Saturday, June 30, 2007

had an interview session last morning and a rehearsal session today.
Worked damn hard crunching time meeting a deadline that was well, finally met. I shall finally get some peaceful shut eye.
Thanks to all this, I still have no idea how Toronto looks like except for the driving between several points
I heard the shopping places will be closed sunday and monday thanks to Canada Day and I ll have to pack in whatever I can tomorrow. If it is possible.
There was a banquet this evening with SPB Sir, Pa Vijay Mukesh, Suchitra (not of radio mirchi) and I. Pa Vijay is the host of this show. So this promises to be something new.
Also, every time I step out of the house, there is a limo in waiting. Though it looks great from the outside, I think that a Limousine is no great shakes. Also, its not comfortable getting in and out of the vehicle. And I admire the way the chaffeurs drive the car and the speed at which they go. Guess they get used to the car after a point. As time goes by, I am seeing that I dont get excited and all that with some things that I am supposed to get excited with. Like the Limo for instance. Probably its a good thing.
Looking forward to tomorrow..!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Currently in Canada

For a concert this 30th at the Air Canada auditorium.

Its going to be a super time for me, as I shall be sharing a small square meter of the stage along with Yesudas Sir, SPB Sir and Chitra ji. Mukesh is also a part of this show. Looking forward to a quite a bit and some great times.

Anyone who has suggestions on what I could do in Toronto, please do let me know!

P.S.: I wont be performing in the US on the 1st.
As for the songs I am going to be singing, the Run Order always changes on stage. So shaall report on what I sang.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Rest In Peace: Director Jeeva

I had a chance to meet him and work under him for a short sojourn, in Unnale Unnale, and I shall always remember those hours spent in the dubbing studio for the rip roaring time that I had. Even while speaking for Tanisha, I think we spent more time laughing and pulling everyone's legs than doing much work.
And once while I just started singing a song that was looping in my brain, while they were changing the reels, and I thought the mic was switched off, as it usually is, he had entered the console room, and the dubbing studio was such that I could not see who goes in and out of the console. The booth had the Mic and the TV, so that I could sync to the dialogues and yap away. When I finished humming, he just switched the talk back and said "very nice".
Unnale Unnale was one of the best times that I had dubbing and I shall always fondly remember it. I also wished that if ever I had a chance to make an album, he should wield the lens. Of course I never told him that. And now I never can.
I heard he passed away this morning while shooting for his movie Dhaam Dhoom in Russia.
To one of the directors who believed that I could speak for a lead female actor, and who gave me an oppurtunity to explore this facet. Thank You sir. I wish you hadn't taken leave so early.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Behind the veil of anonymity

.. a lot of people find it very easy to comment. I had once disabled anonymous commenters on this blog, because there was a lot of spamming for one. And of course it was very easy for a few people that don't like me to call me names. And small wonder, to the comments section to bad mouth the people I like.
Post PodWorks, there was Sagaro who asked me "what about Wordpress users?" And there I went enabling anonymous comments. The other day there was a commenter who sent me one saying I can't hold a candle to two other young and definitely hugely successful playback singers, whose names I shall not mention here, and that I am a piece of crap. To each his own.
No one knows about people's real names in the the web unless you know them offline and know of their online presence. When this is the case, most people go under the "anonymous" tag when they want to criticize.
I want to reiterate that I shall not publish any comments that degrade people in the industry, people I know or even do not personally. If I do, I believe that it will look like I am party to a person's views as long as criticizing someone else is concerned, if I publish them here. It is a very sincere request, that if you want to criticize another musician/popular person, please do so in your own Blog. And if you need to criticize me, please key in an EMail, I shall be glad to respond.

P.S.: Spell checked!! :D

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I watched Sivaji on the first day. a 2:30 show at Satyam. This was the first time I caught a Rajnikanth Movie on the First day with all the hype and hoopla. And I screamed myself hoarse whenever, well, everyone also screamed along. I completely adored the movie and loved the whole experience of a first day.
I am not the reviewing kind. I have no idea how to do that. But there are people who do, and how! If you want to read a review about Thalaivar's movie, it is at Sudhish's.
And I will probably catch the movie a few more times as well .... And I know the whole velocity of the euphoria that a Superstar movie creates. Whoah. Still to recover. Or Probably I wont...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The rain plays a rhythm outside, pigeons flutter outside our window, I see the city under the dark canopy of the sky with no stars peeking out to say hello, a cool breeze intertwined when nature is in one of her lucid moods....
Kabhi Neem Neem from Yuva looping on my system. A moment as sheer as white silk wafting beneath a single beam of light. The voices of the song and the voices of nature.... The notes in the song and the notes of nature .. Perfect harmony. Perfect Magic.
If only music can be translated to words. Ah... but then some things are better left untranslated. Wishing this moment upon everyone who is in the world right now.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sivaji - The Boss - speaks

Just saw on a news channel.
The Superstar is "nervous" to know the result of the movie
How does he look so young, blond hair et al?
"Ask Shankar, its a trade secret" followed by a disarming grin. He says "I am just an actor, AVM and the Director Shankar have worked so hard on this movie"
I almost collapsed when I heard him say "I am just an actor" (!!!)
The movie has a message for educationists, youngsters, the politicians, everyone.
He is "touched with the amount of love and admiration that his fans are showing. They are such innocent people and shouting their love for me" There was an intercut of his fans eating off the soil, a typical Kovil Vendudal, people piercing the 'Vel' through their mouths, and the Superstar's eyes became moist.
He said to the reporter, that all the hype is because it is created by people like you in the media.
And another channel likened him to Big B, and he says it "disturbs him" because he considers himself a follower, a fan and admirer, and does not want to be likened to a "Giant" like Big B.
And the news reporter in the studios was astounded with the humility he exhibited.

Disclaimer: I am in a state of utmost euphoria, a zillion butterflies in my stomach before I watch the movie. What is written here is not a verbatim recount of the interview. Only whatever has reached my sensory register is given here.

Just saw: Sudhish Kamath is giving Live updates as he watches the movie at Satyam

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Avid - Intel Based Macs : Does it work?

So here comes another question which I could not find answer to myself.

I decide to get a video editor, and liking Final Cut Pro, and then the bomb drops that it does not work on Intel based Macs.
And then goes the search to see whether Avid would work, and I am not sure with all the technical specs that I see there. I heard a whoosh just above my head, and I knew that is how the information flew past.
Now could anyone tell me whether Avid would work on the MacBook Pro?
And if it so happens, as I heard from another source, that I need to invest on a desktop to work on avid since it might/does slow down the system.

And if it has to be a new system, what should the specifications be like?


Sunday, June 10, 2007

PodWorks - Day 2

As soon as I woke up, it was great to see the coverage in Page 3 by Karthik Subramaniam on The Hindu.
We have started off pretty much on time, at about 10 AM IST
The Hall is not fully packed yet, but I reckon it will be in another hour.

The first session kicks off with Sridhar Ranganathan from Yahoo!
How to get your Blog 'discovered' by search engines.

10:17 AM IST
PodWorks Day 2 Tidel Park

Currently drinking tea as sweet as payasam and listening to Dinesh talk on how to Edit videos using Adobe Premiere.
11:07 AM IST
PodWorks Day 2 Tidel Park
Vivin Mathew from CNN-IBN took over to talk about "How to make an interesting PodCast"

Thereafter, we had Mr Shashi Kumar, Freelance Cameraman with Nat-Geo, Cameraman for the title song of Chennai - 600028 and who was also in team of Super Singer 2006, which is how I came to know him initially, to talk on "Frames and Lighting"
It was the session that was most fun so far

12:30 PM IST

Yousuf from Sun Microystems spoke about Server Side for about 20 minutes.

Went off to catch a coffee from Qwiky's and had lunch.

Violin Concert from 1:45 to 2:00 PM by Krish Ashok, which is in another ten minutes.

Session on Video Conferencing by Mr Eric for about 30 minutes.

A super fast 10 minute presentation by Karthik Kannan on How to make a Vlog in 10 Minutes [thats jargon for Video blog, well I have been here for almost two days now.. time to drop some words :)]
2:44 PM IST
Sharanya gave a short presentation on what not to do in front of the camera.
She was an intern with the CNN IBN

We now have Mr Shanmugham talking about PodLearning
3:16 PM IST

Talk by Mr Vikram of
And that was wrapped up at around 4:40

Thereafter we had a quick session looking at some of our favourite PodCasts.
I had to leave right after we took the group pic because I had to shoot for Vijay TV.

Some of the pictures from today

Kids at PodWorks.

In action!

My most common PodWorks pose. Have been clicked in this pose by several over 48 hours. I lowwwwweee my MacBook Pro. Thanks Siva

A tradition that is followed after every Knowledge Foundation event, the participants sign on the Vinyl.

Everyone came in with their cameras to catch the action on the ones with the Marker Pens.

And there were some happy onlookers, who also eventually left their signatures.

A snapshot of what it looked like.


And the very happy participants and Organizers.

You can check out a lot of interesting pictures at Vinay's Flickr

And this is how my day/evening took over right after PodWorks and went on till the wee hours of 11th morning. Life happens!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

PodWorks - And ITS ON!

Day 1 - PodWorks - June 09th 2007

Started off a a few minutes ago.
And we are just going through the introductions of the few Podcasters that are present here.

I am going to be updating this as frequently as possible during these two days.
9:32 AM IST

Talking on what stops people from Podcasting:
Quick Overview of what has been said
- Time or lack of it
- Unaware
- Unable to Monetize
- Audio Editing
- No quality attached to your name - Who will listen to me?
- Corporate prohibition
- Devices expensive

9:51 AM IST

BTW Kiruba is behind the Mic for the first session.

Thanks for the help on this picture - Srini and Manki.

And the Girl here is the youngest participant in PodWorks :)

A break for about 30 minutes for the Press Conference.
11:03 AM IST

The session by Karthik Kannan is already on in the meanwhile - Demo on how to make a Podcast in Audio
12:12 AM IST

Alternate seating arrangement.... Hey the is an 'Un'-conference :)
Alternate seating arrangement - Part 2
The Press Con - Sagaro a.k.a. Ganesh, Kiruba Shankar, Syed and Vignesh

Thats Karthik Kannan explaining "How to make an Audio Podcast in 10 Minutes"
1:03 PM

Break for lunch Back at 2:00 PM

Lunch was Pizza with Karthik Kannan, Pradeep and Preeti Chaturvedi.
2:00 PM and it was my turn to speak on Mic, Voice and Interviewee Management. OK thats a lot of jargon, but sometimes its a blessing :)

That is Kiruba Shankar a.k.a. Kribs.

2:52 PM IST

Talk on "Tips on Blogging on Wordpress" by Sridhar Rao, Vibhash and Himanshu from 2:37 pm IST

Post Lunch and the floor seats have more takers ;)

Learning to Post a YouTube video on my Blog. This is the test.

Learning how to embed YouTube objects. Yeah its just paste the code, but then hey, I admit I need someone to push me!
This session closed at 3:18

Now On: Vitamin M - How to make money through your Blogs.
By Sunil Nair -

And the session closed at 3:50
One of the best sessions today :)
Break of about 15 minutes to dunk some Red Bull.

Mr. Venkatesh
Talk on monetizing again,but to help underprivileged people.
4:08 PM

Talk on Corporate Blogging - by Dhempe later taken over by Vijay Sriram
4:10 PM
End of talk at 5:00 PM
Somewhere in between Kribs gives the announcement that Vans are available outside the venue for the Beach House Party.

Currently watching the route to the Beach House
Here is the damn cute clip
And video by Sagaro a.k.a. Ganesh
5:02 PM

First day wraps up at around the same time, but a lot of us hung out for a while.

One of the last 'working' pictures. With Sagaro

I finally reached home in time to watch the next episode of Super Singer Junior.
The team is partying at the beach house.

Tomorrow's focus will be on Video Podcasting.
Shall continue my updates tomorrow as well. And I had a rollicking time!

Friday, June 08, 2007

I am speaking at PodWorks

I just heard from Kribs that I will have to speak there on How to work with the Mic. Apparently most people are not able to speak to a Mic as easily as they are able to speak to a congregation of people.
This would probably be the first time that I am speaking in front of some of the best brains in the field of technology. Of course, knees are losing their caps. But let me see how it goes. Shall keep this space updated. But at the end of the day, I am going to be having lots of fun.
Godspeed to Podworks!

Podworks - TOMORROW!!

To repeat myself , super excited.

Read more on whats going to happen at Kiruba's

Thursday, June 07, 2007

2 days to go for Podworks

And I am soooo looking forward to it. :)
*rubs hands in glee*

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

And this is going to be an outpouring of something that I have gotten used to hearing and remained silent so far
I have mentioned several times, that I have had a closed upbringing. My childhood was more like a Gurukula with Mom and I, and a lot of time going in her teaching me. I did not go about playing in the streets or the like and wasn't much into school sports except throwball, which I gave up because the screaming, shouting and the dust was affecting my voice. I enjoyed it while it lasted and I clearly had better things to do.
The singer that I am, The voice that is heard across countries and the songs that I have gotten to sing, all the versatility that people come to laud me for is because of the contribution of one person, and one lady alone, who decided to be the wax that makes the candle to make me the light. She gave up a very lucrative career opportunity that came in the West because she needed to give me the upbringing and musical input that can only happen in Indian climes. And she gave up being a researcher and a documentary film maker, when everything was culminating for her, because she saw that I could evolve into a good musician. And one of the biggest investments anyone can do, and no one really cares for once the investment has been made, is time. She gave me the prime of her life.
And now that I am a somebody, and since she is my Guru and a mother, I refer to her as 'amma'. Not 'Guru - ji'.
Whenever I quote saying that I have learnt this from her, she used to teach me this; I immediately get messages or retorts saying I talk too much about my mother. After a point in time mom asked me to eschew mentioning her in the media.
I have followed it for a while now. Ironically even today people ask me who I have learned from.
Why is it that I cant talk about a Mother and a Guru? Why is it that it singing my mother's praises is "wrong"? And I have heard this a lot - "amma puranam"??!
If you learn from a Guru outside and fail to mention their names in any of your interviews, you had it. Anyone who knows anything about classical music knows what I am talking about.
And she is my reference point most of the times, and when I have to remember something that she has told me in her numerous classes to me, what should I say ? "Oh I have heard this... I have gleaned that.... I have read... " without citing a source? So what if the source is mom? She is usually my only source.
In my life there have been two learning centres, one has been my own home, and the other has been Rahman Sir's studio, which I have mentioned in my posts earlier.
I go into overdrive whenever I hear comments on how I should avoid talking about mom, and have to stop myself from lashing out.
I wonder why this mindset happens in people that people who have become a known figure should not mention their families? For Goodness sake, anyone who is a someone is because the family members have given up on a lot of things, sacrificed a lot. Even in Super Singer Junior, the parents of the children, work Overtime to compensate for the days-off they take on shoot schedules as the shoots don't happen on holidays or weekends.
My Mom is what makes my family, runs after my things, keeps things in place, cooks and keeps the home in tip-top shape, manages my shoot schedules, costumes, talks to umpteen people with regard to interviews, recordings, concerts visas and wotnots, inspite of being a chronic slip disc patient. And though all these comments about my quoting her bothers me a lot, there is nothing much than I can do that blog about it. Thank God for blogs, and for people who read this kutti space. *Sigh* and *Pissed off*

Television and wotnot

On the read up following our friend wanting to buy a new Television, I read up on the Plasma, LCD and Projection TVs whats hot what's, well, not.
In between all this, we were also wondering why not buy a TV ourselves. 'Cos our BPL has definitely seen better days. Since we don't switch it on much and the only screens that are on throughout are the computer screens.
I figure out that the next big thing in TV tech is Laser and SED. I also read up that the Laser TV's may cause more damage to the retina, as per the Wiki.
That being the case, I am going to wait it out and see who the winner is between the SED and the Laser. Ah, but then. Technology being the capricious thing that it is, by the time the bugs are ironed out and the best that can be comes out in SED and Laser, there'll be something else that makes these two obsolete. Sometimes I wonder whether technology conspires to empty our wallets all the time luring us out of our couches, or should we say recliners now? Even the recliners keep changing. And yeah I am anticipating comments "only change is constant"!
Moral of the post: I might buy a TV sometime.
As days go by, I am getting increasing number of mails on why I am not part of Rahman Sir's concert tour.
I could have been part of it if not for Vijay TV's Airtel Super Singer Junior. Life is all about opportunities and sometimes it is also about those lost.
I was completely depressed to say the least, that I could not go because I am supposed to be in Chennai until the end of June.
Chitra ji was damn sweet to tell me that she was singing Sahana in the concert and asked me for the lyrics. She also added to say that I sang very well. It was not necessary for a singer of her stature to tell me all that and thanks to Legends like her, we fledglings learn. I still remember the time I first met her at her residence a few years ago and how warm she was. And around that time, when asked in an interview for a leading Tamil daily, on which other female playback singer she liked or something on those lines, she quoted my name. For as long as I remember, she has called me kutti, and Usha ji and her have been awesome Judges on the show. I have learnt so much from the way they have been with the children and how much fun the children have had with them. Clearly the best judges ever :D
A post on ASSJ is long due. Shall be done soon.
Moral of this post: I badly miss not being able to sing in Rahman sir's concert and God and time willing, there will be another opportunity. Touche.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Take Two - With Gangaiamaren Uncle

It seemed like there was no one left who had not already done a Take Two. I was one of the few and it was becoming increasingly difficult to find someone who had not done it before.
Mom said Gangaiamaren uncle would be great for this but it remained to be seen whether he would do a feature of this magnitude with a fledgling like me.
For those who do not know, Gangaiamaren uncle is also part of the Aahaa FM team, hosting a 2 hour show on weekends, called Amarkalam.
As soon as I gave him a call, he agreed immediately.
We met up at Amethyst on Saturday afternoon and the conversation was recorded on Sudhish Kamath's Macbook. The photographer from Hindu was also present.
It lasted more than an hour and a half and there were times I had hold myself from rolling on the floor. Uncle is awesome company and as far as youngsters are concerned he easily makes himself one of us and we have never felt intimidated by his status and presence in the field of music.
I have been following Sudhish's blogs even before I started blogging perhaps, but then I am never that good with dates and the like. I was formally introduced to him at the Podworks initial meetings though we had attended several common do-s. As ever I was very glad to get to know him and thanks to circumstances and time perhaps. I failed to take the photographer's name but he was part of the great company that day.
The uncut version is in Sudhish's Blog. And predominantly in Tamil.
Runs to about 83 minutes. Please give a listen. And the Take Two will be in MetroPlus today (05/06/2007)

Thanks to Sudhish Kamath for being patient enough, for this time round, working around my schedule was becoming tough due to Airtel Super Singer Junior. It is definitely one of the best features that I have been in.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Signature Tune - Podworks

I had promised the Podworks Team that I will bring them a signature tune, and if not for Sid this would not have been possible. Sid is someone who I believe has a super future in the field of music and he also teaches me the basics in Piano whenever he can, and whenever we both find free time.
This is what I could offer as a musician to Podworks. Please give a listen and do let us know how it sounds.
Though I am not turning up for meetings and things because I invariably have concerts during weekends, I am trying to do my smallest bit.
I have been looking forward to this for a very long time now and hopefully this will give me the right impetus to make my own Podcasts in audio and hopefully, video as well in my Blog.
An advantage is that I get to work with some of the best brains in the field of Media, thanks to presenting shows in Vijay TV. In addition to the Directors and Producers in the show, I also get to meet the Editors fleetingly. So, as far as technical advice is concerned, I should get it in abundance.
Now, I am wondering how to make my show, to be cliched, different.
I have been trying like a mad cap to integrate my blog into my comatose website, I should say with no active changes in about 4 years. What seems to be the problem? Lack of time, and I wish I had someone in the family who could make the changes to the website and the need-to-be done-s.
I am unable to make changes on the Blue-Elephant website as well.
So God Willing I shall start 'producing' my own shows on my .com

P.S.: The voice belongs to me. In response to a few people asking me.


Though I am not turning up for meetings and things because I invariably have concerts during weekends, I am trying to do my smallest bit.
I have been looking forward to this for a very long time now and hopefully this will give me the right impetus to make my own Podcasts in audio and hopefully, video as well in my Blog.
An advantage is that I get to work with some of the best brains in the field of Media, thanks to presenting shows in Vijay TV. In addition to the Directors and Producers in the show, I also get to fleetingly meet the Editors. So as far as technical advice is concerned, I should get it in abundance.
Now, I am wondering how to make my show, to be cliched, different.
I have been trying like a mad cap to integrate my blog into my website which is in coma, I should say with no active changes in about 4 years. What seems to be the problem? Lack of time, and I wish I had someone in the family who could make the changes to the website and the need-to-be done-s.
I am unable to make changes on the Blue-Elephant website as well.
Though it this has nothing to do with this post, I must mention the amount of work that my mother has to do just so that I go to my recordings and shows and whatnots in time, and get it done properly. All the nitty-gritty work, and that takes a hell of a lot of time and energy, is taken care of by her. She got slip disc because I was born and her whole life she has been living with it, or rather co-existing with it.