• Mon, Apr 15, 2024

Dedicating Life To Rock N Roll- A Tribute To Rajiv Nishad

Jun 22, 05:16pm

RSJ Events manager Rajiv Nishad passed away on World Music Day
 Photo Courtesy: Rock Street Journal

Rajiv-ji as we all knew him, who was no less than the Rock of Gibraltar at the events division of RSJ, passed away on June 21, the World Music Day, succumbing to kidney-failure related symptoms.. Dedicating his entire life to working with founder Amit Saigal, Nishad was involved in every aspect of production, back-end and ground management. As the team grew and worked through RSJ Publication and RSJ Events creating music festivals and conferences like RSJ LiveNites, Pub Rock Fest, Great Indian Rock (GIR), Global Groove, India Music Week (IMW) & IMW Focus Group Sessions and RSJ Massive, Nishad was there through it all managing the ground-work and production of these massive events. RSJ built an indie-music community nationally, a first-of-its-kind in India starting in the early 90’s laying the foundation of everything we know about indie-music today. Through these events over two decades, many musicians, artists, writers and most professionals in the live independent music business got to know and work with the man and remember him fondly. Below are messages for Rajiv-ji from his old colleagues and friends:




Subir Malik (Parikrama) and Rajiv Nishad


Akhil Sood (Former Editor, RSJ)

Rajiv- ji had the kind of joy and enthusiasm in him that he couldn't help but spread freely to everyone around him. His natural gift of wit and knack of coming up with a humorous quip, in good times and bad, gave us all a sense of comfort. It was his very unique, genuine way of expressing warmth - he'll be greatly missed.



Sam lal- (Former Editor RSJ)

We hadn’t kept in touch and that was strange because there was a time when we were inseparable. From concert stages like Nazrul Manch and the Hamsadhwani Theatre to pub gigs at Turquoise Cottage and Cafe Morrison and then rushing back to the office to bring out another edition of RSJ, life in those days was a happy blur and we thrived on the rush. 

Rajiv was the quintessential ‘backbone’ guy. You could count on him to have the entire infrastructure laid out at the appointed hour, all backend details sorted, every palm that had to be greased liberally lubricated and all the stops pulled out for the show to begin. Everybody knew him. The general consensus when things would tend to go a bit south, invariably was, ‘Let’s ask Rajive.’ The man, for his part, would smile, rub his hands together and say, ‘Haanji, ho jaega.’
It is hard to believe I will never see Rajive again. At least in the context of the here and now. He was a man who never said no; always had a solution and knew his way around every tight spot. It just seems impossible to think of him not being in perpetual motion. Lying still was not in his nature. 
I will miss you Rajive, like I miss those days. Travel well, my friend. I am sorry I could not be with you in those final hours. We could have planned another gig, another edition, another rock n roll blitzkrieg – your Bhaiyyaji, Amit, would have given us his nod of approval and off we would have gone. Maybe we still can – another time, another place, another dimension. Till then, sleep. You have earned it.  


Anoop Sebastian (Former Events Producer, RSJ)

Rajiv-ji for me was the problem solver. There was never a problem he couldn't provide a solution for.  The RSJ staff relied on his experience to troubleshoot us out of any obstacles and challenges we faced on an everyday basis. Be is sitting and planning events out of office or executing them on ground.


Subir Malik (Parikrama)

Really sad to hear about Rajiv, i cannot imagine RSJ or Amit , without Rajiv, he was always there. We have had great times together, and uncountable air/train journeys and he was the ever favorite of everyone in the band too, very simple, polite and a humble person. I last met him some time back , when he went to his house to check on his health , he will be missed immensely , travel well my friend and say hi to Saigal saheb.


Eshna Goenka (Former Graphic-designer RSJ Magazine)


Rajiv-ji was so much more than just his role at RSJ. He was a part of RSJ from before it was born. I was always amazed by his knowledge of the independent music scene, which he saw blossom and evolve to what it is today. Bands and musicians respected him no matter how big they were. I used to spend my free time at RSJ chatting with him because he had the most insane stories of past gigs. He even remembered which year, what artists played and every little detail. We didn’t need an archive for shit that went down having him around. He was GOLD to us. I have loved and cared for him like family and always will. We spoke on the phone from time to time even though we hadn’t met in 6 years. I remember he wasn’t doing well towards the end but still kept strong. I wish I could have had one more conversation with him. We get so caught up in our own lives that we forget to catch up with the ones we care about. He’s probably with Amit Saigal right now having a laugh. Today is a sad day for us but Rajiv-ji will live on forever in the hearts and minds of so many people.



Great Indian Rock


Kalyan Kumar (Former RSJ Events Producer)

I can’t remember exactly when I met Rajiv but I do know when I really got to know him..And that was then I joined RSJ to kickoff the Delhi chapter in 1998 with the first GIR in Delhi. And Rajiv was a core member of the RSJ family back then and for years to come and someone I regarded.
He was someone who was always behind the scenes, helping us with everything that was heavy lifting... toured with us for the shows, carried our stuff and even managed the gate collections and all the operations that needed taking care of. An ever ready, no complaints, gentleman called Rajiv, who never said "no". 

Rajiv was a gentle soul, and understood almost more than the most ardent fan of rock n roll ‘why’ we were doing… approvingly…and I cannot believe he is gone. We at the RSJ family and extended family of friends have all tried and pitched in sometime to help him but in the end, his health was not on his side. Well he is probably in a better place now and I will miss him and.. try and be a bit like him in the good ways he showed me how. RIP dearest Rajiv.


Vibhu Sharma (Former RSJ Events Producer)

"Rajiv-ji" is nothing new to anyone who has been a part of the Indian rock and roll, since the early 90s. His name was synonymous to RSJ as was Amit (Saigal). He was revolutionary in the establishing Rock Street Journal with Papa Rock Amit Saigal (lord bless his soul), from Allahabad to Delhi. The man had an outstandingly extensive knowledge of all round production of a gig. Over the course of my tenure at RSJ, I had soo much to learn from Rajiv-ji that I can't imagine I would have been able to do without. There was nothing he couldn't do! The man could clock 24 hours at work without sleep and still would never complain! I was fairly aware of the pain he had been going through, over the past 5/6 years. I just hope he is in a better place. All my strength to the family. 





Anirban Chakraborty (Director, RSJ)

Any large scale event in live entertainment business cannot work without strong ground-management and Rajiv-ji’s contribution to RSJ Events was impeccable. After the unfortunate passing of Amit Saigal in January 2012, his knowledge and experience helped us hugely to build a new team. Losing this man is a big blow to RSJ and the events division will have to re-assess its strategy. I’m truly lost in a lot of ways without him in the team. He will be missed. 




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