Women of Indian Rock: Tipriti Kharbangar
Kolkata bands Skinny Alley and PINKNOISE’s Jayashree Singh on Shillong blues band Soulmate’s lead singer Tipriti Kharbangar
Tipriti is a very special talent. Check.
Tipriti can drive an audience wild. Check. Tipriti sings the blues like she was born in the Mississippi Delta. Check.
Tipriti is gorgeous. Check.
But, for me, it’s so many other things that make her so special to me. The things that don’t necessarily get written about. We bump into each other at gigs, festivals and clubs all over the country. Very often, it will be Gyan [Singh, Jayashree’s late husband] walking ahead of me to say hello to her and Rudy, and give them a hug, while I bring up the rear”¦ and so often, I can hear her say to Gyan “Where’s my Jay?” And then when she finally sees me, she’ll come gamboling up to me and hug me and spin me around and say, “It’s been so long.”
Tipriti’s warmth and enduring friendship. Check.
Her love for her home. Soulmate travels like crazy, of course, and there are times when they are away from home for weeks if not months. They travel the world, stay in fine hotels, eat great food, but for her, going back to her cozy home, her cats, her family, the home-cooked food, the clouds in the Shillong sky, this is her true bliss. Hearing her talk about home is like listening to music.
Tipriti’s rootedness. Check.
I think I cried the first time I listened to her sing. She was very, very young but the rawness, the edge, the abandon were already part of her vocabulary and I remember Gyan and me sharing a look and shaking our heads in disbelief. I wish her the very best of everything, in music, in life, in love.