Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Good people. May this festive season bring us all the joy that the Universe can offer. Godspeed and God bless. And yes would like to meet Santa :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Even if your eyes are closing....

Do it with your heart wide open...

Love this song "Say" by John Mayer in Bucket List. Have been listening to it on YouTube. Really love the lyrics. The song. And the voice.
Puts my thoughts in a certain mode which cannot be defined right now, but maybe I ll figure out. But in a weird way I have been doing what's been said in the song sometimes in my life and hope to do so. More often.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The voice of another heroine

in TN 07 AL 4777. For Meenakshi this time. For those who have just come in, TN.... is a remake of Taxi 9211. And Meenakshi is essaying the role of Sameera Reddy.
The director Lakshmikantan has been the one with whom several hours have been spent at the dubbing studio learning the ropes of the skill.
Read, Unnale Unnale and Dhaam Dhoom. Though Lakshmikantan anna was not part of DD in the beginning, he came in a little later. And the dubbing sessions at Trinity have been the best. Most of the movies I have dubbed for have been done there. UU, DD, Satham Podadhey and now TN07 AL 4777 have been done at Trinity. I am given to understand that the brain behind this place is Mr Lakshminarayan, 6 time National Award winner. Could be more but I forget the exact number now.
Lakshmikantan has a "punai peyar" which is "singam" .. So it goes like Singam this, singam that by the people in the studio. A lot of times I have felt that the lot of acting happens in the dubbing studio by means of extracting the right voice quality and delivery from the artistes. And believe me, to be at the receiving end and to judge the right take from several and more than anything else, to know what they want in a particular take and to get it from the artiste - this talent according to me is non pareil. I wonder how all of them manage that. The amount of voice acting that the engineers can do is amazing. If a voice artiste is unable to figure out how to say a particular line, the engineers say it and all that we have to do is just copy their feel.
A lot of the hilarious times in my life have been at the dubbing studio. To remember the Bucket list, to laugh hard enough to cry, have done that at the dubbing studios. Yes, as I have mentioned earlier, it can be tiring as well, as sometimes the right delivery just doesn't happen, or the clarity might be missing, or a certain voice quality that is fixed for the particular heroine, during the screen test needs to be maintained from beginning to end, and its but natural to forget that particular tone.
But the engineers know exactly when the quality changes and when tiredness sets in the voice. At that point they reschedule to finish the remaining work. To be supervising the dubbing requires a lot of skill apparently and the engineers at the console are usually the ones who take over and direct the artiste, as far as I have heard. Lakshmikantan is one of those super people who have that skill. He is also one of the most sincere and straightforward people I have met. Has the guts to call something crappy on the face and like most creative people in the industry, an amazing sense of humour. We have all laughed so hard that we have cried. Sometimes I would complain on being unable to lip-sync with the heroine. And the way we ll all go into peals of laughter cos there either the engineers or he would start off on something.
More often than not, a heroine does not know the language. And I marvel at how the actors are able to do their job with a straight face and do really well too. For all you know the girl in front of him is just blubb-blipp-blurbing. I remember SPB sir mentioning, he was dubbing for a hero and that the heroine in that particular movie, said just A, B, C.. and the entire alphabet in a certain manner and emoted for the remaning part. Once the alphabets were over, the numerals start.. 1... 2-3-4.. 5......some tears.. 6-7-8-9-10. Finish with anger. Imagine whatever you want.
Some day, I intend to take interviews of the engineers and post it here. Someday.
Sometimes people, even those I work with, ask me to not host, not dub, not do radio. At the risk of repeating myself, I have one motto, to learn and keep learning. I am offered the opportunities. So let me try. One lifetime. So much to do. So less time. Most of my energies have and will always go into music and learning the art form. There can only be a quest for perfection as I see. Perfection is something, maybe, that cannot be achieved. If you think you have achieved it, maybe thats it. What else is there? After one milestone is reached, the eyes search for the next one, gauge how far it is and choose the righteous path to reach it.
When I am at the end of my life, I want to know for sure, just not assume, that I have made a reasonable use of the time that I have been offered. Having said that, these are thoughts on this day, at this point in time. Like they say life is what happens when we are busy making plans :)

Happened to

watch Bucket List. Whaaddda movie. And Kit Kitredge. Whadda movie number 2.
Also watched Made of Honour. Yeah chick flick but love that love story. I need the dose of rom coms. I am a sucker for happy endings and yes I have missed quite a number of wonderful movies cos I knew before hand about the ending. Gruesome, violence and ghouls are not for me. Unless of course its like Van Helsing. I like that guy ;)
I wonder if movies like the Bucket List are made here, or at least conceived. It would be a shame otherwise. One of the movie biggest industries in the world and I wonder where the real movies go. Like the general people say, do the people really decide that they do NOT want 'intelligent' movies? I think what the Indian audience wants in their movie is quite a mystery. Or is it?
Have no clue whether there is an answer to that. And yes, please do drop suggestions on songs/music I should listen to and movies I have to watch. Would be nice to expand my view.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


the viewers of the Super Singer. Episode after Episode and especially after the telecast I am flooded with a lot of comments and mails.
I understand that there are varied opinions. In my position I cannot be a party to any, not even to my own. That would be the only fair thing to do as the show's presenter.
I am on neutral ground. I have to be there and I will be there.
Also I read a lot of people asking me to communicate your opinions to the judges. I can understand your sentiments and that all of you empathise and are supporting the contestants at every turn is extremely heartening.
As far as I am concerned, I have a certain limitations. I will have to maintain my professional decorum. Also, the judges are wayyyy senior than I am. I cannot communicate anything to the producer or the judges. This is a kind request for you to understand.
The professional field is always open to new talents. The limelight will definitely identify true talent. Time will have all the others.
At the risk of repeating myself, the producers maintain the secrecy and confidentiality of every round to the extent that until I am on the floors I am clueless about what the round is about, what the concept is. A lot of times the songs that I have to sing are decided at the last minute. And recorded there without prior preparation or practise. And usually I am the last one on the floors to shoot. Sometimes the tiredness of marathon
Though this is unrelated, a talent show gets so much of feedback. People discussing back and forth on what should be right. So much time on forums.
And all of us are Indians. How come the same energy is not expended is not expended when it comes to our city or the country? Like for example, just casting a vote?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Absentee on Super Singer once again

To everyone who has been politely demanding an explanation on why I did not appear on Super Singer (Kuthu Round) last week. This particular shoot schedule happened on the 14th of November. The "Kuthu" round was shot 2 days after the "Entertainment" round. I fell sick as soon as I got back on the 12-13th. The shoots of SS stretch well into the wee hours of the morning. My nose had been lacerated and I had ignored the warning signs and the occasional spotting. I guess it decided to protest that morning when we returned from the shoot and a few blood vessels in my nose decided to call it a day. The producer was unable to reschedule for reasons best known to her and Srinivas sir also had a concert in Trivandrum on that particular date. November 16th was our show for the Hindu November Fest and thankfully by then, my ENT had fixed my nose. These are times when you wake up, smell the coffee and start taking your health seriously.
Again, I had a huge concert at Sivakasi for Standard Fireworks on the 3rd which was fixed more than a couple of months ago. Most concerts and engagements are penciled into the calendar at least a few weeks prior to the event leaving some leeway for eventualities. My Producer knew of my dates and though the shoot was originally scheduled to happen after I came back, she somehow had to advance the dates due to her constraints and told me around the time I was to take off to Sivakasi and scheduled the shoot for the 3rd, the very day of my concert and nothing could be done.
Point being: I will be missing on another set of three episodes of Airtel Super Singer after the "Unplugged" round with Stephen Devassi. :)
Yugendran and Malini will be hosting the show once again.
This is just to put an end to unnecessary speculations.
I am very attached to the show and can only hope that dates don't clash again. But then the Producer is the boss and what she decides, goes!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Blaaze on H Sridhar

There were people who worked more closely with Sridhar Sir.
Blaaze on Sridhar sir here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

H Sridhar

Prolific Sound Engineer, artist par excellence. One of the brightest minds in India and the world in his field - is no more. He breathed his last this morning.
Though I have run into him several times, said the HI-s and Hello-s it was only recently that he spent a few hours of on different occasions with me.
The "upcoming" is a very tough place to be. The path is arduous and there are definitely a lot of things and instances that don't make the journey easy at all. As a child I have heard elders talking about the insults that musicians (who have later gone on to become doyens) used to go under the 'guise' if I daresay now, of learning, in olden days, the amount of hardships, the harshest of words that people have had to swallow, the varied experiences that almost always threaten to crush the spirit, enough and more people telling you that you are not good enough.
Anyway, no one has a red carpet rolled out, especially if you have some capacity in you. There are spectacular times and there are very tough times.
I went through a phase, when self doubt overcame me, due to various external triggers that I was at this stage where I started questioning everything I did. Worry was the only thing that consumed me. I questioned every note that came out of me. And let me tell you its like a black hole that consumes you.
I have met varied kinds of people. I treasure but a handful. One of them were Sridhar sir.
You could have known someone for years, but just exchanged the courtesies. But there are times when a certain short period of time can leave an indelible mark.
I never really got to know Sridhar Sir, as I said, until a few months ago. A time when my spirit was near crushed.
One of the days, I happened to start talking to him. He seemed to be having the time. He was lighting up a cigarette, I was audacious enough to ask him to kill it, which he did, after giving me a look in mock anger, and I started out asking about how to sing better, on managing headphones, stage performances and so many other things. And somewhere I spilled the beans saying I am worried about where I was and I had reached this point where I thought "should I be singing at all?" .. though I did not say the very same words, he quickly saw through that. And every time that I met him thereafter, maybe 3-4 times in all, he made sure he spent at least an hour, spoke to me, told me about "good days" and "bad days" and what to do. The point is he only told me the what-to-dos. Not the what-nots. I guess I was already overdoing it.
He said he went through self doubt as well and that its good to take that lane once in a while, but we need to come back to the main road and go about doing what needs to be done to accomplish our goals. And without my knowing, he brought me back to the nicer world and leave the foggy one that I had created. And in the times that followed we ran into each other, he was tuned in enough to notice the changes happening and said that the light was returning to my eyes. That I had started smiling again. Or rather my eyes were smiling now. As they used to.
I had just gotten lucky enough to be pep-talked by him. There were fun times too earlier when the topic came about finding the right guy. It was one of the most hilarious conversations of my life. This morning, I happened to call a common acquaintance for a follow-up and that was when this friend broke the news, after quite a long pause. "WHAT?" was my response... and "How come..." I was sobbed all the way home, called mom as well and told her.
On the drive to his residence, I replayed all the things he had said to me, one by one. Tried to remember smaller details. After paying our respects and on the drive back, I kept mulling over all that he said to me.
His work will live on for ages which goes without recording it here and he will be sorely missed by the industry. But the one thing that keeps coming back to me, is that so many people are now deprived of his wisdom, interspersed with his trademark laughter and wit..... so many youngsters.. could have thrived under some timely guidance which could probably come only from him .
I had the good fortune to spend some time with this gentleman. Wish I had had more.
Sridhar Sir, You should not have left. Not ever. But at least, not yet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trusted companion for a week

That's how long my Sennheiser In-Ear monitors, one of my dearest possessions, (yeah it has been around for just about a week or so) could stay with me
Sometimes you wonder if its destiny. For, for no fault of yours, and carelessness on someone else's part you lose a possession that's dear to you and hard earned money goes down the drain. Every penny that everyone earns is hard earned these days. People slog it, sweat it out to have the life that they would like, that they have always dreamed of. My Sony Ericsson P900 is the first PDA that I got, its probably 7 years since I bought it, and believe me, it definitely looks like it can get into a museum of ancient art, (or add technology there), I still use it. Cos my first PDA is special. Actually everything that we go out and buy is special cos our purchases are done for a purpose.
And it is tough for most of us to come to terms with our possession getting lost.
I have lost a lot of things in the course of time. Phones, Jewelery sometimes, make-up is a very common thing that is flicked but you get used to it after a point because no matter how well you take care of it, things get misplaced, lost or stolen. Most of this happens on shows and events. Just for our sake, we tell ourselves that we misplaced it. Because to even ponder on the thought that someone could have stolen is unnecessary mind sprain.
Yes I have felt down and out when things have gone missing. Who doesn't, unless of course there was not much importance or if they are a saint.
But somehow nothing seems to have hurt so far as much as losing my monitors for now. Maybe I was grateful for the kindness shown at Pro Music, for the amount of money that has gone to pay the bill and the instant attachment I felt with it after it gave me a sound in my ears, the way I have always wanted. Looked forward to better performances on my side. Yeah of course I can get another one, but my feet will definitely drag now to make another purchase.
And at this point in time, apart from all the joy in the world, this is wishing for you, the reader, that may you never undergo what I am going through. This is wishing for you that you value and cherish whatever you may have now and may it be with you for as long as you wish it to be. And may you never have the misfortune of losing anything that you hold so dear to your heart.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Padmasini Again!

Dear readers and commenters,

You should be aware of my post before the very beginning of Airtel Super Singer. If not please go through the same all over again.

Chinmayi is assigned the job of being an anchor and she is doing her job strictly as an anchor.

Anonymous, we are not publishing your letter but to you and the rest who are quoting I would like to clarify this much.

Ragini is NOT MY STUDENT. She was a student of Mr.Krishnamoorthy, father of Ms.Sangita Krishnamoorthy, performing and recognised as Sudha Raghunathan's student. Ragini was brought in by her mother when she was probably 11 or 12 years old; She took a few classes but she did'nt fit into the project I was experimenting and after that no contact. She has shifted many teachers after that and her last Guru was Mrs.Sulochana Pattabhiraman who passed away recently. Not only Ragini, there is not a single student of mine anywhere in the competition from the beginning.

Why and how the judges retain and eliminate candidates is NOT something Chinmayi can involve or comment upon. It is between the channel and the judges. She has to just stick to the anchoring script and guidelines. She can not be good or bad to anyone on the basis of their good singing or bad singing. She has to be uniformly caring, compassionate and encouragingly friendly with every single contestant. Your letter proves that she does it well.

Every single contestant has to go eventually except the final one super singer. That is the reality.

When this is the case why so much of criticism.... rather hatred shown towards Ragini? Competition is not the be all and end all of our lives. The growing animosity towards this girl is not necessary as one human being to another. It may affect her psycological well-being. The play back field is far away from all these feverishness. Destiny and sheer competence will decide who runs the rat race of an actual playback singer. So I suggest that lets take it easy :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Silent Dictation

There are times in life when there is an egging from inside to jump. Jump into nothingness. To feel empty. To be emptied. Of anything that you might be made of. To put your insides out. Hoping, wishing that maybe there might be newness of thought, tranquility of the mind and sanctity of being that can come to pass. How tough it is to take that random leap into nowhere. To start off and not know the destination. To hope and not hope at the same time. How does that sound? Despairing? Hopeless? Mysterious? Or just like random words that are being put together in a sentence that is ended with a full-stop with other punctuations in between?
Somehow something prompts me to post this one, and I am doing this without a preemptive thought, or hitting the backspace unless and until it is for checking the spelling. Fingers move on the keyboard of their own accord with a mind of their own with an unseen director telling them to type some letters that form words, that form sentences and those which make paragraphs.
Here, my fingers pause. Seconds tick by. I am wondering whether this is cathartic. Pause again. I hear the weird buzz of an unknown insect, the airwaves created by the fan whirring on top of my head.
What is it like to be surrounded by clouds? To be enveloped by them? Are you able to figure out what it could feel like? It would be like you are enveloped by nothingness.
Of something that has no form, no shape, is made of seemingly nothing. But still vast areas are covered by these clouds. Vision is blocked. To see through and yet not be able to see through if there are enough. Something that can slip between your fingers and your hands are left moist and cool thereafter. To breathe in the clouds. Entering your system. Does that make your insides foggy? Can clarity and fogginess be present at the same time within the same space? I see a vast area of water. Water that is blue, gray, white and turquoise at different areas. Seemingly still but endless activity within. Colonies of fish and mythical creatures perhaps reside at the depths. So much happens. But on the top there is relative placidity. Is there something to learn there? Is it like no matter what happens within you, you need to have a placid facade? Or is it that you can be whatever you are within, it is how you appear that counts? Or is it that there might far more than what meets the eye? Or does it teach you to pierce through the calmness to discover the depths of whatever you might be made of? Figure yourself out? What are we made of? Where do we come from and where do we go? And have we set out on a journey to figure ourselves out or is this to go through whatever that life might through you but just be like the clouds? To rise up? And be? -Pause- I'm waiting for the next set of words to come through. I don't read what I have written yet. I don't want to. This post shall have no editing. Do we make a decision to remember whence we come from and then the we are made, forget it? Forget a promise? To ourselves?
Right now there is a scene that unfolds in front of my eyes. Fingers stringing pearls. Each the size of a pea. White shiny ones. In shiny string. Sunlight catches the fingers that string and the pearls. It reflects, permeates, is all around. And now I have a string of pearls and sunlight. Do you see the sunlight? Do you feel the hands the fingers that put the pearls together? Or is it just the necklace that you see and the price-tag?
The string of pearls is suspended in thin air against a wall painted the colour of cream. The End.
(As I hit enter and get into typing this passage, I realize that this small box that gives me the space to pen down whatever I want, and sometimes I have realized that this box with the button to Publish or Save, right below, is my necessary tool to write. Nothing but this particular interface can be the trigger. Perhaps, for the first time in my life, I am going to publish this post without a run-through, or an edit. Publish it and see what this is all about. Words were a continuous flow until I typed "The End." It was some sort of a silent dictation that I took down. All I know is that I need to hit that publish button. Right now, this exercise does not make any sense to me, but maybe, someday, sometime, it will)
Take care. Good people.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Is the general feeling after the concert yesterday. The euphoria prevailed much longer. Frankly my stomach had been in knots for several days prior to the concert and have been working pretty hard for this one. Did not listen to any music other than the songs I had to sing. The radio was switched off. Haven't heard anything else.
As soon as this particular show was announced the tickets were sold out within three days of the box office opening, as said by the presenter Neelu yesterday and it also tempted them to hold another concert of the same kind, we were told.
Shreeni sir opened the show with "Main Kya jaanoon", Anuradha Sriram opened with Ayiyae Meherban, and after two of her songs and the song Naresh opened with, the song skips my memory cells right now, and I opened with a few lines of Kuhu Kuhu and went on to sing Thade Rahiyo.
Kuhu Kuhu was the song that I sang in Saptaswarangal, in Tamil of course, Shreeni sir judged me for that song and I went on to meet Rahman sir. So this song, was my personal tribute to Rahman sir and Shreeni Sir.
In the total list of 30 songs I had to sing Tu jahan jahan chalega, Bahon Mein chale aao, Jaiye aap kahan jayenge, Kora Kagaz tha with Shreeni Sir, Jaaneja with Naresh and Kajra Mohabbatwala with Anuradha Sriram. The last two songs for the evening were Aaja Aaja and Jai Jai Shivshankar were we totally freaked out.
I had been wishing to be a part of the November Fest for quite a while, as I had already said before and it was an honour to be there. A whole set of the discerning audience of Chennai, the kind which can tear some of the greatest classical musicians apart if they were not upto their mark, the kind of audience, who have strong convictions about not just the concert quality and artiste selection, accompaniments, quality of music but also on minutest of details, like the demeanor of the musicians, attitude, attire and so on. Like Shreeni sir said post-concert, this is a different platform because, usually the audience is in awe of the artiste, but here, the artistes are also in awe of the audience.
It was also like as soon as the curtains go up, the audience is like yeah now, show us what you can do. :)
Somehow Vairamuthu sir's words rang true yesterday, "vayitrukkum thondaikkum uruvam illa, oru urundaiyum uruludhaDi". I was praying the entire Universe for help and that I should do well. I had slogged it out. And I needed divine grace. Maybe that happened yesterday.
I made a new investment on a Sennheiser In-ear monitor for this concert, got it at a great deal at Pro Music. Expected to pay a bomb, but ended up paying far less. I felt extremely grateful for that gesture. This was a point in time when I remembered the struggles of the past and that the Creator showed us enough grace in getting us to meet kind hearted people as well.
At the rehearsals on the day before the concert, at the Mini Hall, was when I checked out Shreeni Sir's in-ear monitors. And I liked the way it felt. And I liked the way I could hear myself.
In most of the live concerts I have been a part of, sound has almost always been an issue. It would be a guess work most of the times as I would be unable to hear what I had sung. If you are not a performer, you might wonder how that is possible. But it is. You might be singing, but you'll totally not hear yourself. If you have ever sung on stage before, maybe you would know what I am talking about.
The concert yesterday was a breeze. Of course everyone in the audience had their own set of favourites that they expected to hear which would be impossible to fulfill but Shreeni Sir and Anuradha sang small portions of several songs when they went in for their acts which I am sure fulfilled at least a part of the everyone's wishlist.
Naresh's Parda hai Parda, with Shreeni sir backing him up, had a major reception with the audience. There were several requests for an encore.
Kajra Mohabbatwala, a female duet was my fun time as well. The lyrics are naughty and I had great fun. Aaja Aaja and Jai Jai Shivshankar was what I was personally waiting for as well. Naresh and I had decided earlier to join the audience but it took us a while to figure out how to get out of the stage. And we figured the exit by the time we finished Aaja Aaja and joined the audience for Jai Jai Shivshankar. And yes the very same discerning audience, at least a few of them, joined us in dancing and revelry. I had a great time dancing with this particular lady who was probably 65+ or maybe more. She was such a great sport. I have always felt that the older generation loved dancing and singing. My grandmother used to do a lot of such antics. She is pushing 90 now. But somehow I think, maybe that generation was really not so wound up in spite of the demands of tradition and everything else.
Joining the crowds and singing at the same time was something that I have been waiting to do for ages but in most cases, us girls are advised against doing so, mainly by the organizers and the security. Most audiences are not safe. The security personnel are highly protective and justifiably so. Going to the audience, being in their midst and singing along was finally possible at the Music Academy yesterday. I would have loved to go up. But we did not have the time to traverse the steps. That was another Wish fulfilled.
To me, yesterday's concert was a dream come true and I was giving my thanks to the Universe for making it happen. Personal thanks also go to The Hindu, particularly Mukund Padmanabhan and Shreeni sir who pencilled in my name as one of the artsites. The musicians who accompanied us were brilliant. Most of them were from Trivandrum and a few of the musicians were from Chennai.
I hardly caught a wink of sleep last night. Maybe it was the adrenalin. Or whatever else. But this was definitely a concert to remember.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Golden Age concert

of the Hindu November Fest, which I am part of, much to my glee is sold out as of 5 days ago. I am generally jumping in joy. And of course there is considerable pressure.
Hoping and praying to God that I sing well. !

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vaaranam Aayiram

And I m the voice of Sameera Reddy.
I happened to almost miss being the voice of Sameera because at that time, I was in a spree of refusing dubbing assignments. And somehow after some other calls, I ended up giving a test.
I was almost always intimidated by Mr Gautam Menon, I had just crossed paths at a couple of events and I was shuddering at the thought of working with him. And somehow this turned out to be one of the best experiences ever.
Every dubbing experience for me has been a beautiful fun-filled learning experience. After the second session of working with Mr Menon, it was becoming more and more inspiring. I learnt a lot from this session, from Mr Menon and loved the movie, whatever I had seen. To sum up, it was fulfilling.
I somehow started thanking the creator for repeatedly sending me the opportunity of being a part of Vaaranam Aayiram. I guess the movie releases today. And I am praying that it does super well :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

What it means

A lot of notes on why I sign off with Shabba Khair and Godspeed, given that most people might not know what it means.
Well my thought is if something sounds new, the first thing that 99% of the people do is to find out what it is. Or at least attempt.
I sign off saying Godspeed on my live show on radio. More or less a lot of people might be headed off to do a lot of important things at the time I sign off from the show, around 10.00 AM and a positive word would definitely put in a lot of good vibes. Of course that is my opinion. Saying a lot of good things, good words, promoting good thoughts is generally my modus operandi on the show. There is enough and more negativity that crowds us right from the time we open our morning paper or switch on the TV for latest news. Hardly find anything good sounding. There is so much focus on the negative and the wrong that the "good" gets drowned in this whole murk.
Coming back, Shabba Khair means Good night. In a different language. In the previous seasons, when I signed off saying Adios/Adieu/Ciao, there were hardly any comments eventhough, obviously a lot of people might not now. And Godspeed is Good fortune.
Thought they are nice words to hear at the end of the day, if of course, Airtel Super Singer 2008 is the last show they watch on TV before they switch it off.

A request

Several times I have received mails or comments on my blog to help raise funds. 98% of the times it has been from people I do not know, so I have refrained from publishing anything on this blog, mainly because, to tell you the truth, I am not sure whether it is a genuine case.
I got this comment on my blog a couple of days ago and for some reason I am blogging about it.
A lot of times Mom has told me, that sometimes there seems like there is a lot of help that is being generated for the downtrodden, weaker sections of the society, differently abled children. But there was never an organization to help foster brilliant minds. The most brilliant children have to go to mediocre schools, be treated like mediocrity and eventually they are conditioned to be mediocre.
And the same way, there would be families which look well-off but they might be struggling to pay their bills, or their children's education. Mom said there must be an organization, that takes care of such families, ANONYMOUSLY. Maybe send them cheques, that will take care of their toughest time, until they find their footing, without knowing where it is coming from. And maybe we would be able to do something like that in the near future. I think everyone has the right to dignity. We believe in the Tamizh proverb which says if your right hand is helping someone, even your left hand should not know about it. And for some reason, I am reminded of Mother Teresa's words. It may be totally out of context here, not connected at all with the previous line or the post in general, but something tells me to type this down. She apparently said "Dont call me for an anti-war rally, but call for me a peace rally instead".
Sometimes, if you have been following Mom's blogs as well, (she hasn't been able to keep up with that, no thanks to me) you should probably read this post.
Coming back this is the comment I got on a previous post

"ajaykumar said...
Hi Chinmayi,
My post here is totally unrelated to the topic.I am here for a small obligation.My name is Ajay and I am doing my masters in Chicago. I have a friend of mine shankar who is suffering from blood cancer for the past 1 year.He is right now critical and needs immediate treatment He is admitted in apollo hospital for treatment.Here is the link Chinmayi, I would be more than happy if you can post this link on your blog so that the visitors to your blog might have a chance to look in and donate.I would also be glad if you can take my friend's situation with NGO'S you are aware of in chennai and around.Thanks so much in advance.Please help! thanks again :)I have been always moved by you as a person more than as a singer.Stay the same.That's why you are liked by everyone."

Somehow, all that I can say here, if you feel like it and if you can, please do do your bit.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

A Thank You Note

Within minutes of having posted the one below, I got several mails sending me the MP3 version of Kajra Mohabbatwala.
I am extremely humbled for the kind gesture shown by all of you who commented / sent me the song.
That a small request from my side could elicit such a response had me thanking God for keeping me in such good stead.
Thank you once again good people. Its extremely kind of you, to say the least.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Would you please help

me get the song Kajra Mohabbatwala? I have been scouting some stores and the internet. Just not getting the song and its imperative that I do so.
If you have the song or are able to find it, please let me know.


Being a part of..

the protests of the Tamil Film Industry for the struggle (any word of the English language seems very small to describe or even be an adjective for what they are undergoing) that the Tamils in Sri Lanka are going through was unsettling. Even if someone does not want to consider the fact that the people who are suffering are ones who speak the same language as the ones in Tamilnadu, just about a few hundred kilometers away, people are dying by the lakh. How can someone not feel the angst?
If you had watched, say Life is beautiful or Blood Diamond, the heaviness lingers long our hearts long after we come out of the theater, for just the picturization of what the people have suffered. Several people I know, stopped buying diamonds after watching Blood Diamond. Quite some time ago, while I was in school, there were people who came to inform us about the child labour in Sivakasi, right before Deepavali when I was in 6th Std. And after that, most of us quit buying crackers. Somehow, maybe it makes sense to say "catch them young" because the habit broke there. Just because it is a "shastram" to burst crackers, we buy just a pack of sparklers to burn off, and that one pack is split over Deepavali and Karthikai.
To listen to the spirited way the artistes spoke at the protest was extremely tough, because I cannot stomach a lot of things and to break down emotionally can be embarrassing for me. Everyone would say it is a publicity stunt. So I started to count. Multiply weird. And keep my emotions private and hold on until I got to the confines of my own home.
I belong to Paramakudi, Ramanathapuram. And have often heard several stories of the refugees landing up there. There was a time that Mom wanted to do something for them, go and meet them. They are people. But then, what can two women do? And fear of a lot of other things as well.
We have this gut-wrenching heart-wringing feeling when you hear/read about the suffering people are going through. There is something beyond politics, beyond borders, beyond a lot of things, that which is to just be a human being. To just identify and realize within yourself that it hurts to see someone suffer. This Deepavali was dismal to say the least. India and Sri Lanka are half an hour away by air. One end of this half hour, there would be fireworks up in the air, symbols of joy, while on the other end there are missiles, the symbols of destruction and despair. Half an hour and an ocean to make a huge difference. There was nothing to celebrate this Deepavali. And we did not.
As long as the Tamil Film Industry is concerned, it is common knowledge that this is a melting pot of people from all over India. And this is where you would find a Kannadiga, a Telugu, a Malayali, a Maharashtrian, everyone protesting for the cause of the Tamils suffering in Sri Lanka.
I was there at the protest and I was not allowed to leave before speaking... I was sure I did not want to speak, there were highly respected people on stage and I was probably the youngest there. I didn't think it was my place to speak at such an august assembly. I said so and just sang Oru Deivam Thanda Poove (at the behest of Sri Ramesh Kanna). In retrospect, as I descended the stairs that led up down the dais, I thought I should have sung Vellai Pookkal instead.
This is wishing for the chirp of beautiful birds, the zing of dewy air, misty mornings, beautiful lovely evenings, calm sleepy nights, magic of nature, happy faces, joy, happiness, brotherhood and above all, eternal peace for my brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles in Sri Lanka. Our prayers, personal regards and sentiments are with them.

Pepsi MTV Youth Icon

Happened to browse in General and landed up here. And found that three people from Chennai are nominated for the Youth Icon awards this year. Blaaze anna :), G V Prakash and the Evam Theatre group. Of course correct me if there are more from Chennai, just happened to speed read the nominees.
Reading through the list of all the nominees and what they have done gives me a lot of hope that change is happening surely, I didn't want to precede that with a "slowly" as the adage goes, since it seems to be at a more rapid pace now.
The young blood of India is definitely making sure that change happens, mindsets change and things are maybe changed from the grassroots to the upper echelons of the society. To read through this first thing in the morning is quite a jumpstart to a day and dares me to dream.
Yes, to vote go here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Never really blogged about movies but Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi and Sorry Bhai are two movies that I am looking forward to. Random surfing today led me to read about these two movies. I have been a fan of Sonu Sood for a pretty long time and I really liked him in Jodha Akbar too. That he is the lead in Ek Vivaah.. is nice. The synoposis of both movies read great. Would be nice if they turn out to be good time-investment.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Hindu November Fest Concerts

At Music Academy and this time I would be performing with Srinivas sir, Anuradha Sriram and Naresh Iyer. We are slated to be singing Old Hindi melodies.

If you'd like to purchase tickets for the Fest, you can do so here.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Juxtaposing two of my favourites

I happened to do this while we beamed my show Aahaa Kaapi Klub from Canada, while we were there for a show earlier this year. Tried combining Jagjit Singh's "Apne Aankhon ke samandar mein..." with "Udhaya Udhaya". It sounded nice then. I tried pretty much the same thing. Telecast on yesterday, its here for your view.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Could you please tell me....

Whether it is normal (yeah I guess it is not), but I have been finding quite a lot of water on the driver side floor of our newly purchased Skoda Octavia. My doors windows have been securely closed. That said, I do remember that even during the worse rains that Chennai has ever faced, which would be some 2 years ago (?) none of our Maruti vehicles had this issue.
What could cause this 'flooding'? And the company does not have much to say. Typical people.
What does someone do in this situation?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Just found this video

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The 18th of October

On so many counts. Yesterday was apparently the day Captain Vijaykanth had organized his political rally.
My concert for Kalaignar TV was scheduled to take place at the University Centenary Hall. Getting there in the afternoon for a sound check was a mammoth task. I tried the three possible ways to get in and every way was supposedly blocked. I almost had tears of frustration and thats when a policeman recognised me and let me through the barricades. He gave me his number so that I could call him in the evening for help.
The rally was apparently happening around Island Grounds/Marina Beach. People were trooping in from all sides. Once the sound check was over, the police advised me against going back home. But there was no way out. I had to and I did.
And the way back the venue at around 5:30 was even more harrowing. At 6:30 we were still stuck at Mount Road. Once we finally got closer to Napier's Bridge we got diverted to God knows where. We were advised to go to the Secretariat, from where we were to come to the venue with Police protection. With the crowds milling about we hardly knew where we were going and took a wrong turn heading to Island Grounds. And I broke down with the sheer fright of people thumping on our car and with no way in sight. And then finally, Mom got someone to help us out and he helped us through the entire stretch and brought us back to the road, which eventually lead to Burma Bazaar.
And from there we found our way back to the University Centenary Auditorium. The police diverted us again and by then I had no clue what to do. Then thankfully they recognised me again and I was told to drive on the wrong side to get to the audi. Suchitra was diverted all the way to Thiruvotriyur and she apparently broke down as well. Harrowing was just not the word describing the journey to the venue. When I reached there, it was 8 pm. The show had just started and the organizers were going crazy as I hadn't turned up. For whatever strange reason, the signal on our phones went dead all the way from the Island Grounds.
Once at the venue everything was super smooth and it was definitely one of the best shows that I have been a part of. Great vibes from my co - artistes. Just about realized how warm a person Suchitra is. Quite a bit to learn from her, after being through that journey she was still happy and pappy. It took me a while to recover. I was not slated to go on stage until much later so that was good.
Vijay Adiraj gave me the best ever intro though I honestly felt it was too much. Vijay Adiraj has been one of the people who has been watching me right from the time I was a beginner and he is one of the best Gentlemen that I have met. Rachna, his wife was taking care of the entire proceedings backstage and she made sure everything went according to plan. I think in some cases, nothing like a woman to be at the helm of things. Vijay ji happened to quip that ever since she took over, he has been very chilled out :) As a couple they are awesome.
A lot of times the people you work with, the vibes and the general feeling of goodwill goes into a better performance. At least for me. And this time it rocked. I met Bellie Raj and Deepa Miriam for the first time, the duo who originally sang Kangal Irandaal. I already know Bellie and have met them before but I ran into Miriam the first time. She sounded awesome live. Suchitra was a killer. Benny is most definitely one of the best male performers of today. Didn't catch Karthik performing since I took that time to prepare for my next act. But there needn't be any inkling of doubts there I guess.
Thankfully our journey back was good. We thanked the police profusely and even better, inspite of all these traffic snarls, the audi was full. I was amazed at the people who had it in them to come for a concert. I hardly expected anyone to turn up. But they did. There are several days that you feel extremely greatful to the guy above. And the 18th was definitely one of them

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Follow up to the one below

First thing, I thought it would be better not to publish the comments. I am receiving your comments via Email.
The last questions (hopefully) would be:
What would enrich your concert-going experience more? Something at the venue perhaps?
What would actually make you want to come to a concert?

This is not pertaining to the artistes or the actual performance. Do let me know if the question is not clear.

I am asking these questions so that we can attempt to make these happen at my concerts, which should be staged soon, Insha Allah.

Monday, October 13, 2008

A request for your opinion

Do you like going to concerts? If yes/no - why?
What is it that you want / look forward to in a concert/live gig?
Do you prefer open air or closed performances?
Would you prefer to stand / sit?
What is it that matters most to you in a live performance?
- is it the sound?
- the stagecraft?
- location?

If you had the opportunity or the inkling, would you prefer going to a place like the Sydney Opera House or the YMCA grounds to listen to music?

Please do let me know


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sakkarakatti - The other connection

is that I am the voice of Vedhika. I was supposed to mention that I was involved in this movie in another way. And I completely forgot about it.
Only, I took the test if my voice matched Ishita, but it matched Vedhika instead.
And thus I became the voice in another movie. Another actor.
Sillunu Oru Kadhal
Unnale Unnale
Satham Podadhey
Dhaam Dhoom

and a few more in the anvil. Shall update as and when it happens.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


When you see the rush of a wave to the shore, do you revel in the rush or ponder on the fact that it will recede?
When you see a leaf, all dried up and brown, drifting down to no particular point, to the welcoming arms of the earth, do you celebrate the life that the leaf has seen? Celebrate that it is going back to where it came from? Or brood the fact that this particular leaf will never again be back? Or experience the world the same way again?
The caress of the breeze on your face - should I revel in it or ponder about the vacuum that it leaves behind?
The warm clasp of a parent around a tiny finger - to support buttery steps - and then letting go - and then being there just around the bend to catch when the baby stumbles.
Is it the clasp or the absence of one that is felt more?
Though the universal condition is that all the rivers reach the ocean. All the journeys reach their destination. But is there peace thereafter? Seems not, apparently. Wave after wave hits the shore, perhaps seeking, perhaps searching. Perhaps learning. Or perhaps that is what it is supposed to do. To just keep playing tag with the shore. Only that the shore does not pursue the sea in return.
Instead, would it be better if the destination, the goal were to be a lake? To find your own. Be your own? And in that, find oneness with the universe. No beating on the shore. No waves of thought eroding the mind. Or does it really erode the mind or cleanse the mind? Or clutter it?
I, want to be a lake. A lake where a pebble thrown in causes a flutter, causes a ripple for but a few moments but to have it in me to be placid and calm again. Or maybe, why allow that handicap? What would it be like to feel fluid and airy at the same time...? Like maybe the notes that ensue forth from the piano? Airy and fluid. Maybe that would be it. Never knowing where the origin is. From the wood that is lovingly crafted to resonate or the fingers that cherish the keys. Or the force that make the fingers move. A ballet on the keys of a piano. A wispy, feathery, white, twirly, angelic ballet on the keys of the piano, in the dark with just a beam shining through to illuminate the masterpiece in wood that occupies space and time, which eventually keeps space and time.
From a weird beginning to something else. No end yet. But is there an end to anything? Or is this whole concept of beginning and end illusory?
Right now, in my mind's eye, I see a lake smiling at the first rays of the sun. A lake smiling at the morning breeze. A lake welcoming a leaf that settles on it. And a flower. A lake smiling at the music of the world. A lake that smiles. And its beautiful.

The dance of Chinnamma Chilakamma

Apparently there are people who work overtime in uploading the videos of Airtel Super Singer 2008 on YouTube. Yesterday's episode seems to be up even from last night. Which is kinda surprising.
It was good for me to have a dekho again and review it.
Anyway here it is for you!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu

I was pretty lucky to get this song in 'Vennila...' for several reasons. This was the second time that I was singing for Sri Selvaganesh. All that I remember was that I was a bunch of nerves while going in to record. For one, his lineage, being Sri Vikku Vinayakram's son. And Sri Selvaganesh himself is one of the best laya vidwans of today.
It took me a while to get my groove but I guess I eventually did thanks to Selva sir. He was extremely understanding. When the track started playing it was an awesome feeling and I gave a silent prayer to the Gods above for yet another opportunity.
Time and again, I am asked why is it that I sound different in every song. And whether it is a concerted decision. Honestly, I think there is no pre-conceived notion to sound different. Every song, reveals to me a new wispy shade that I adore as the song progresses. And quite simply I just allow myself to be directed. To me, Only the music director's opinion matters. At the end of the day, I, the singer am but an instrument for the composer's musical expression. I somehow don't give myself more importance than that. The composer requires a voice to reach the people and I luckily get chosen on some occasions. And that is all there is to it. And like with instruments each one has a tone, a feel, a certain make, origin, a lineage. Of course, the voice is definitely the most malleable instrument that one can ever have, if, of course, it has been conditioned that way and does not allow the shackles of the mind, amongst the most important things, to confine it.
From the time I recorded this particular song, I have been waiting to hear it on my headphones. I have loved listening to this album as a whole and think you would too.
Have a listen here

Sunday, September 28, 2008

A Fan meet.. or was it?

For a long while, the people in my Orkut community have been thinking of planning a meet and asked me to land up. It was getting tossed this way and that and I wasn't sure whether it would happen around these times, at least until Super Singer was over.
But somehow a date was fixed for the 27th of September and we decided to meet up at Amethyst. Along came the 26th and I was chilling out. Only to be reminded by Kathiresan uncle, a person who has been a fan but more a family member now, that the meet is for the following day and whether I was prepared. I was like "Ohmigosh", logged in to Orkut, which I hadn't done in a while and penciled the time in for 4 PM. And this I was doing late 26th night.
Hardly expected anyone to turn up when I went to Amethyst. Kathiresan uncle could not make it and the girl who had actually started this community a couple of years back, Madhumathi was away at Hyderabad. Once I landed, I saw a couple of guys at the entrance and they introduced themselves while we headed inside. Some 15 people had landed up which was super for me considering the short notice.
I was hungry so the first thing that I wanted to do was check out the Menu. And was hardly impressed. But then this is not a food review, so I shall stave off that.
We went about getting introduced. And then they put forth questions on how I got to sing for Rahman sir, Airtel Super Singer, who my favorites are, Dubbing experiences, being an RJ and there was a short singing session, before I had to take off. The Vijay TV crew was already waiting. I got a birthday card, beautiful flowers and a couple of memoirs.
Somehow it did not feel like I was meeting strangers but it was more like a High school reunion of sorts. Definitely one of the beautiful trees that will be part of my memory lane.
And thanks for turning up people!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Memories are preserved thanks to photographs. A few months ago people from the New Indian Express came home for an interview. And took some 25 photographs, the most important ones so that they could use it. Mom was never one to click everything that I did, every important moment, prize winning ceremonies and stuff like that. Hence, there were a prized few. We always planned to scan and preserve in soft copy. But as they say, procrastination is something that got the better of me.
And thus the people at Indian Express took the only copies of the pictures we had because at that point in time we were hard-pressed for time to scan them. And LOST all of them.
The reporters who were supposed to be responsible for it hardly cared. Calls to the publication was of no use as well. Apparently it was lost in their time office. Someone said it had been couriered even after we told them that we would personally collect it. We tried talking over several weeks, begged them to somehow find at least few of our photographs, but to no avail. After a point they stopped taking our calls.
And now when someone came to home to shoot a small feature on Mom and I, they asked for pictures that they could use. All of which are lost now. To most, it might seem like much ado about nothing. But to me, it was a valuable possession, which I deserved to have and I no longer do for no fault of mine.
This particular moment I wish I can have those back. But I know I can't, no thanks to my sense of postponing and definitely, no thanks to a pack of irresponsible journalists who couldn't care less.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another year

Has passed by.
A reminder of things that could have been done and the things that have transpired.
As another year passes by, I raise the bar higher on things I want to do and made up a list of things that I must do before I die.
Birthdays - to me are not about parties and celebrations. Even as a child there weren't cakes and cutting and inviting. Just the wearing "color dress" to school and going about giving chocolates.
Yesterday I happened to visit my school, The Hindu Senior Secondary, Indira Nagar, met my teachers and decided to gift them something. And so I did.
A birthday is somehow just another day to me, a mark on the bark of time, to chronicle that precious moments have passed by, The quiver of time, unfortunately is not really as inexhaustible as Arjuna's Gandiva.
So much to do so less time is the only thing that keeps ringing in my ears.
I heard Rahman anna once say that once you start earning, you can't learn. And as I grow older my thirst to learn grows. I think it must be the same with everyone. Responsibilities happen and poof goes everything.
That's when you wish the God of wealth will step in and sponsor your learning and support your family :) Wishful thinking - that is what this is. So many dreams are not chased as the pressure to start a family, support it and very well too rises. Children happen and the dreams are given a RIP.
I happened to read "Ancestors of Rama" in the Amar Chitra Katha series. I own the entire collection. Well almost. I think its a wealth that you can give yourself and the generations to come, for anyone who is Indian and who wants to know India. Actually I wonder why Anant Pai, (aka Uncle Pai) the brain behind ACK has not been given any high government award for the contribution he has made. I tried mailing him. But somehow the mails bounced.
And Ancestors of Rama, talks of Aja Raghu who once returned after a massive conquering spree and distributed all the wealth amassed . And when the last portions were over, in walked a sage, who specified a fee that needed to be given as Gurudakshina to his Guru and that amount only Kubera owned. Raghu then asked the sage to make himself comfortable at the palace, while he decided to go to war with Kubera for the wealth. Kubera, however divined his intentions and filled his coffers with the wealth he needed overnight.
So I guess for the amount of things I want to learn I would need some help from Kubera too. Or a Markandeya boon. Either one is fine :)
Here is wishing for you that may you have the gumption to step out and learn no matter how old you are, may age never be a factor; may you have a mind that is open and beautiful to accept all things new; may you get the rightful wherewithal that pay for your learning because the best things in life definitely don't come free or cheap and more than anything else, may the universe bless you to make your dreams of learning come true.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The joy of finding someone long lost

Is exemplary. There was this girl mom met years ago, when she was taking classes at NIIT. A newly married beautiful Punjabi girl. And mom couldn't stop talking about her since and eventually I met her too.
As days passed the relationship between the families deepened. She was stationed in Chennai for not too long. Maybe about a couple of years. In her I found a friend, a sister, a voice of reason in addition to my mother. Got to know the lively lovely Punjabi Culture, got introduced to this thing called Worldspace, saw her through a Karva Chauth. And then at that time I thought I should only marry into a Punjabi family. Of course, she drummed sense into me the veggie, and said I am never going to find a Punjabi who doesn't love his chicken tikka. But somehow, I think I should have a previous janma connection with the culture. I adore it and love the people.
Time passed. Her husband and she moved to Jaipur. We continued to stay in touch. When we went to Delhi, we drove down to Jaipur and met up with her and the newest addition, a bonny baby boy - Dhruv. Mom was beside herself. She had a Punjabi grandson :) We discovered the marvel that is Jaipur while staying with her. I still seem to remember the zing in the air of Jaipur, the cycle-rickshaw ride, the malai lassi typical of Jaipur that cant be found anywhere else and I have a special love for the Kundan Jewellery :) Anything that is Rajasthan style jewellery.
They moved to Delhi. And somewhere then, we lost touch. In all these years, I would be reminded of her several times, the times we spent together. And also tried to find her. Tried Orkut with no luck. Remembered her old Email ID, wrote in and that bounced. Several times I willed her to get in touch with me. When I went to Delhi earlier this year I tried to see if there was a way I could find her. Futile.
And today, I log in to Facebook. My Inbox shows two unread messages. One profile with a picture, one without. And the one without spelled out her name. "This is me from the good old days.. see that you have become Big time"...
I felt this ripple of gurgling joy that I have not felt in ages... Of finding someone again. When I spoke to her, she told mom that their moment of "Aha" happened when they were watching the Star Screen Awards ceremony on TV and saw my name in the list of nominees. That I had sung Tere Bina was major for them. And that I was part of Mayya mayya too, was major-er. :)
Spoke to her for quite a while. Did a quick catch up of the years that had flown by.
And am planning to go see her soon, God willing. My nephew is 5 and a half. And I have a pretty niece who is 9 months old.
The world is a pink nice happy place.
And somehow, I dont know why I am signing off this way for the past few posts. But this is wishing for you, that you discover something that you thought you lost and that which gives you the joy that I feel right now. And that the joy within you permeates the beings around you too. So that the small world that all of us have created for us, around us, becomes a joyous place. When you smile, may it radiate from within. And may you connect with the joy that is the core of the universe.
P.S: Happy Ganesh Chaturthi! Ganpati Bappa Morya..!!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

What's New

Jeyamkondaan and Dhaam Dhoom
I am the voice behind Lekha Washington and Kanagana Ranaut, respectively.
Dhaam Dhoom was a brilliant time because it was more or less the same team as Unnale Unnale and the same dubbing studio. The only thing that was discordant was the absence of Jeeva sir.
Jeyamkondaan was another beautiful experience. The director of the movie, Mr Kannan was previously the associate of Mani Ratnam sir.
Dubbing can be physically tiring a lot of times, which is why, there are more instances of my turning down opportunities. And the instances of my asking "Why me"?. There are very exceptionally talented dubbing artistes who are brilliant and which is their sole career option. Like in any artistic field, the onus has always been on finding freshness. My voice, I should say has been quite the stumble-upon, as long as dubbing is concerned. I have never thought that I had the typical girl's voice. Its common knowledge that my speaking and singing voices are poles apart.
When I walked in for Sillunu Oru Kadhal, I think I was given to understand that they wanted a "sophisticated, educated" voice. Whatever that meant. I told them that I ll try just for the heck of it, 'cos I don't have the laughter of babbling brooks or a voice that sounds, well, feminine. I am more of the tomboy in some cases. And then Unnale Unnale happened. And then Satham Podadhey.
These were the times I realized the amount labour that goes into making a movie. How easy it is to walk into a theatre, spend the bucks, buy the popcorn and the give a verdict as we walk out. Dubbing sessions were when I realized what it is to be on the other side of the screen. And to be able to work with the directors is a brilliant learning experience too. Their thought processes and how they shape a certain expression to come out in someone else's voice to convey an idea. Its beautiful to be part of the whole thing. Amidst a lot of laughter, some tears, screaming if the character demands it, pulling each others legs and several cups of tea dubbing sessions are wrapped up. Tiresomeness hits only after a while. But the studio engineers are extremely sharp and they can spot tiredness in the voice immediately. A break happens there or the remaining scenes would be postponed to another day. Usually they don't push a tired voice since the next step will be strain and then a total break until the voice recuperates. Normally sessions like these take about 3-5 days. But not the entire day in each case. A few hours in each. Guess this works best both ways. Having different people come in to speak different roles gives the needed creative break and work gets done in the same time perhaps.
Several times I have wondered about things I ought to have had. About the way somethings should have turned out. And a few people that I have come across. But then as I was driving home today after a recording session - the song was an extremely fulfilling one -I was thinking that these are times that I must remember again, to count my blessings. That I am offered opportunities again and again on varied levels to try out and figure out the things. But never waste an opportunity to learn.
I guess if I am getting these, so does everyone else. And if everyone out there can grab every opportunity that presents itself, work on it for whatever it is worth, I am sure it would be complete use of this time that we have called life.
Here is wishing, for you, who are reading this space, that you get enough and more opportunities, to grow, change, evolve, those which can shift and change perspectives and sometimes toss up your insides, so that, you know what it is like to have new eyes. Or maybe, just, a new way of seeing, watching, observing. And may you also have the grace and reckless abandon that makes you take the step forward to work on the present.
Godspeed Good People.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Right now.. what I feel is

Seething Anger. Just happened to watch the promo of Ippadikku Rose where apparently, (if I comprehend right) a pervert of a teacher thrashed up a boy just because he refused to accept his sexual advances. ( I am also given to understand that boy was beaten to death, but I would have to watch the episode to make sure)
I wish I had the super powers to remove such buggers from the face of this earth.
Also I have started developing a huge dislike for people who say anything damaging about homosexuals. Just because "straight" people are a majority in this world, no one has the right to comment the minority and especially on anyone's choices or sexuality.
If the world had only been full of homosexuals and straight people were a minority I wonder how that would feel like. Or if that is used as a method of discrimination.
This is a wish to the whole universe that perverts who mess with children must be bloody squashed.
And I wonder why it is tough for people to accept people for what they are. Why should they conform to your expectations or what you have been brought up with? So what if they are different? They have as much right to live on this earth as you and me. And there is no need for anyone to conform to your expectations or mine.
As is, most homosexuals have a battle, more so in India, with all these bloodthirsty people running after them, as if its because of them, that mankind is sullied. I think normal people sully mankind even more. In the name of honour and everything else, enough blood has been shed I would say. In addition, they have a battle raging within themselves with the feeling that they are not conforming to the expectations of society and more so to look at the disappointment that is in their parents faces.
There are but a handful who are able to come out and say their sexual preferences does not conform to expectations. And they go through hell.
And I don't have anything to say on what religion says about all this. If everything is a creation of God, then He/She has created homosexuals too. And if a certain so-and-so cannot accept that, then he/she can fly a kite.
And as for child abuse I definitely want to have the superpowers and the super sense where I know it is about to happen so that I can transport myself at the speed of light and thrash the buggers.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Trains of thought

I seem to be blogging more often these days. But somehow I know its not going to be this way for too long. But for however long it lasts, I guess it will be cathartic for me. In addition to a lot of things.
I happened to be discussing wearing anklets with mom. And then somehow the thought went to the temple elephant. As a kid I remember how the elephant belonging to the temples would be paraded through the streets and we would vie to feed it with something, usually bananas or reach for a coin to gingerly place on its trunk and then lightly step back, expecting the massive trunk to land on the head, signifying the blessings that we look forward. And when the trunk does land on the head its a combination of plop and thud. Plud. Maybe, there is a new word.
I didn't know about the tooth fairy and all that then. But there was a different concept I came to know of. I was advised to bury the tooth that fell off on the path that the temple elephant came for a stroll. So there I went, preserving my teeth and then burying them on the road. Along with a couple of other children. The point was, if the elephant happened to step on the area where you had buried the tooth, then it was *certain* that the money will pour through the roof.
So I thought, like a lot of other kids that I can get my mother whatever she wanted if money poured through the roof or whatever else it was. Fairy tales helped irrigate my fertile imagination. And then I waited. Nothing happened. We moved out of the area and shifted some place else. I still wonder where that temple is and what it is like now. Whether the elephant is still there.
On that note of an elephant, I had a beautiful time with Shanti the elephant gifted by Chevalier Sivaji Ganeshan to the Thiruvanaikaval temple. I think she has cataract in one eye. Or looked like that. Don't know whether elephants have cataract. I love elephants and somehow when there were times when we were looking for a divine omen, an elephant would be there. Sometimes in busy areas where you don't expect an elephant to come. It happened once when we lived in Thiruvanmiyur. I was worried about my Math big time. Thought I would flunk. Went into depression. My mom had a vaendudhal/mannat at almost every temple in the world. And we had taken the auto that day to come back home and an elephant stopped the vehicle just as we neared our home. We don't know which temple it belonged to. The driver was aghast and thought he was going to be trampled. But the elephant came to us, pushed its trunk in and 'blessed' us and went on its way.
And I feel like I have a special bond with elephants.
Then, there was a time in my life, when mom had to work full time, nights and days on her documentary film. I was in 4th grade. Push came to shove and I ad to go to boarding school. There was no way out. And after quite a bit of crying - well which kid would want to go to a hostel - I went to the hostel. And I must say I was the only one given a five star treatment by the principal and matrons and needless to say I was bullied left right and center, by other kids. Those 16 months were partly good, mostly bad. I would be in the sick room most of the time. I would wish that I would get fever so that I could go to the sick room so that I can escape being in the dormitory. I remember I had temperature the day I landed there. Was sent to the sick room and because I was new, they all took great care of me for the first month. The superiors, teachers, matrons and the principal would always take very good care. It was the other kids I was scared about. No matter what I did, I would be whacked. And at that time I was a class topper. Got straight 100 even in math. Then it went downhill. How and why I could never understand.
My principal then, would take me out to her sister's house. If I was in the sick room she would pay me a visit everyday. If I were well, I would be spending at least two hours at her residence which was part of the school building. She would buy me clothes. Take me to the school farm on solo trips.
I can now understand how it must feel when the principal chooses to be special to one child. But then I didn't know why they were angry.
I also had a strange issue. I would finish the entire year's syllabus on a marathon 2-3 day sit through. Finish all the exercise books and then tell the teacher "finish teacher". Also, when I was in Bombay I remember my kindergarten teacher slapped me because I had finished the entire math, english and drawing workbook in one day. She was a youngling and she had then burst out crying. Mom came, saw the mark on my cheek and asked whats up. And she asked her to buy me as many books as I needed and that she will pay for it.
This finishing-up fever continued for a while - until the hostel period. I don't remember doing it after that.
While at the hostel there were girls who would tell me that if we sharpen the pencil, save the shavings and put a lot of it in water, then an eraser would 'form' overnight. And then there was another girl who told me that, brushing your teeth until your gums bled is the right way to brush. A lot of kids did that, and ended up taking medication in the sick room. And then another one said that if we save the seeds from the watermelon we eat, we can bury that and a plant will sprout with the watermelon. And we can make our own. I was very interested in this idea. So off I went burying the seeds whenever I could. Watched it everyday. No plant happened.
Then there was another girl, who studied with me, Vijayalakshmi I think, who was great at telling stories. Her dad had been a theatre owner and she had the amazing capacity to narrate an entire movie, scene by scene, dialogue by dialogue. It would be like listening to a movie. She told me several movies like that. But I only remember her telling me the story of 'Valli'. She would even say which song came where, sing it as well.
When I saw parts of it later on TV I was struck by her capacity of recall. She was hardly 11 at that time.
And there was ammamma at the hostel. She reminded me so much of my own grandmom. I would spend a lot of time with her. And there was this cassette which played Sai Bhajans which had this particular Marathi Bhajan which would go "Kaakad aarati karee to Sai Naath deva... chinmaya rupaka karee devu..." something.. the kids who heard that will be all excited. So would I. My name came in a song!
So much of my childhood that I remember vividly. Surprisingly. And so much that is totally wiped out.
I also remember, sometimes, I would cry and wait at the hostel gates for mom to come until the Principal would ask me to go to the room and say that mom would come tomorrow.
When I asked mom recently why she did not come to visit me often, she said it was tough for her to stomach because she would cry for hours on end that I had to be at the hostel. That her stomach would be in knots.
While there I would wait for the magic words "Chinmayi!!! Parents!!!" That would be the call to whoever had parents visiting. Only the name would be replaced as and when necessary. My ears were always open for that. And when I heard that particular phrase I would run like the wind, out of the dormitory, through the corridors, down the stairs, jump down the landing and into her arms.
And I remember I used to ask her for hot curd rice. I never understood why I wanted Hot Curd rice of all things. But thats what I wanted. Then.
But yeah, if I fell sick I knew mom would come. So I would pray that I fall sick. And it looked like God listened to me then.
There were so many things that happened at the hostel. Things that I don't want to write about now. Don't know whether I would. Not that it was scary or anything but it was just tough on me. And tougher on mom.
So many times I wonder how easy it is to be a child. There was no world and anything else that would murk up the clear waters of the child's mind. Would the world be a happier place if we were all children?
But maybe sometimes, it would be nice to pray that we have the heart of the child. Devoid of the cloaks of ego and weirdness and whatever else cloak it. Because I think the heart is never sullied. Maybe thoughts are. Thought patterns are. And there are cloaks. Or maybe cling-foils. Cling-foil might be a better term. Because its easy to remove a cloak. Tough to remove a cling foil which probably melts a wee bit. To pull it out takes grit, determination, patience and a lot of effort. Most of us don't want to realize that we have the cling foil around our hearts. We live a life of denial or paradoxically, a knowing ignorance.
This day. This time. I wish that I have a child's heart. No cloaks. Foils. Nothing. Clean. Clear. Pure. I wish that I never fall into the trap of an ego. And I pray that my wish be fulfilled. Cos, I know thats all I can do. Pray. I am not about to knock of a tooth to bury it on the path of an elephant. The roads are all tarred anyway.
God ... Help.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Conversations With God

This Book has literally been paraded before me several times but somehow it never appealed to me. For whatever reason.
I wonder how conversations or even one-way communication with a higher force is like. Do you do it in on a daily basis? Like have a mental conversation.. like , Hey God you really messed up my day kinda lines? Or is it like thanksgiving? What is it like?
Someone as lowly as me is definitely nowhere close to having a conversation with a higher force. But I seriously wonder what it is like.
I would, right now, want to have a conversation with the higher force. If it were in my grasp. But sadly, it is not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nenje Nenje

Its only recently that I discovered this song. And re-discovered the magic in Jayachandran Sir KJY sir's voice.
Someone I knew made me listen to Enmel Vizhundha Mazhaithuliye and pointed out the wonder that is Jayachandran sir's voice. Sometimes, you realize things yourself and sometimes someone else makes you see it - if you are willing to.
I had not grown up listening to film songs and I came to know about several magical songs after joining Aahaa FM and also after tuning in to stations while driving. A few more at concerts with musicians and singers.
I heard Nenje Nenje last evening after a long time and it was also on my playlist this morning.
I wonder if there is a possibility that I can absorb the amount of feeling that has gone into singing this song. Especially from KJY sir, though Sadhna ji is brilliant in her own right. But KJY sir's voice is what is on top of my mind.
The poetry in this song - I am trying to figure out how I can use the words in my limited vocabulary to describe it. And yes, I have begun to enjoy the joys of Tamil song writing and the inherent beauty and also got to know several anecdotes connected with it. It definitely goes beyong talent when a lyricist is able to compose verses out of thin air for a certain situation which finds a certain amount of space in film. I also understand now why old-timers feel that song writing in recent times does not have any beauty. Like Gangaiamaran sir said in the Take Two we had for Metro Plus, lyrics have only one meaning these days. The question of double meaning does not arise. He had his hilarious way of saying it which had me in splits through out the session.
Lately, silence, introspection and a search for some kind of a meaning probably has made me more sensitive to things that I had previously consciously ignored perhaps, but subliminally registered. Its seems to be coming back to me.
As for Nenje Nenje, it leaves the heart heavy in its wake, more often than not. But these are times when sadness is joy.

P.S: I apologise for the mistake here. There was an argument yesterday between a few people before I blogged on whether it was KJY sir or P Jayachandran Sir. Most ruled in favour of Jayachandran Sir. Since I was new to the song, I went with the majority. Of course I did not think of Google :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Am wondering.........

What it is about upper class hotels in town.
Met a friend a couple of days ago at Residency Towers and promptly found hair in the soup. The chef and manager are all apologetic and say they would replace it. Whats the point? I lost my appetite and helped myself to the desserts thereafter.
The Park 601 yesterday. We had guests from Ozland.
And decided to head into the Thai restaurant Lotus. Turned out, the seats were all reserved so we decided to find a place at 601 instead. And they would serve us Thai food. Good enough! I have a thing for Thai cuisine.
Mom decided to have coffee first. Coffee is piping hot. Milk is ice cold. Mix the two you have room temperature coffee.
Ordered Fresh Lime Soda - too watery. I asked them to replace it the same thing happens. I give up. Apparently their beverage section of the non-alcoholic kind is no good. I am not into alcohol anyway.
The main course made up for the lapses. The soup was outta the world. Coconut milk base with enough tang to fall in love with it. I am glad we chose a-la-carte cos,
though this is ewwwwy there was a small cockroach running across the buffet counter.
There was also one more thing that I wonder about. 601 actually allows diners to smoke. But are there probably rules that say that the smoking and non-smoking sections should be separate? Our friends from Australia were surprised to see how someone could light up in an air-conditioned place.
If someone goes to an upscale restaurant, as much as they are entitled to the ambience, service and whatever else that is assumed, clean air is also one of the things if you ask me. Why should I breathe in someone else's cancerous air and also pay a premium for it? And these gentlemen lit up their cancer sticks right next to tables were there were small children.

Don't understand the hospitality industry. And definitely don't understand some people.


While hosting Aahaa Kaapi Klub this morning, on the behest of several people, we asked why the IT industry is being blamed left right and center for changes in the society..
And along comes a "Govind" who was pretty abusive to start off with. Thankfully there are damage control measures.
Looks like he got up on the wrong side of the bed today.
But hey it kicked up my adrenalin and I am in supercharged mode.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Have you seen this video?

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Have you ever....

Had a butterfly perch on you that refuses to budge?
I am undergoing some such thing right now.
Apparently a butterfly in all its yellow and black gaiety made its way into my house a couple of days ago.
Its been fluttering about our bedroom and I made my way in to finish up the book that I picked up yesterday "One life to ride", an account of a Motorcycle journey to the Himalayas.
And butterfly decides I am a good place to rest on. And refuses to move. And here I am angling myself in quite a weird fashion typing this out, since I got fed up trying to angle my book and my cup of tea.
I have to return to both as soon as I am done with this, but it is kinda weird to have a being of the animal kingdom settle on your for quite a length of time. I am going to clock this now. Maybe it will remain this way until I decide to get up and walk out.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The weirdness of Orkut.. sometimes

is that I get scraps, yep scraps and not messages like "v r havin a prog in next week.. we wd lik to invit u.. vl u cm?" or the newest one goes "then i like to invite for our cultural function n te mid feb,march u like do be a part of it so...>>then give me a reply so soon so.."

Thats how it starts and ends. "So..." what? Am I supposed to fill up the blanks or is this new style of writing or English to end a line with "so"? Or is it used in the place of fullstop and comma now?

Several people have told me that I am perhaps too accessible and that I should put up my price. At least, for starters, get off Orkut. I think its time I heeded advise and pulled the plug on that one.

How many times have we been taught to write formal letters in school?
Yeah so, someone is unable to find my Email ID, how tough is it to send an Orkut Mail for a professional query?

I don't know if this is making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I feel this is a lot like a candidate being told on a public forum like a scrapbook that he has been selected for a job that he had been interviewed for and he can join the following week, or something on those lines. Without a formal letter.
I am tempted to deliver a sting that sometimes rests at my fingertips but I have to hold back. After all, I am not supposed to have my opinions and views on things.
I guess in a lot of ways there is a massive run down on courtesy and basic manners as long as people are concerned. God help you if you have been brought up to say please and thank you and do things in the "right" manner. You are bound to feel like you have jumped down from another planet.

"My Foot" at Mumbai Airport Domestic Terminal

Shooting for Super Singer for even a couple of days without respite makes me wish that I were in a place where this Reflexology spa is located. Or rather there is a place here with hands that have such expertise. Mom has always praised the masseurs of Mumbai saying that, amongst other skills, this is one thing they are really good about. Even 20 years back. For a few things, though this contradicts several of my earlier posts, I wish we had never come back from Mumbai and shifted base to Chennai. I remember, for years I used to tell my mom that its time we went back "home", in a language that was a strange mix up of 75% Marathi and some 25% Hindi. I don't get zilch of Marathi these days.
But Anyway this post is not about my musings on Mumbai.
I happened to visit Mumbai for a day in the recent past and I came back to the airport in good time. And the flight was delayed. I couldn't think of anything else to do but pick up a couple of the local dailies and a coffee at Coffee Day. Then decided to take a walk around to see this reflexology center huddled in a corner. I ventured inside and took the bait.
Considering the paucity of time, I decided to take a half hour session of the neck and back therapy and the foot reflexology splitting it into 15 minute sessions of each.
This was where I was introduced to the chair that is used by therapists to tender a back massage. I gingerly tried to seat myself with as much dignity as possible, fighting embarrassment that I had no previous knowledge of this invention.
That was also the time that I had had a nagging back pain that had lasted several months, and I refused to take medication for. I stave off allopathy as much as possible. I may have a pounding headache but that will never find me reaching for the pills.
Once I was all settled in that chair and I had to place my head in a head-rest, the therapy started. Somehow they knew where the issues where, hit the nerve that was causing the problem without my saying a word, and yeah the nerve or muscle was put back in place. The back pain vanished that day and has never come back since.
The reflexology session was more magic. 15 minutes of bliss. They used a normal cream, in small amounts, unlike the amounts slathered by therapists using here. Minimal amounts of product but the work is done by the hands.
I remember paying about 1000/- for this session but it was something totally worth it
There was one more thing that I saw at the spa that I had never seen before
The owner of the spa was taking a session herself and once that was over she reviewed the massage techniques and corrected the therapist. She supervised each of the 6 therapists there and made sure they were doing a good job. That is what I call customer service. The honesty to the job.
The therapists were calm and composed. That I feel, is extremely necessary for therapists.
I promptly asked them whether they have a place here. But I also had a simultaneous thought. The place is so good thanks to the therapists there. And I have mostly seen that a lot of the people in Chennai are plain lazy. Sure they want the dough, but there is no return in the name of services that I find here. God forbid, if you try correcting anything around here. A lot don't take criticism well. At least not in some of the salons I have visited. And yep I no longer go there.
Apparently My Foot starts belongs to Singapore. At the same time, we had a session done at the Singapore airport where the therapist was the most talkative thing we had ever seen.
Anyway, I have ever since, referred several people, telling them to take some time off, if they go to Mumbai and and up early at the airport. Also I heard they had some more outlets in the city, but I am not sure of the whereabouts.
So if you head to Mumbai, please go early and take my word, you will probably have one of the best reflexology sessions ever.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ponder on regrets..

What is it like to have a life without regrets? Does it mean that you keep badgering on something or some situation, someone until you get what you want? How irritating/nice is that?
Is it like going after something that you want even though the ones at the receiving end would not really like to see you around..? Where does irritating begin and a go-getting attitude end.. Or just simply, where does the path on following your dreams end? Does it ever end or does it just transpose to a different path and dream after dream blends into, dissolves into another in a seamless manner?
Does having a life of no regrets mean embarrassments? Making a fool of yourself? Do you find yourself regretting actions in following a "life with no regrets"? Does it happen?
Have you ever wished that you could have probably tried something harder and you could have clinched it...?
What if there are other people involved?
Does having no regrets mean running yourself down..? Or becoming a doormat? What is it like to desperately want something though all logic and everything tells you that its not going to happen the way you want it? Been there? Felt that?
What is right for someone is wrong for another..
There are several times that I wish or maybe, just ponder on whether things can be just black and white. Or maybe that kinda world would be colourless. More than the black and white it is probably the gray that makes life exciting. Confusing. Despairing. And is it the despair and confusion that makes life, LIFE?
Even after pushing your limits, would there ever come a time, when you wish that you could have done things differently? Wouldn't that be a brand of regret by itself?
There comes a time in everyone's life where you feel like a glass of soda. There is bubble after bubble rising up to the top of your conscious mind. And the bubbles dont go pop. They just keep simmering. If that is ever possible. Well simmering bubbles in soda.. Drat.. what a thought..
The problem is the bubbles don't come one by one. Several come at a time. And it becomes impossible to miss any of them. The onslaught rather. Sometimes the intensity is almost like someone is going amuck with a machine gun - only that the firing is from inside you. rat-a-tat-tak-pap and whatever else it sounds like. Pellet after pellet.
On easier times its just extra-strong soda water. You crave for the peace that placidity can bring about. Wait for the bubbles to subside.
Have you tried making a straw stick to the bottom of a glass filled with soda? If you let it go, it will bob up and eventually fall out of the glass, on to the table. With all the unrest within trying to keep your wits about you is a lot like pinning the straw down. Quite an exercise.
Its but a bubble ..once it goes pop, there are going to be no remnants.. But thats the issue. Its like each bubble has a center filled with color fast liquid. The bubble goes pop. It leaves a mark. And each mark is like a snowflake. Unique. Unmatched.
The biggest mark right now is the bubble of no-regrets.
And a lot of times these bubbles make you ask questions to answers that you do not yet know. Murky? You bet.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Soul Balancing et al

Some time back I happened to state that I will write about the spas that I venture into. I have always loved the reflexology and all the other massage techniques in the world and its been a wish to visit the Ananda Spa at the Himalayas, ever since I read about it years back, though it costs a bomb. I need to have separate earnings to blow it there.
And here I write about Aura at The Park Nungambakkam, Chennai. Winner of the Most Innovative Spa Award last year at the AsianSpa awards.
By the way, let me give the disclaimer that whatever I write here is on personal experience and not written on anyone's behest and nor am I acquainted with the owners of Spas around here.
I happened to read about this in one of the newspapers. An article on the spas in Chennai and decided to check it out.
Fixed an appointment and landed there in time. I went through the entire service card and saw that they had somethings as simple as a Milk and Honey body treatment to complex Ayurvedic treatments. I had already made up my mind on what I wanted though there were a couple of things that caught my eye, I decided to raincheck that.
Also, if you want to avail of any services at Aura, Tuesdays (if I remember right) have a discount on all services for women. You could give them a call (044-42144000, 42676000, 42676300) and find out.
The one that I was most attracted to and had won glorious reviews about as well was monikered "Soul Balancing".
Read through the service card and you ll see the copy is very impressive. Writing about services in such places requires stringing the words in a manner that it impresses you subliminally as well, perhaps, and it was clear that The Park had hired a pretty good copywriter. If that was anything to go by, I definitely expected something other worldy. Well, who wouldn't.. let me rephrase, I would like to balance my soul the way it was printed.
I was first directed to a safe deposit locker where I could place my belongings.
The spa was quiet. Not serene. Just quiet. Tick One. Music was good. Tick two. Ambience great. Tick three. Nice play of colours. Tick 4. Lighting brilliant. Double tick 5.
Once in, the place looked exactly like the picture that they had displayed outside The Park.
Hmm... Whats surprising about a place looking like the picture you might ask. Well, have you visited the several Bhavans around Chennai and noticed how they photographed the milkshakes and ice creams on the menu looks and how the nice tasting but browbeaten product lands on your table? Forget that, how the plate and the Dosa look way different from the picture? Thats it.
With my expectations already sky high at first dekho I looked forward to a super time.
Now, I have always believed that the masseuse heats the oil or at least warms it before the service starts. Or rather thats the way I have experienced it as well. Literature on massage techniques speak about warming the oil at least between your hands, before applying it on the patient's body for therapy.
My first sensory shock happened here. The therapist commenced the session with almost ice cold oil at the base of my feet.
Also the oil was probably a cocktail of a few aromatic oils. What if someone was allergic to any of the compounds?
The masseuse was a pretty restless being I must say. When there is pin drop silence a balanced therapist adds to the experience. That was missing in that girl. Plus, she was talkative. Hardly wanted to talk shop when I was trying to "balance my soul" ;)That was the diademing glory. Not with thorns though, let me not be caustic. I'll just say, dried, ungainly leaves.
And maybe all that would have been forgiven of the therapy was any good. I was immensely disappointed. The therapist is definitely a novice.
45 minutes later, I was wondering why I dropped in there at all. And decided to give no thanks to the copywriter for the flowery words or the journalist who wrote highly of the service. Great writing though. Good job. There ends.
But then if you announce that you are a journalist probably things are different. The best therapist is sent to you and the treatment is no less than five-star. But what if you go in and come out as a nobody?
Anyway, once the session was over I came out to be treated to some herbal tea, that was a welcome treat.
If benefit of doubt be accorded here, every therapy session or how you come out of it depends on your therapist. Or luck. May I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Or maybe I could have chosen a different treatment.
The session, small wonder, does not come cheap either.
Nevertheless, if you head to Aura - at The Park Chennai and sign up for soul balancing, don't expect too much from this particular service.
This space shall definitely have some more experiences in therapy sessions, not just in Chennai but wherever I have had the time to test waters.
Next up - The wellness center at Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport "My Foot Reflexology"