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Friday, July 10, 2020

To the Tea

Shot at Pune’s ABC Farms,the Chaiwala video series by the band Swarathma features their new single Rang zinda hai

Written by Debjani Paul | Published: August 2, 2013 6:03:58 am

Blue paint peels off the old brick wall in the background,and unruly shrubbery sprouts out of the rough,uneven ground. The place looks like someone’s unkempt backyard; not the most glamorous setting for a music video. That hardly seems to matter to the band members of Swarathma — Jishnu Dasgupta,Vasu Dixit,Pavan Kumar,Varun Murali and Sanjeev Nayak — who sit there on empty tea cartons,and sip on sweet,milky tea from a chai tapri along the blue wall. Dasgupta begins to croon the opening verses of Rang Zinda Hai,the latest single by the band,and as the song builds,Dixit and Kumar lend their voices to the mix,while the other band members add rhythm. Spirits seem high,as people begin to collect around them,and listen to the song while sipping on fresh glasses of tea.

“The chaiwalas and chai tapris have a lot of character that is missing in fancy coffee shops. There’s a lot of warmth at these places. There’s chitchat with the chaiwala,maybe a smoke or biscuit with a friend. It’s a great place for people to meet up and have conversations or exchange ideas,” says Dasgupta,whose band performed and recorded the music video at ABC Farms in Pune a couple of weeks ago for the Chaiwala video series. The series invites bands for an acoustic performance in the setting of a tea stall. Dasgupta explains the concept,“Chai is an ubiquitous part of our lives. Everybody has had a cutting or masala chai at a tapri at least once. In the Chaiwala series,we’ve watched some other bands perform,and there are all these organic sounds in the background of tea being stirred or poured,people sipping and talking. It seemed like a great way to bring out our new single.”

The Bangalore-based band members had to perform the song three or four times to get the recording done,but they enjoyed the experience,says Dasgupta. “There was the very typical smell that you get at tea stalls,the smell that comes from brewing sweet tea at the same place for months,” he says.

“Besides,ABC Farms is a beautiful locale with lots of trees. Our very first peformance in Pune was at ABC Farms,so it was a nostalgic experience for us,” he says. Their single,Rang zinda hai has also been released with an alternate video made in collaboration with students from the National Institute of Design (NID). “Vasu (Dixit) is an NID alumnus and he was called to help them with a course themed on active ageing,which was called ‘Bachpan after Pachpan’,and the song was also written to portray how life doesn’t end with old age,” says Dasgupta.

The song is available for free download on the band’s Soundcloud page,and both videos for the song can be viewed on YouTube

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