Monday, May 29, 2006

Ford Fusion - To buy or not to buy?

Well so we have been taking a vareity of cars for test drives.

The Ford Fiesta - like it
Hyundai Accent - but since its in phase out we'll have to check out the new one if at all we want to buy that one
Honda City - drove it but didnt like it for whatever reason
Ford Ikon - like it but also in phase out
And finally the Ford Fusion. Like this one quite a bit. And they are offering a massive discount for this month. About a lakh and a half on the Cost Price. Which made me wonder why they would do something like that.
The dealer claims the car gives 10 kmpl. The others say it can give about 6 at the max.

So now I want a verdict on this one.. whether or not to go in for this car.
Lemme know. Thanks in Advance.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I have been singing for as long as I can remember. But the past two weeks have seen me go through a metamorphosis. I always knew I could never be without music. And active performance.

Some people thought that I sing because mom tells me to and I wouldnt do it otherwise. Becos she always had to remind me to practise. And I did it. And I didnt several times. After a point mom let go. Knowing I would come round eventually.

And now I know what it is all about. Mom has given me a foundation in music few can dream of and has chosen to be the candle for me to be the light. I have met people who have wanted to sing in the middle of the night, in the middle of the road. Just because the ambience was perfect. I almost used to die of embarassment. Now I know how that feels. To want to sing not because you are playing to an audience. But because you really want to. And after a point in time you cant survive if you dont. Its not that I have not wanted to sing in these many years. I thrived in it. But now I feel as if I have shifted to a different level. Where I am longing to seek. To search and to look for God in it. And that after a while I am not the one singing, its HE who makes me. He who makes it all happen. And now I realize that actually being a part of music is very humbling. When you meet different people, hear them sing, perform, talk.... you know where you actually stand. And somewhere the shift to a true sadhaka happens. I have read several times, heard several times, people talking about music being an ocean, and great masters saying that they are not even a drop. Though I understood the grammar then, its taken me this long to understand the essence. Sometimes tears just start flowing when I listen to music. Sometimes when I sing. And usually when I listen to someone else. I cant stop them from happening... its like a dam burst open. And when that happens I feel as if that is when I want to be engulfed in light and become nothing. I feel fluid .. and thereafter you just want to stay... dont wanna eat .. dont wanna drink dont wanna move. Even batting your eyelids is laborious. .... actually I dont know... when people say music is a spiritual experience its bang on. There was a time when I didnt wanna practise. Because then it was a task. And for the past two weeks, I am in a tearing hurry to sing... other times I am singing in my mind. meditating on it. I crave to learn more... to fill this empty vessel. Now seeking out is almost an obsession.'obsession' as such is a scary word to use but for now I cant think of a better expression.

I am like anyone else. Laughing, being crazy, doing the usual stuff. But my insides have shifted. My vision has changed. My outlook to music is different. And now I sing for the sake of singing. I feel as if my journey towards sadhana has started. Its taken this long. I have tried mom's patience. All that. And now, mom sees the change in me. I have been wondering, for ages as to what I am looking for. What is missing. And I realize now that it is this.

I look, I search, I seek, I run after. And God willing, I shall find.

Jab seene mein dard ho aansoon ko roken kaise?
Jab dhuan uthe, aag ko chupaayen kaise?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

One great weekend

Had some kinda extended weekend, restarted my dance classes and had a great jamming session with Vodka, Shyam, Mac, GNR, Vicky and Rocky. One great group.
Some 3 hours of singing late into the night and waddda time that was. Wont ever forget it.
I have almost never had a band of friends as such. It was good to meet one. They all come together on weekends to make music or jam as I understand. And I bet it must be some great time!
We drove down to Bangalore. and one the way the car heated up so much it started smoking and of course it wouldnt start. All this after we had given it for service the previous day to get them to check if everything was in order. And when this happened, we called this guy at the service and he asked to pour water in the radiator. That did it. The car was in a bigger mess and finally had to be towed to the nearest service station where they had to service the radiator, change the engine oil which the ABT guy claimed to do, but when they drained the oil, it was like pitch. No coolant as well. That guy had drained it and forgot to fill. But we got billed anyway. And finally after some 6 hours of staying in the service station and watch them dismantle the car, we finally hit the road. And in the history of road travel to Bangalore this would be a strong contender for the longest at about 14 hours. Of course counting the stranded time. Finally reached Bangalore. Went into our friend's place, watched Super Singer. And there was an unoffical 'shooting' on one of the handycams where I had to act like myself in Super Singer. It was great fun. Took a shower, the 8 of us had pizza, checked mail and later we started jamming. And that was the best part.

Resumed my dance classes the next morning and knew what people mean when they say that the legs are on fire. But I eventually improved and am glad am on the road to achieving my goals in dance as well. We also met some classical musicians and had some singing sessions as well.
In total, it was music all the way, and have never felt better in my life.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My own Laptop

The Macbook Pro. After much deliberation and months of reading through articles and asking people for opinions, I decided to zero in on this silver thing. It feels great that I could finally get it and though I got it about a week back, thanks to a couple of friends who decided to bring it down for me. Thanks a lot. I will never, ever forget it.

Shooting has been mad, and life has been very busy. But as has been clear from previous posts, I like being busy round the clock. I see that I am a workaholic. Though sometimes I might grumble about not having enough sleep and having dark circles, which doesnt really do any good to a girl's face, or anyone's faces for that matter, but then, hey, whats make up for? If it cant conceal dark circles that is? Make-up for the lost sleep ;)

I am yet to figure out some things and am gonna start with learning something new soon. The way it has gone, it wont be possible for me to finish my masters this year. The next it will be. By which time I plan to submit my project and the research work. Hope I'll do my PhD as well. But then, if I become so super busy with music, I guess I will have to postpone my PhD to when I retire from active performances. :) Am pretty sure that I wont be a megalomaniac, something that mom has coached me more than music itself. Retire when I am at my peak.

Airtel Super Singer has taught me several lessons already. What I see that several people are supra confident, and have spunk. Which I guess I will never have. Even those who were eliminated in the first few rounds believed they sang brilliantly. I am really amazed with that quality. And that confidence showed in their performance. And they werent scared to try out new things on stage. And by the way, that is not sarcasm. Just dont want to be misread here. I have met several different types of people, those who were well past their prime and believed that they could give a go at the contest, and win as well, physically disabled people, but the spirit they have was amazing. People who stood for a long time to get in. Makes me thank God. I am incredibly lucky. And some zillion thanks to Rahman Sir. If maybe, he hadnt believed that I could have sung KMI, I would have been nowhere. If there are two people for whom I ll carry my indebtedness forever, that would be to Mom and Rahman sir.

And the shooting schedules at Vijay TV. Wow. Actually I have it very easy. I just have to report at the venue do my bit and come back when the shoot is over. They, on the other hand have to be there before me, leave after me, do some truckloads of editing and this that, coordinate with the participants. And they are also humans. Most of the crew haven't slept in days. They have been working round the clock.

Watching Unnikrishnan Anna judge was a wonderful experience. He was crystal clear in what he did. And he had a nice way of giving his decree. The way he made some contestants sing, and each contestant had something like a mini class with him. Anuradha ma'am was damn cool. Mom has always said that she was a brilliant person and a super brain. I saw all that. And heard her sing a lot of stuff. She was a fun person out and out. Srinivas sir. My First judge in Saptaswarangal. And who was instrumental in taking me to Rahman Anna. Brought back nostalgic memories, and reminded me of the time that I was in front of him, shivering in my shoes and singing. And now I was hosting the show. Felt happy in the growth. And I know that he feels happy that I have grown as well.

The preliminary rounds with Mahati, Malaysia Vasudevan Sir, S P Shailaja Ma'am, Imman Sir, Malathi ma'am, Seerkazhi sir and Jency Ma'am. Was great. Shailaja ma'am has a great sense of humour. And I only came to realize that Seerkazhi sir is a practising doctor. And we mostly spoke about how the participants sang. And times when most of the judges at some point in time or the other, that if they had to participate now, they'd have lost. More than anything else, Vijay TV has given me a chance to interact with people I would have taken much longer to meet and interact with for such a long time. Jency Ma'am. I never expected to meet. She was highly soft spoken and she was highly sweet. I even tried to speak to her in my broken Malayalam, and she was sportive to continue a conversation. And also said that I sing well :)

The participants, I have met several of them, have made some friends, been ragged, had fun, enjoyed out and out.

More than anything else, the Vijay TV crew, they have been extremely encouraging, and made me look good on screen. My thanks to them go out from here. And they make us feel at home. I have sometimes done some 10 takes. Just because my brain stopped working. And all they would tell me is to cool and relax. Great times. And I have a ball each time. I will miss being around them when the shoot is over.....

And hope this fulfills the wishes of those people who have mailed me to write about my experiences with the show.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Looping in my player 'I'll Be Right there' - Bryan Adams, after ages. Had totally forgotten this song. There is something about BA, eventhough he doesnt have the greatest voices in history. It can almost be defined as hoarse. I was introduced to his music when I was in my 10th std by a neighbour. And the first song I had heard was Please forgive me or maybe it was Everything I do. And that was the day I fell in love with his music. I couldnt make it to his first couple of concerts and when I did go this year, it was a dream come true. Another wish, some day I should perform alongside him. That'll be THE day.
As this song is repeating in my player, feel like dancing a ballet. Soft lights. In an empty auditorium. Built in the way the Opera House is built, in Modena, Italy.. where I performed for Ilayaraja Sir's concert. A wispy costume maybe. Nothing but the song and me. I cant dance ballet for nuts. But I can visualize myself.... Right there.
Or maybe a starry night and a full moon, a stream gushing away nearby, the air smelling of dew in a grassy meadow. And a silver beam from the skies right in the middle of the meadow, to be enveloped in and be transported to the realms of the pure. And be purified. To feel like nothing. To be fluid. And to have a beatific smile and reach higher and higher .. the unknown. To know the unknown.
If there was a gift I wish I had, that would be to have the gift to heal.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rang De Basanti

Mom and I watched Rang de after ages of planning and going to the theatre twice and returning without tickets.
And waddddda movie. Super acting. Have never seen an actor cry for real before. Today on, me a super fan of Aamir Khan.
And the music. Super duper. No words to describe. Rahman sir is super too cool.

Something that we always knew, no use blaming India for the way it is. And one dialogue which will go down history "No country is perfect. usko perfect banana padtha hai"
People here have too much time, dont wanna do anything, just sit around and gossip. Evident in small things. When the electricity goes, the first thing that anyone will say, is to find out whether there is electricity in the next house, instead of looking for a candle and finding your own light. More than a cold blooded criminal, an idle man is the biggest hazard of any nation. Why the nation, lets talk small. An apartment complex, a street, an area.

People can actually create work, if they dont have anything to do instead of just crapping. Wonder when we will finally grow up.