Have you ever felt like you were two people in one, each of whom could go ahead and lead two different lives? I have, and like myself, I think most of you have had to let go off either of the two, or more, at some point in your demanding adult lives. But here’s doctor-turned DJ-turned-doctor, Sanjay Meriya, who had broken every precept in the rule book, and gone ahead to do exactly what he wished.
Popularly known as The Spindoctor, he had put aside his booming career as a DJ in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, and jumped into action as a caregiver for corona-affected patients. During his days as a student, Spin had started DJing as a hobby to evade the pressure of his medical studies, only to eventually find out that he was pretty good at it. ‘I worked really hard, and proved to myself and others that I could do this professionally and make my mark in the industry.’
Today, the 30-year-old, who works with Shark & Ink as a full-time DJ and music producer, is a prominent name in India’s gully rap scene, spinning music that throws you grooving on the dance floor. An expert at turntable skills such as beat mixing, scratching, beat juggling, drumming etc., he teaches the art of turntablism at The True School of Music in Mumbai. On the commercial front, he has played alongside hip-hop legends like Tyga and DJ Stretch Armstrong, and has been a core member of the Gully Gang, a Mumbai-based crew of rappers put together by Divine, that kickstarted the Indian underground rap scene with great gusto.
The doctor-cum-turntablist had a 10-city US tour lined up for March 2020, when almost overnight things took a different turn as the country crumbled under the pandemic and the pan-India lockdown was called. But there was no stopping Spin! Right off the bat, he dived straight into serving people in his city in the capacity of a medical practitioner.
For the past one month, he had been working actively on identifying coronavirus cases at a makeshift clinic in Mumbai’s Andheri East and Goregaon areas. In order to extend an up-to-the-mark service, “I have been brushing up on my medical skills, reading journals and doing research online.”, Spin says. Donning hazmat suits and protective gear, Spin has successfully been able to keep his identity hidden.
When asked about his experiences of working on the frontlines, he reveals the staggering reality of ‘dealing with death up close’, but points out that the only way to contain the disease is to ‘do our best to track down positive cases, and test and screen as much as possible.’ He also describes the on-field situation as being in a continuous state of flux, wherein no two days are similar to each other. ‘Some days, there aren’t any new patients, so it’s a little relaxed, and you think we’re finally flattening the curve. Then just the very next day, there is a resurgence of positive patients, and you know it’s far from over.’
Even though he sometimes misses his old life as an artist, Spin feels that ‘the experience had been very enriching, because ultimately, you know you are helping humanity.” “Those intense five and a half years of studying medicine have not gone to waste.’
You can check out his Instagram here.
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