Saturday, July 06, 2013

Titli - Chennai Express

Sometimes they say that sighting a butterfly is an omen. To me the butterfly came in a song. 

First week of November 2012 and I got a call from Shekhar sir asking me to come and sing for him here, in Chennai. Off I went to Gopi Sunder's studio seriously doubting how I will be able to pull this off, when, that week, and the couple of weeks prior, it was a personally harrowing time. 

I recorded this song with a migraine that was killing me and somehow I hoped that I didn't look too sick and that I would come across as an affable person to work with, inspite of the frowns crinkling my forehead. Shekhar sir dictated the lyrics and taught me the song. I went in and recorded and it was done. Thereafter of course, I had no idea if my version would be retained and left it to the will of the universe, as I always have, with every song that I have sung. As Yesudas sir once said, slightly modifying the popular adage, Gaane gaane ke upar gaanewale ka naam likha hai. The song chooses the singer.

When they released the teaser on last week, there was a mixture of a lot of emotions. Of gratitude mainly and relief.

And then Mr Shah Rukh Khan tweeted this to me

At that point, somehow I got so emotional that I bawled. Called up a dear friend (or perhaps she called, I cannot remember now) who was also bawling on the other side and said she was so happy for me. And she said that this is for all that Ma has done for you. And we bawled some more.

Amma wasn't too expressive to me, but she tweeted. 

Shekhar sir invited me to the audio launch on the 3rd July and I landed up. I felt lost initially, though I have attended numerous ones here. Thankfully spotted Jitesh (Pillai) and I heaved a sigh of relief that I finally saw someone I knew. 

Shekhar sir introduced me to SRK and I, for one of the first times, asked him for a picture. He obliged and said he was touched by my mother's tweet and asked me to convey his regards to her. Though the word "mindblown" is soo easily thrown about these days, that's exactly what I felt at that point. One that he read my mom's tweet, two he remembered and three he enquired about her. I said I am humbled and cannot imagine that a superstar of his stature would do all that. 

Deepika was extremely sweet and told me that she loves Titli and yes she obliged with a picture too. 

Post event party, SRK said said he'd like to talk to my mother and I thought it would be one of those polite conversations and I said sure whenever you want. And he said I'd like to talk to her now. Call her. And I did. He took my phone, went off someplace quieter where he could have a conversation for a few minutes and returned. 

I kept telling Shekhar sir (Vishal wasn't present at the launch and I hadn't been able to meet him during the recording session here in Chennai) how grateful I am for the opportunity of a lifetime. 

Sometimes, life gives us gifts. Like the rainbow after a storm. Or like the rain itself through thunder and lightning. And because life is the way it is, the gift is carried by someone. This time round God was kind enough to send it through this song. 

To be able to continue doing what I like doing best, which is singing and to be able to meet some of the most creative, brilliant minds and musicians is the greatest gift that has been accorded to me. And I believe that each song that comes my way is a blessing. And it is impossible to not feel immense gratitude for the people who make it possible.

This time it is for Shekhar sir (and Vishal sir as well). None of the good reviews or the interactions with SRK / Deepika would have been possible but for him.

And of course to the creator. Grateful. And a lot more. But nothing less.