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YOU'RE spared the need to ask for further directions on your way to meet Mrigya , one of the oldest rock bands of Delhi, as the notes of their famous number, Ganga reach your ears.

Despite being a bit late than the scheduled hour, ( but in perfect accordance with the Indian Stretchable Time), you get a warm reception by the band.

" Oh, in fact you gave us more time to practice," says Sharat Chandra Srivastava, the violinist/ vocalist and one of the founding members of the band, which has distinguished itself with its blend of Indian classical ragas with others genres of music such as rock, jazz, punk and sufi.

Considering that the band's debut album Mrigya 2010- Composition for World Harmony will be launched on Friday at DLF Promenade, Srivastava's words are just in place. Minutes into their session and one is a witness to frantic discussions between on subjects such as stage settings and distribution of invites -- subjects that are far more material than the " world music" that they specialise in.

" This sort of madness is usual, but in the last few weeks it has multiplied," says Srivastava as Sukriti Sen, the group's vocalist and only female member, joins in. " Don't ask me what all I have undergone because of them, I can write a book on my experiences," says a smiling Sen.

Rajat Kakkar, the band's drummer chips in, " We were involved in all the stages of production, and the frantic running around ( for the upcoming launch) is still going on." " We missed some great opportunities to cut an album in the pastC* all of us were busy doing so many things. Now that we are all settled in terms of family and finance, we have become more focused," philosophises Srivastava.

The band, which was formed in 1999, on the sidelines of the IITDelhi's annual festival, has since then travelled far and wide. They had performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001 and at the Dubai International Jazz Festival a year later. The old association however, has stayed with the group. Ganga and Pahari Funk which were composed during the Jazz Nite feature in their new album. " That was some mad jamming session we had during those few days," says Indraneel Hariharan, bassist/ vocalist of the group.

When it comes to their signature tracks, the band is quite superstitious. " We have always opened our acts with these two songsC* they are our lucky charms," Srivastava says. So has Ganga changed over the years? " Not at all, the structure of all the three songs, ( including Caravan , which the group plans to feature in its next album), are still the same," Srivastava says.

To this, Hariharan adds, " We have done some improvisations, but the spirit of the song has not changed." And the band's spirit? It's infectious.

-- Mrigya launches its debut album with a concert at The Hub, DLF Promenade on Friday at 7 pm.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 4, 2010
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