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Singing a different tune – mumbai guide


We are living at a time when the government is pushing for Hindi as the national language like a demanding parent pushing a child to come first in class. But the fact is that India has such a diverse bouquet of languages that it’s difficult for just one of them to blossom across the country. Large sections of South India’s population, for example, would find themselves tongue-tied if the Centre’s plan is implemented. But there’s one band from Kerala that has no such problem. When Chai Met Toast comprises four musicians from Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram who earlier only had a smattering of vernacular lyrics in their songs, but have now released their first full-fledged Hindi single, called Kahaani.

There wasn’t any particular design to the process. Guitarist Achyuth Jaigopal tells us that the band had composed the melody first, and later felt that only Hindi lyrics would do justice to its sonic template. The result is a track that sits comfortably within the spectrum of Hindi indie music, though its source, Kerala, is unusual.

The plan is to include the song in a larger album, called When We Feel Young. But while vocalist Ashwin Gopakumar admits that singing in Hindi opens up a larger audience base, Kahaani is simply one step in their process of constant evolution. “It’s exciting to add new elements to our music,” he says. That’s what they have done with this new song, except that in this case, the new element wasn’t as much musical in nature as it was lyrical.

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