Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Some comments I have to reply to.

I got a thank you for singing KMI. I am not the one to be thanked here. Rahman Anna - DA ONE.

The DINK and DINS study was conducted in India. Maybe Outlook or The Week. I am not sure.

The Italy Trip - I was super lucky to have taken the trip with Ilayaraja Sir. I had never sung for him before. So I was shocked that he called me. Bhavatharini, Priti Uttam, Music Director Uttam Singh's daughter and Madhu Balakrishnan were the other singers. I think we were totally a 20 member group.

I got to know we were singing at an opera hall. It was also my first trip outside country, or even the city when I was on a professional assignment without my mother. I CRIED and cried. Half the time. She is the person behind everything that I am. My voice. And all the funda that I write about Ragas. I only type. While she dictates. Whatever I am able to do with my voice and as a person I owe it all to her. And I am at sea if she is not there.

It was also very lonely for me. She had work and she had to go somewhere else so she cancelled at the last minute.

Ilayaraja Sir, the first thing I went to his place, I started crying out of sheer fright. I said I am scared of you. (Yeah I did a lot of crying enough to last a lifetime, then)And then he and Bhavatharini started laughing. Then he said "Naan enna paeya boothama? Edhukku Bhayam?" Then he asked me to drink something. And I was also perenially scared to sing at the rehearsals. He never said anything. Even if he was angry or upset, it didn't show. He was like sing. And open your eyes and sing.

The rehearsals went this way. At the end they almost lasted until we had to almost leave to the airport from Prasad Studios. The rehearsals happened there.

We reached Italy after transit at Germany. It was a long haul. We reached the Bologna airport. We had to perform at Modena. Which was some 250 kms from Bologna, if I remember right. Modena had an airport too, we were informed, but it was under maintenance so all flights stopped here. It was cold outside. Maybe 9 or 10.C. We drove down to Modena by Bus. Some 2 hours.

Raja Sir, his wife, Bhavatarini,Uttam Singh sir, Preeti and I stayed at one hotel while the rest of them stayed at another. I didnt find out where. After settling down, we had to leave for rehearsals at the Opera Hall.

The Concert was called "The Musical Journey of Maestro Dr. Ilayaraja". The acoustics were too good. And I also saw how much work the women do in Italy. Lifting, drilling wot not. That done. The next evening was the show.

Sir told me again to sing confidently and to open my eys and sing.

Sir sang "Janani" first. And from the singers, I had to open. That was it. We were given headphones on stage, which doesnt happen in India. Here, we are on a constant struggle with the monitors, our voices usually never reach us properly, and we are just guessing what we are singing, there is no feed back. Explains why some concerts are not the same as listening to the CD.

I had also had a lot of trouble with the Taal with the Tabla Player. It was not in sync. As in between me and the Tabla Player. But on stage, it was a different thing. I was on a roll and it turned out much, much better than I had ever imagined. No problems with the taal. Or anything. After which Madhu sang a kriti, Preeti sang a Hindustani Classical Piece, and Bhavatharini sang another song. Our solos were now over. Other than that, I sang 'Ilangaathu Veesudhe' with Madhu, 'Aasaiyaa Kaathula' with Preeti and Bhavatharini, and 'En Ullil Engo' was a solo again. I hadn't heard this song before. I fell in love with this song when I sang that.

There were a lot of instrumental pieces also. Evenly distributed. And it was a wonderful concert. My favourite a three note composition, and Music in Indian life. The latter was a compilation of a Thaalaattu, a song sung during harvesting, marriage, falling in love. All his compositions. Yeah, definitely not in this order. The former was a composition made in only three notes. G, R and S.

I learnt a lot from this trip. What it was to be with a disciplinarian. And the first time I was under the influence of fear. Its actually 1/2 respect and 1/2 fear with him. I got less afraid later. I saw his style and way of working. I was darn lucky. Realised how God has given me a lot of things in life. Starting from my mom. There is a lot I have to say. To let people know. SO, thats coming soon to this Blog on a comp near you.

The Audience had only 6 or 7 Indian people. The rest were natives. And the applause. THAT WAS SOMETHING. It never stopped. After each song, we didnt know whether to stay on stage for courtesy's sake or leave so that the next person can come and sing. At the end they wanted an encore, right from the beginning. Finally we did an encore of one of the instrumental pieces. One evening. A lifetime's cherished memory.

I never thought that applause could be matched here, but i was proved wrong. But thats another anecdote. Another story. :)

Shall end my BLLLLLLLLLLooooooog here. This has been long enough.


Prabz said...

wow.. you are certainly lucky.. maestro is simply gr8!! i wish the indian govt give him some hifi and unique first of the kind award for his accomplishments!
thanks for sharing this wonderful experience.. it was simply good to read it the way you said it!!

Sriram said...

Ok, I'm gonna make sure u don't cry reading my comments. lemme see here.. I've got a checklist :
1: Good writer : check
2: One blog @ : check
3: One sitemeter counter : check
4: Long posts : check
5: vetti commenters : Double check
6: Loyal commenters (not me) : check
7: Blogroll : Nope.

Yep, you have all ingredients needed for a blog except a blogroll or "blogs thaty I read" or something close to it. might help there.. Nice post. Peace.

Vijay said...

Chinmayi, thanks for considering my request. Your writeup gave me the feeling of being there in the audience when all that happened. Couldnt have been more vivid.I am glad you had the opportunity to make it to the program.
FYI(in case you did'nt know it already) and for others sake, posting a couple of links where the CDs of those programs can now be ordered from

and the following link is the home of that company which is releasing the CD

Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Twin-Gemini said...

Thanks for writing about the pictures. I was trying to find out who were all there in that set of pictures. Now I know how Bhavadharini or Madhu Balakrishnan (Is he the one in the center, in the picture with three men?) looks like. I like to put a face to the voice of the singers; for a long time I thought the hindi singer Sunidhi Chauhan must be a little aged person because of her deep voice, only after seeing her picture in a posture recently did I realize that I was totally wrong!

Rahman is just too good. With every movie I see gradual progression in his music - it just keeps getting better and better. Have you heard his music on Bose? Simply superb!

Art said...

Seems like u had a lifetime experience :). Was really good reading ur blog.

Ram.C said...

Are you planning any other trips in the near future? What about, Singapore?

Recently, we had seen several artists during Bharatwaj's programme here..

Narayanan Venkitu said...


I love Ilayaraja.

Actually the last 1 whole month I've been listening to the song
'Poo Pooththadhu' from the Film Mumbai Express.

I think the tune and the instruments Ilayaraja used are really good. Its a refreshing song. I would say a masterpiece.

Wonderful song. Only crib...Why Shreya Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam? Why not Chinmayee and Madhu Bala?

Glad you had a good trip.

Chinmayi said...

Thanks Vijay.
I had no clue about the cd.. I knew they had taped it, right from when we got out of the aircraft, lookign all dreary and foggy eyed, till the time we boarded the craft again. And they said they might telecast it in a channel. It didn't happen. Wish it would soon.

Chinmayi said...

I have not performed in Singapore. Or Malaysia. Though I have been there a couple of times, once when mom had to give some Lecture Demonstrations at KL, for a span of three months, and the other a couple of years back for ITFA awards.

Badri said...

Raaja Sir is ultimate.I was blessed to hear a lot of his hits live in a concert by S.P.B sir.(For review read is the duty of youngsters like you to carry forward the great work done by such masters.We are sure you will.

KaarZ said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
KaarZ said...

Lucky person indeed!!!!!!!!!. nice way of representation Chinmayi keep it up.

pinchivasan said...

Hi Chinmayi,
nice write up and nice blogspot. I ended up at ur blogspot via forum linked by one Mr.Thops ( a regular forum member/IR fan). I don't know how many of the talented celebrities have their own blogspot, I think you are the first one I see as a known singer sharing your views about your related field, how do you find time? I feel blogspots by celebrities would be a revolution in the way media shares the personal interests and views from a celebrirties perspective. I wish more and more celebrities share their views and interests with fans and other common people with common interest, because I feel this format is purely unbiased, non gossip oriented, not artificially initiated or made up expression/views coming spontaneously from them compared to the conventional media's interviews, snippets cooked up stories and what not. Imagine if IR , ARR have their own blogspots totally uninhibited ( what makes their inspirations for their enormous creative outputs etc.. etc.) And finally, I desperately wanted your title song from the SUN TV serial "Marakka Mudiyuma", I some how missed to record this song during it's telecast time (well, I am a hardcore hater of Tamil TV serials but somehow most of these shows have great title songs either original or inspired), is there a way we can get that song in mp3 format from your personal collection or is there any source to get that song ?
Thanks in advance

Chinmayi said...

I have been trying to get the Marakka Mudiyuma song myself, from the producers, unsuccesfully though. Yep, its a wonderful song. Anbulla Snehidhi came before KMI and Marakka Mudiyuma came after. So it was great timing and people didnt forget my name in a hurry. Needless to say both these songs made me a household name. :)

meena said...

it was really good reading ur blooooog. Gave me a feel of being present in the concert..
Keep Sharing ur experience..

Krishnan said...

Just listen to your rendering of "En Ullil" at the live concert. It was amazing. Though I couldn't recognize your voice thought it should be yours and came back to your blog (I remmembered you had written in your blog regarding this concert) to make sure it was you. Good going. One thing that amazed me was the number of instruments that were used in the concert. not man I think, a keyboard, tabala, violin, flute and some percussions. Good going.

mohanavanan said...

HI Chinmaayii,

I've heard ur songs. u have a matured voice. the first time i heard ur, i was obsessed with it. Ur recent concert in Italy was remarkable even i have commented about it in my blog. In some part in En Ullil song, u were a bit afraid, but i'm listening to the song every day. U were simply superb and Preetti too. All the best, take care.

Gopal said...

Hello Chinmayi,

I just listened to "En Ullil" from " in italy". I have never heard this song before, but now I have an irreplaceable love for this song. I can feel the feeling you have put into this number. Everything is right about the song, the tune, the prelude with flute piece, your singing & amazing interludes. Great job! Keep up your good work, give us more gems & I wish you captivate more and more people with your talent. ALL THE BEST.

I dont have any words to express the various feelings that Ilaiyaraaja's music evokes in me, but I know that I cannot think of a life without his music. I am extremely fortunate to be in the same era. Mere "thinking" about a particular gem of his gives me goose bumps. I am serious about it. While I am writing this, "Kuyil Paattu..." (from En Raasavin Manasile) came to my mind and what a mind blowing song that is. Soul binding tune & interludes!


Gopal said...

missed out to mention that I immensely liked your song "Oru Deivam Thandha" in Kannathil Muthamittal. Great!


Pulikesi said...

Hi Chinmayi,

thanks for sharing ur experiences...u cried in front of ilayaraja..i cant imagine...

so Italians understand indian music uhh? great...when was this concert?...

all the best..

Oviyan said...

Hi Chinmayi,

U went via Bologna to Modena. I was stayting in Bologna at tht time. But dint knw abt tht concert. Else i wud hv attended the prgm in Modena. Am an ardent fan of Maestro and nice to hear tht u hv performed along with him.... sterday only i hv created my blog....

this is my blog link....

Bye for now.... :)

Teshu said...

I like this blog entry. I have been on the blog world for 6 years now and it's become a habit for me to go through someone's blog when I start enjoying their style of writing :) Most often I never comment, I read.. I enjoy, I smile or cry, and I move on. Somehow I am commenting on ever other entry of yours (no.. not because you are pretty pink or because you are a celebrity) but it's some innate feeling I guess.

Blogs feel special when there is lot of honesty in them. And when you said you cried with awe after meeting the illustrious Ilayaraja Sir, it makes the reader connect with your feelings. Very few people have the courage to admit (let alone write) that they cried.

Am glad am reading your blog :)

Vijay said...

Lovely narration...Wish I was there in the audience to feel what u said..its really bad that there is no publicity of this concert..I bought the CD and the Video..its not complete and its bits and pieces..hmmm..after all its Raaja..and he always gets this kind of publicity..I loved reading ur blog though!!..thanks