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At a press conference a day before his concert in Mumbai, a reporter asked Mark Knopfler how he left his 'literayturey [sic]' background behind when writing songs.

The guitar legend replied, "Songwriting has its own set of rules… so you say something really complex, like, 'who's your baby now? Your baby now? Baby Now.' And then, you say, 'Aaahhh.'"

To experience what he meant, 15 feet away from him -- as the crow flies, because he was on higher ground -- in the front row is a good place to be.

A little earlier, his sound crew was checking the microphones, not with the usual 'mic testing one, two, three,' but poetry.

By the time Knopfler walked onstage with a sunburst Gibson Les Paul and began his performance with Why aye man from his album The Ragpicker's Dream, Mumbai's MMRDA ground was packed to the brim. Glen Worf was hitting his bass, not playing it, as he fingered the notes on the fretboard.

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Text: Sumit Bhattacharya | Photographs: Jewella C Miranda | Design: Uday Kuckian

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