was as diverse and the about 400 solid electric guitars. Officials from the government of Nagaland, senior citizens, some of the accomplished Naga names in the entertainment industry, media as well as representatives from the army and music enthusiasts from Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. 

Al Ngullie
(Published: The Morung Express, January 12, 2013)

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