“Come for the ‪#‎IndoSoul‬ album launch?”
“Uhh…oh…when is it?”
“June 13th, Museum Theatre”
“Let me see…I’ll let you know”
“Bombay Jayshree is launching it”
“Ohh…wow! Ok…let me think about it.”
“Ok.”

I start looking for tickets and manage to find decent fares. Tickets booked. But this is no ordinary trip. It’s an album launch. An album launch attended by the who’s who of Indian music and film. With film and classical music being so popular, people in the industry will know that it’s not easy for independent musicians to be accepted and patronized but Karthick Iyer Live!’ has been able to prove that theory wrong. An amalgamation of carnatic and western music, this band has cleverly integrated pure Indian classical music with rock, creating a style that is uniquely theirs. #IndoSoul is an album that celebrates the spirit of collaboration and the coming together of energies from the Violin, Guitars, Mridangam and Drums to create magical music.

And to think that my 26 year-old little brother Vikram has played lead guitars for this band, is truly a proud sister moment! So the next day, instead of saying, “Yes, I’m coming”, I say:

“I will come, But only if you get me a saree to wear for the do!!!” 😈
“Adi paavi.”
“Hahahaha! I’m super serious!”
“How much do these things cost??”
“Go figure!” “And if you buy one for me you might have to buy one for Amma too!!!” HUAAAHHHAAAHHHAAAAA!!’
“You please stay in Bangalore.”
“து!”
“Ok. Only one saree.”
“Hmmm”

The deal was sealed!

I think he was three or four when he first used his cricket bat as a guitar, as he was listening to a song. After years of training, toiling and breaking away from routine, today, he’s an accomplished musician, a guitar-geek, almost! In between fronting his own band Grey Shack (which is another grand story), touring with Karthick Iyer Live, playing for films and generally driving everyone mad with his tech-talk on pedals, strings, pick-ups, cedar wood vs. mahogany bodies and what not, he managed to pick up a saree for his sister.

Dutifully, he went to the Co-optex outlet and chose a simple and elegant Negamam handloom cotton in off-white, with black and green motifs all over the body and a rich green pallu. After a horrible Air India flight that was delayed by 5 and a half hours, I reached home, where the saree was waiting. The first saree he has ever bought anyone (I think) and my first (of several) from him. The boy has come of age! 😉

What makes this saree more special is that I know a little about its maker. Bannamal, the 48 year-old weaver’s bio is attached to the price tag. Apparently, she moves her hands and legs 20,000 times in the two days she takes to make this saree, with the loom creating its own music while moving back and forth.

This trip was indeed a tribute to art in all its forms.

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