Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Writer Sujatha is no more

One of the most versatile Tamil writers has passed on...
RIP Sire.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jodha Akbar

One gumbal of 13 went to Sathyam cinemas last night to watch this movie. I had the 6 of the 8 college goers who had come to the AKK valentines day special show, Balaji, Ashwin and Keshav from Aahaa, and Ajay from Radio Mirchi. As far as I know Ajay and I had been thinking of catching up forever and I decided to invite Ajay along, only to know much later that he had already seen the movie. He is one of the whackiest RJs I know and someone whom I derive inspiration from.

I loved the movie and would definitely watch it again. The costumes, the grandeur, make up, everything about this movie .. whoah.. Words fail me.

"Khwaja mere Khwaja" Good lord, whatta song! There are some movies which stay with you looong after you have watched it. And this movie is going to hang on for a few weeks at least, and I would say the music is one of the main reasons.

When Hrithik gets up to join in Khwaja, the look in his eyes almost made me feel as if his in unison with God. The magic of sufi mysticism. Its very easy to fall into divine romance, like they say. To fall in love with spirituality, self realization and all that until something happens and pop goes the balloon. But then like most of the books on philosophy extol, its but a mirage. The real thing is something that can't be expressed.

I have heard that Music is something that takes people very close to God and is one of the paths of self realization as well, and this is when I know that I have been gifted. To be able to express through music, to have a voice that can sing.

As of now I going to revel in this feeling that Khwaja mere leaves me with. Doing anything else seems pretty laborious. Actually.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Shankar Mahadevan concert at Anna Univ

yesterday. I was amazed at the way how he interacts with crowd, keeps belting song after song with so much undepleted energy and the creative outpouring, how he plays around with every song.. Phew whatta Performer!

Strangely, I lost my voice yesterday. Just cracked and I could hardly speak. So much so that, in all these days, I had to miss hosting my AKK on Aahaa FM. If I did not host the show, the only reason would be a concert abroad. No show or concert within the country has kept me away from Aahaa Kaapi Klub so far.

Ganga sang along with Shankar Mahadevan for a couple of numbers and there were two other singers from Mumbai, Raman and Anusha. Major performances! And Anusha is gorgeous! Ganga sang a few songs on her own and Naresh was the surprise entry to sing Munbe Vaa :)

At the end, I was invited on stage to sing Kajra Re along with Shankar ji. He called me on stage himself. I have never met him before and he announced that he loves my voice. :) I was all smiles and orre the joyous. I did go up and explain that my voice was a goner, but I managed the first phrase of Kajra re. Then all that I did was shake a leg. John Britto's gang were the dancers at this show and they had choreographed Kajra Re for another show in which I performed. So it was easy to join along with them. Major fun and this was definitely a day to remember. Yep, A Valentines Day to remember!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Though I sometimes think Valentines Day came into existence because of Hallmark, nevertheless, wish you and your family all the love that the world can give you and this is what Rahman ji said on Rediff when asked to give a message for his fans:

"Love makes the heart lighter and makes you see things objectively. Hate darkens you and makes you heavy at heart and uneasy. Make a choice. God bless.- A R Rahman"

I had 8 college goers on my AKK show this morning and it was a lot of fun. I had a crash course on the normal college life and the energy and joy was infectious. It was interesting to note their takes on dating and the whole shabang.

My show started great, but into the second link, my voice cracked, and its still in the cracked stage. As of now I am going to shut eye and see whether sleep restores any normalcy to my voice.

I intend to go to the Shankar Mahadevan concert this evening. The way my voice is a recording cannot cancel my going. Anyway, Happy Kaadhalar Dhinam. Much love!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Live Life Concert - Review

Here at Galatta. I think the picture that is there is while Rahman Sir and I were performing Tere Bina. I was clearly flustered. But then, this is apparently the only picture I have of the concert!
Thanks Aruthi!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hot off the press

And I got gossiped about..Kisu-kisu-fied to say it in the local tongue.

"Kaadhal special" of one of the magazines claim that I am in love and that it shall "soon come to light" If only they would tell me who I am in love with, I would finally have a date for Valentines Day. And I am still walking the single lane... *sniff*

Anyway like the classic line from Mani sir's Guru, "Jab log tumhare baare mein bolne lage, toh samjho aage badh rahe ho". People here were telling me .... finally there is gossip about you which means that you are in the big league..

So people, Presentez vous the first "kisu kisu" written about me.. Enzoi!!

Premiere of National Treasure

On the other hand, we were invited for the premiere of National Treasure at Sathyam Cinemas on Thursday. It was very Red Carpet, cameras clicking and all that and rubbing shoulders with the Biggies in the field and all. I loved the movie and though there were a few instances were I thought the way the actors reacted was kinda artificial, I am already waiting for the next one. Also I see that there are a lot of movies that are running which I'd love to catch up on. Time to grab the popcorn.

And the picture in ERGO

The A R Rahman Live Life Concert

Happened at YMCA grounds today for an invited audience. Organized by MARG, I was fortunate to be a part of this concert. Hariharan ji, Chitra ji, Blaaze, Sivamani ji, Aslam Naresh Iyer, Tanvi, Rayhana ji and Ishrathi ji, Dr Narayan, Neeti Mohan, Ujjaiyini, Benny Dayal, Sayonara and I were the singers.

During the rehearsals yesterday there was this short session where Hari ji, Aslam and Dr Narayan were sitting around and Hari ji was like giving us a mini class on how to execute speed. It was enough to just hear him sing. I had grown up on a staple diet of his Ghazals.

I got to sing Kaadhal Rojave, Vaaji and Vennilave with Hari ji, Maduraikku pogadhedee with Benny and Tere Bina. There was an unplugged session with Chitra and Hari ji after which I sang a few lines of Sahana in a scale God knows where I caught from!

After the concert, Mom and I happened to get talking to Neeti and when she was saying there are thousands of people out there who are dying to be standing on the same area as Rahman sir, not to mention sing with him. Also, this was Rahman sir's first concert for 2008 and it happened in Chennai. This is also my first major concert for this year, though I did have a couple of corporate shows earlier in January.
2007 started at Bombay at the Nokia New Year's eve concert with Rahman sir, and the year was brilliant. Somehow I attach quite a lot of sentiments as long as Rahman sir's concerts are concerned. I wish I could have sung better, somehow and the depression is going to last a few months at least. These are times that I wish the earth would swallow me up or that I never existed at all. bleargh.

There are no photographs because We forgot to take the camera but I found these on Galatta. If you see any more on the web somewhere please do send them across to me :)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Songs

I happen to have sung more than a score of songs for Srikanth Deva recently and as ever it has been a pleasure. Working with him usually means a lot of smiles and the general feeling of joy translates in the song as well. Also, I have recorded almost a dozen songs in Kannada recently. Of course as usual I am not sure of the names of the movies, so I guess I ll just have to watch out for the CDs.
My latest releases have been updated in my audio blog, something that has not seen nay action for quite a while now as I haven't had time to upload the songs. I finally got that done. Please give it a listen and leave your comments


Paadum Office

Right from when Paadum Office started airing I have been getting requests from people that want to participate. The entire set of episodes of Paadum Office was shot over two weekends in October. Naturally, because all the participants were office goers and the team couldn't shoot over a longer time. Also there have been a lot of people mentioning about my talking in English in Paadum Office. There were a lot of Non Tamilians who participated in the competition, people who could not understand or speak English. And I don't believe in asking someone a question and then translating it.
And since all the people who participated conversed mainly in English, the language flowed naturally.
So this is just a disclaimer of sorts [:)] that no new participation is possible. The corporate talent hunt has been a huge hit for the past few years, since this has been conducted by Mr James Vasanthan off-air. If you haven't heard about it, it could just be because your organization hasn't been in the know, or hasn't evinced interest. The corporate talent hunt happens every year. I have no idea whether it will return on Television, but if I happen to hear about participation beforehand, then I shall certainly post details here.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Meeting Jimmy Wales

In case you don't know who he is, he is the founder of Wikipedia and thanks to Kiruba (the list of things to thank Kribs for is growing kinda long), I happened to meet Mr Wales over dinner at Residency Towers along with a select few.
My knowledge of Wikipedia goes as far as looking up the Madras Baashai on Wikipedia quite a long while ago. Generally for reference and then one fine day a wiki on moi was brought to my attention.

First off, I could only apologise for being overdressed thanks to all the wedding kinda finery that warrants some concerts. And, I realize the classic long tables are no good for conversations. And there is the noise from other tables to consider. Despite that, I happened to gather quite a bit from Mr. Wales' responses to others. I eventually asked him, no prizes for guessing, on the kind of music he listens to. I didn't quiz him too much, I preferred listening. Not that I could ask him anything smart anyway. It took him a while to get my name, and he kinda 'practised' it a couple of times. :) Nice I say! But I guess I must have a tough name *sigh* I was also pretty surprised that he was in Chennai only for a few hours. And definitely, he is extremely simple, easy to talk to and how name dropping is a huge thing no matter where. And yes, there were a few things I learnt that evening on how to talk to just about anybody.

Pictures of this do; thats something I do not have. But others went clicking on their phones. I headed to the meet right after a concert, pretty much wringing my hands and fearing that I wont make it, but despite Chennai and its traffic, I did make it. And I was to head out of town again at about 3 in the morning. Quite an eventful weekend.

Here, on Ergo, is a more learned, expert report on the meet.

And yeah.. I Met Jimmy Wales!

Hyundai - Sending an i10 for a test drive with an empty fuel tank

As usual, I took another car for a test drive. I am on the perennial hunt for my perfect car, considering the Octavia in between as I heard the machine is quite great, and then people telling me handling a car of that size with all those flyovers being built in chennai - not a nice idea. So just for the heck of it I called for the test drive of the i10 since I heard the car is kinda nice.
So the gentlemen from Hyundai came. I take the car out, I am happy with the usability, if I may say that, of the car and then notice that fuel gauge shows empty. And I ask him "How long will the fuel last?" Pat comes the answer "not even one kilometer maam".. "Alright so are you going to fuel up?". "No Maam". "Its the end of the day and we just came from somewhere else, we cant fuel up now". It was almost at the tip of my tongue to ask him what a test drive means in his dictionary. I could only make a circle apparently. And thats all I did. For one, though I liked the car, I did not like the way they spoke to me. I have never heard of someone coming for a test drive with no fuel. If I just had to look at the car, I d rather go to a showroom. Wonder where customer service is going, and if this is the way they are, at a time when the car is new in the market and they are trying to push it however, wonder what will be the case two years down the line. Appalling. Thats all I can say.