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Lavanya Bahuguna


We’ve Got A Ukelele Player In Jaipur & She’s Just 18! Say Hello To Ambica!

  • JWB Post
  •  December 24, 2016


Was it the ukulele that drew her in the first place?

When I discovered Ambica Naithani who plays Ukulele, I decided to put her musical tale in writing. Ask her about her Ukelele story, and she will pull a string of happiness inside you.

“I gifted it to myself on my 18th birthday, this year.”

Back in school, she was the lead singer in her band, however, could never make peace with the guitar. “It’s too big for me, I guess. Ukulele is less scary than the guitar and fits perfectly into my arms,” smiles Ambica.

Unlike most of us, the first thing she did after buying a soprano Ukulele was to find online lessons. In a span of just one week, she managed to learn the basics and composed a song. Three months and the girl has already performed in Delhi and Jaipur.

“It’s pretty much impossible to have any exposure to the ukulele without playing countryside music. I enjoy doing covers of such classics,” she says.

While talking about her favorite teachers and the current book that she’s reading (White Mughals), I realized how clearly she understands the term ‘feminism,’ unlike most kids of her age.

“I am a hard-core feminist who’s associated with campaigns like Pinjra Tod Movement. It’s all about gender equality, friends. If you put us behind the four walls, of course, we’re going to yell at ya.” 

Now that she is a big girl and is pursuing History Honors from Miranda College, Delhi, doesn’t she want to form a band? “I am looking forward to meeting people from the parallel universe. I would prefer a Jazz band or something similar. I don’t mind traveling. The music scene in Shillong is the best right now.”

Staying away from parents and friends from Jaipur hasn’t been easy for the now-big girl. I often sing ‘Stop This Train by John Mayer’ for mama and papa.

Stop this train
I want to get off and go home again
I can’t take the speed it’s moving in
I know I can’t
But, honestly, won’t someone stop this train?

Ask her if there is a song for the BFF, too, and she quips, “It’s Lisa Hannigan’s ‘Safe Travels.’”

Please cross at the lights
and don’t start fires or fights and
don’t dabble in heights on caffeine.
Like you always say
Safe travels, don’t die, don’t die,
safe travels, don’t die.

I will always remember this goodbye with Ambica. For I have it recorded to keep it close to me.

Keep an eye on the website as #Ukulele player @ambicanathani's story is coming up! (link in bio)

A video posted by Jaipur Women Blog (@jaipurwomenblog) on

Oh, won’t you stay with me?
‘Cause you’re all I need
This ain’t love it’s clear to see
But darling, stay with me

PS: Thank you for teaching me whatever you could in that one hour.

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