Swarathma’s Blog


Folk Trippin’ Tales
October 10, 2009, 6:51 pm
Filed under: Tour

RIFFGetting to share a stage with legendary artistes like Ustad Sultan Khan on the one hand and the true upholders of the musical traditions of Rajasthan on the other was nothing short of a dream come true for Swarathma. The Rajasthan International Folk Festival opened our eyes and ears to a world we knew existed but had heard of only through accounts of others who had traveled there, and had brought back rich nuggets that spoke in whispers of a land where music was more than a way of life, it was life itself.

There was this lovely lady moving to the music, before one of the floodlights on the fort walls, creating beautiful shadowscapes. And it was quite spontaneous, and thus, wonderful.

There was this lovely lady moving to the music, before one of the floodlights on the fort walls, creating beautiful shadowscapes. And it was quite spontaneous, and thus, wonderful.

Jodhpur hosts RIFF each year, put together by the Jaipur Virasat Foundation among other organizations that have had the brilliance of vision to bring together contemporary, classical and folk musicians on one amazing platform, in a setting that cannot be rivaled. A 500 year old fort, bathed in moonlight! With 2 stages and numerous other performance and showcase areas, the fort and its surroundings transform into a different world!

Swarathma had a total blast. Jishnu could join the festivities well after they’d begun owing to a family commitment, and Pavan couldn’t make it on the tour owing to poor health, but the rest of the boys more than made up for all that.

The Samand Lake Palace swimming pool. Electric blue water overlooking a stark desert, that meets fading shades of blue sky.

The Samand Lake Palace swimming pool. Electric blue water overlooking a stark desert, that meets fading shades of blue sky.


Cake

Much of this cake, meant for Montry's birthday, ended up on his face. Which would explain the glow on his face afterwards.

So the pool was thoroughly lounged about beside, Montry’s birthday was celebrated in style (the bakery at Jodhpur had a tough time spelling ‘Send it ra’ and ‘Montry’), and two days were spent doing absolutely nothing at the Samand Lake Palace about 60km outside Jodhpur city.

Now this is a brilliant hotel that once was a hunting lodge; wonderful people for whom we played unplugged, much to their bemusement, not having hosted a bunch of total freaks such as ourselves.

This is a bit of a rare video, what with shorts and tracksuits being the costumes instead of dhotis and jodhpurs. Also, the sudden jerk and squawk you hear at 3:12 is videographer/manager Nikhil Raj colliding with a chair he thought was made of air. It also features a squatting audience of the staff members who politely inquired as to what we did for a living. We made some friends by the time we left. And we hope to return.

Text and pictures: Jishnu Dasgupta

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[…] Ujwal and Suhail of Advaita. It was good to see morchang madcap Raies Khan with whom we’ve jammed with on our tour of Jodhpur last year. He’d put on weight and picked up a few more tricks along the […]

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