interview Bombay Jayashri talks about walking the red carpet at the Academy awards

Aresplendent Kanjeevaram silk sari among opulent designer gowns and towering heels. A gracious presence among hysterical celebrations and paparazzi-induced smiles. Bombay Jayashri struck a distinct note on the 500-foot red carpet at the widely-watched Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

The first Carnatic artiste to have won the prestigious nomination for her penning of ‘Pi’s Lullaby’ in Ang Lee’s Life of Pi , the vocalist, a passionate experimenter and an ever-willing learner, describes the experience as a carnival of artistic brilliance. “I feel grateful for this opportunity,” says a weary Jayashri soon after her return to Chennai.

She views her presence at the event as recognition of India’s rich art and its artistes’ growing impact on global culture. “The celebration gets wider with musical boundaries shrinking,” she quips.

Though Adele won the award in the category, Jayashri considers the nomination as a commitment and responsibility. “It emphasises the need to look within the system and outside for a deeper connect with listeners and an emotional engagement with the art.”

Talking about her interactions with personalities, Jayashri says, “those were truly humbling moments meeting Ang Lee, Mychael Danna, Richard Gere, Meryl Streep and Anupam Kher. Standing at the ritzy Globe Theatre I realised behind all the grandeur of the Oscars lies great talent, hard work and perseverance.”

And how was it to make an exclusive style statement clad in a sari? “The attire is as unique as our music and it feels good to be in your skin. The sari I wore was a special gift from my mother for the occasion.”

Lullaby or Latangi, traditional or contemporary notes, Bombay Jayashri unfailingly measures up to the dynamics of music.

chitra swaminathan

The celebration gets wider with musical boundaries shrinking