It was Bengaluru-based band Swarathmas rambunctious folk rock sound and its vibrant presence on stage that had 22-year-old Delhi-based graphic designer Reishabh Kailey hooked. Though the band began playing in 2002,I heard them only in 2009 when they performed at my college festival, says Kailey,who was then a student at Symbiosis Institute of Business. He later went on to attend every gig of the band in Pune. So much so that the band members began to recognise him and his friends at their gigs. We became groupies and were thanked at every gig that happened, says Kailey,who decided to translate the bands look and sound into a coffee-table book titled Swarathma.
The book,also Kaileys dissertation project,follows the journey of lead vocalist Vasu Dixit,djembe and kanjira player Pavan Kumar KJ,bassist Jishnu Dasgupta,drummer Montry Manuel,violinist Sanjeev Nayak and lead guitarist Varun,and illustrates various facets of their personality and their music. It also talks about the bands songs on socio-political issues.
Kailey spent two weeks in Bengaluru meeting the band members and their families,apart from being a fixture at their jam pad located in Cox Town. The book is layered,just like the bands music and its presence on stage. Their vibrancy in sight and sound is what I have tried to translate in the book, concludes Kailey.