Topis (caps) are a symbol of Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. They are also symbolic of India vibrant and colorful democracy and it's political environment.
Here is the story of tailor B Shyamaprasad Rao, the tailor who stitches Swarathama's colorful Nehru topis. Mr. Rao's father used to stitch these caps for Indian freedom fighters. And he felt honored when asked to stitch similar topis for Swarathma.
"Topiwalleh is our take on India's politics. Rather than presenting a dark picture of the current state, we thought of taking a fun route." - Vasu Dixit
This video is Mr. Rao's story and the recounting of how Topiwalleh, our second studio album was created - bit by bit, with care, as each one of us played what we felt as we let the world affect us deeply. We fused elements of rock with folk, blues and carnatic musical traditions to create the sure-footed Swarathma sound - musically, it documented our evolution from the days of our very first album released in 2009.
We invited Mr. Rao to attend our concerts - and his reactions post show evoked such emotions in all of us.
Now, the colorful topis have become our essential accessories as we do more on stage than sing - we bring street-theater (in 'Topiwalleh') and folk story-telling (in 'Yesu, Allah Aur Krishna') through our banter and witty repartee.
"We wanted to inject color into politics, so we thought of this prop. It also works as a memory of the gig that fans can take back home." - Jishnu Dasgupta