Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happened to go to MGR Janaki college for the valedictory function. And it rained ice :) Hailstorm they say, But I am not sure of the terminology. Nice looking pebble shaped ice and it was great fun to see them and more or less the people at the college went berserk and used it as an excuse to get drenched in the rain. And oh getting drenched in a hailstorm kinda hurt. Then was wondering what would have happened to the car. Being pelted and all. And this is not a new thing apparently. My mom has seen it as a child and so has my neighbour. Anyway once the downpour was through the event went by very well. It feels nice when you are being cheered. And today I happened to sing a few of my songs as a medley and its an awesome feeling when the audience sings along. With utmost gratitude at that moment for the people because of whom I am a singer, I also was grateful for the fact that there are people who like me for my singing. And that the rasika makes a performer.
Though I have read 'Living with the Himalayan Masters' before, reading it once again gives a whole new dimension. A whole new experience. Some answers. But still more questions. Wonder what stillness feels like.

Friday, September 21, 2007

iPhone - iWent, iSaw and i-AmNotConquered

And I happened to check out an iPhone first hand.. it reminds me of the O2 and all that. I gingerly held it and checked out what it is like and the touch screen responds only to jabs.. Looks like feather touch is out of fashion. And jab with the fingertip; if there is a stylus I didn't see it. And the phone is like a maze as long as I am concerned. Say, you have time on your hands, and you are wondering what the phone is like and you decide to take a tour. And I got lost and took me a while to figure out how to come to start point. Just before you start smirking about women not being able to find their way anywhere, bite your tongue or your thoughts :)
And also heard it guzzles battery. I heard a song on the phone, Hayley Westenra, (she sings very well and looks a million bucks) but other than that, I am not in the least impressed with this one. I am a huge Mac fan (as a lot of people know) and I expected magic to unfold in my palm once I held this much expected piece of tech.
We have the Sony Ericsson P900 and the Communicator and needless to say both of them are dated. I am bored with keeping tabs and I realize that lately, I have dropped out of the race to own the latest in mobile phones. Of course unless something blows me away I am not putting my bucks in another one not until our phones breathe their last.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Satham Podadhey

And I am the voice of Padma Priya in the movie. Though I have known Vasanth sir for a long while this is the first time I am working for his movie. And it so happened that it had to be for dubbing.
The technical crew at the studio, I have already worked with before, for Unnale Unnale. And working there is always super fun. The sessions are rip roaring funny and in between I emote for the actress. Also one of the things is that during a voice test, we keep modulating my voice, change it here, fine tune it there to adapt to the particular heroine. And the problem, is to remember that 'voice' until the end of the dubbing sessions. Vasanth sir had to keep telling me not to pester him and 'be serious'. The dubbing studio, especially this particular one brings out the nuttier side in me. Probably because of the comfort level I share with the engineers there and they are some of the best minds. The soundscape artistes at this studio have won about 7-8 national awards over the years. And the point is I could be wrong in the numbers. For all I know it could be more than 10.
There was one particular portion in the movie where I had to sound as if my voice was being heard through a drain pipe. And they actually brought out a huge PVC pipe that is stocked in the studio for such purposes. And I had to speak through it. Like the say the magic is in the detail. One actually realizes the efforts that go in making a movie while dubbing.
Vasanth sir is a wonderful teacher and sometimes I was scared of him. One particular scene was very intense and the first time I saw it before dubbing I broke down sobbing. I could not handle it. And when it came to dubbing that scene, I did it along with Nithin Sathya (he also acted in chennai 600028) and as he dubbed I had to react and scream. I was and am still afraid of Nithin, for some weird reason. So half the screams came out because he was right next to me shouting and Vasanth sir knew how to bring out the terror as well. Needless to say I broke down while the scene was being dubbed, but this time I spoke some words out as well, which clinched it. This is one of the most memorable dubbing episodes in my life and will always be.
And I am yet to watch the movie in the big screen. Once I do, I guess I ll remember some more.
Reminds me to take pictures next time.
I recorded this particular song just about 3-4 weeks ago and this has been one of the quickest to get on the racks so far. A duet with Karthik for Srikanth Deva.
This song with him came after a long gap, the last song I recorded for him was for Kuthu in 2004.
Recording sessions with him have been a lot of laughter and joy and great work. I have a tendency to smack my forehead if I go wrong while singing. And Srikanth ji has a tendency to keep score. A smack that is resounding gets a 2 pointer and sometimes less noisy ones get a 1/2. Once I realized there was a scoreboard and it had become a 'national' joke I made a conscious decision to not go a-smacking.
One of the biggest joys in my life is my career.. thank God for huge mercies.
Listen to it here

Sunday, September 16, 2007

We found this specimen of the insect world in our window sill today and out came our camera.
As it posed my mom and I went berserk clicking away.
I wonder how it will look in foliage :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Complain about potholes in the city? Lets fix them up ourselves!

The 'I-Fix' Initiative
Remember I spoke vaguely about the guys who fixed potholes in Chennai on their own? Happened to get to know Vijay better the past couple of days. I met him first at Podworks but did not get to interact then.
And a few days back when we were leafing through the papers deligently before my show on radio - part of our work and quite a luxury to get 7 different newspapers in your hand to read.
'I-Fix' started off working on our roads on the 14 th Aug. And a month later, today, as I type they are working somewhere in Adyar. Read up about this particular initiative here and once the people get together there is nothing that can't be done.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hello Miss

I found this audio clip pretty late. Hello Miss in Neevalle Neevalle, the Telugu Version of Unnale Unnale.
A recording in Harris Jeyaraj sir's place takes almost 4-5 hours.
And when I went to record this song, Harris sir was not there but the lyricist and the studio engineer were present. At this point I must say one thing about the sound engineers. They are probably one of the biggest repositories of experience and knowledge of all that happens in the studio that they work on. They 'll also have the most number of anecdotes.
G V Prakash was recording when I got to the studio. I must say I was surprised to see him in the voice booth and then I told him that it would be great if he sings some more. The texture is nice.. for want of a better adjective :)
Of course he was quick to quip that he did not know why Harris sir chose him to sing and that he wouldn't give himself a chance in his own compositions. And gave his trademark child-like giggle.
Thereafter I went in and finished in about 30 minutes and once I stepped out the engineer looked at the clock and gaped "How come?" How did we finish so soon? :) But then there is not much female vocal segments in the whole song. Only at the end of the 2nd antara it took some pumping of confidence to get that laughter out. Though I look like someone who is confident to the extent of being headstrong, confidence is one thing I lack. And constantly question my abilities. But then, hey, I guess that is good for me!
Latest update on my audioblog

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

You know, one fine time of the 24 hour cycle you realize you are older.. post birthday realization should I say... One of the cards I got.. Asked me "How old are you?" and then it says "time to start to lying about your age" .. pretty funny when you read it.
but as time goes, you realize you have one year less to get all the nothing and something and everything you set out to do. And that is what is worrying. Or should I even worry or wonder.. ssshsho the questions I get. And the comments I will get after I post this :)

P.S.: Wayn, Facebook, Stumble Upon, Jaxtr, Hi5 some of the many new names I receive via EMail to add up. One networking site is pretty much enough.. And then do we like the same books, link to call me for free, earn via sms.. And all this from people I know but one particular note caught my eye in my mail box, which was also trashed - Desktop dating. Hello??? Mercy Lord!
Aahaa Kaapi Klub is becoming more interesting as days progress. When I was given an introduction to Jockeying on radio, I was told that as time goes and the initial trepidation wears off you'll be raring to go and waiting for your next time slot in front of the mic in the on-air studio. I am not expert but I quite enjoy Live radio. And if you are lucky enough to get a good producer nothing like it.
We happened to discuss about the people who make our Chennai dirty in the second hour of the show today, what they do and how should we punish them. It was a hilarious one hour ; Yes it was a serious topic but the way some people expressed their ire was interesting. One particular man happened to say how the garbage trucks strew garbage all over the road when they are on the run. The way he said "vazhi puuuuuuuuraaaaaa kottinde povanga madam" was really funny. And one man said how these pan-parag chewers-and-spitters must have their mouths tightly bound. And after each song, I have to remind the callers about the phone number and what we are talking about.. and wasn't this my time to use all new adjectives, naya vanjagargal, kodusoorargal.. ahh it was my field day. I am waiting for tomorrow morning :D

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yet another birthday in my life.. but one that will leave some nice memories. The day started with Aahaa Kaapi Klub and the first thing I saw at the studios - flowers :)
And one of my friends from Australia called in to the show and wished me on air.. Pretty kewl as well. It took me a while to realize that Jeyam Ravi celebrates his birthday today as well. Post show, my friends at the FM brought in cake and at that time I came to know one of the sound engineers also celebrates his birthday today.. it always so happened that even in school there were 3 people who shared my birthday. Two were my classmates, and the other, was the classmate's brother. Strangely both siblings were born on the same date. Back home I got some sleep which was in short supply and headed back to Aahaa and another cake was cut, this time from the organization. Rayhana ji celebrated her birthday yesterday so all of us blew candles again.
Mom and I were coming back home and decided to eat out and headed to the Residency Towers in T Nagar. We chose the buffet at the Coffee Shop, we have been there before and have liked it. Anyway neither of us are great eaters. Post soup we usually pig out at the salad section and then I usually head straight to the curd rice. I seldom see something that interests me. And thereafter I pig out on the desserts as well. This is our usual fare no matter where we go and yep we are strict veggies.
If you have are missing the crib, here it is. It looks like things happen around me so that I can blog about it *evil grin*

And we make a long, dark observation. And I hear trumpets, tra lalalala drum rolls and lo and behold - hair in your food. I call the manager tell him quietly. And he nods takes away the plate and brings me a another one. He then has a good look at the offending salad and goes his way. Thereafter we pay the bill, and I ask them to make sure that the chefs wear skull caps or whatever they are called so that this does not happen again in the comments card. The chef runs in and asks "you found hair"?? And I am like yep. And he says Sorry madam. It will not happen again. And walks off.
We pay the bill and we walk off as well.
I am wondering how clean or how well these star hotels adhere to cleanliness and health standards in India. OK forget India. Chennai. This is where I live. I have heard of horror stories of how you complain against the chef and he remembers you and next time he will dirty your food in purpose with wotnot. And yes, at the end of the day, the niggling doubt is pretty much there which I try to brush and dust away. Skat shoo. And it returns with a vengeance on days like these.
Hair today cooked / microwaved / baked tomorrow. Ah, how adages find new dimensions.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

I was leafing the classifieds of the Hindu which I do at sporadic intervals. Yep, the matrimonials as well, to see how peevish people are, that in all these years, they have not grown out of "homely, fair, good looking" parameters. Man seeking alliance would be a widower/divorcee but he only wants to marry a lady who has never married. Yeah-ha!!
Anyway this is not to discuss about the matrimonial section. I shall save this for another blog day.

The property deals is what I am talking about. Some apartment resale in Koyambedu, about 1400 odd sq.ft is priced at................ hold your breath....... 1 crore 20 lakhs. Now has this guy lost his mind? Or has everybody lost their minds? Since when have things started selling at such astronomical rates? Then out of curiosity I find out about the Puravankara apartments coming up on Valasaravakkam main road. The roads there are as narrow as clogged arteries. From Porur down to Vadapalani signal, you ll get anywhere faster if you just crawled. Its a fact. Anyone who commutes here knows what I am talking about. And the project of course is huge. Quoted rate is 80 lakhs and above. For a new apartment. What I do not understand, these areas are not developed properly, nowhere near the centre of the city and doesn't have the station or the airport nearby, no great schools to brag about for at least 8 kilometers. Well, isn't that the criteria that you usually see in these papers? Who allowed so much escalation of prices? And this Koyambedu flat is second or probably third hand selling at 1.2 Crores.

A lot of the apartments are not built properly, less than a year, water seeps in from nowhere, cracks happen. How come? And I also read about how none of them seem to follow the nine inch walls rule. And why aren't the people asking questions? How is it that they compromise on basics?

I guess people have become extreeeeeemely avaricious. And I wonder how there is no regulation on land prices and such.

And I also happened to read an article on how this stupid trend is (rightly) coming down and it wont be long before the prices start falling again. This article was particularly with regard to the land around the IT corridor. How at one time sellers were hounded by buyers and how now the sellers are running behind the buyers. Some Firms had even flatly refused buying land at inter-galactic sums (astronomical is out of fashion.. as prices rise so do adjectives). Pretty good I say. I hope it starts happening for residential areas as well. And if it is the numerous builders who have contributed to this (ok they are gonna have someone else to blame, and then it will all come back to our red tapism and corrupt system.. don't we know!) ................... Nothing I can do than blog about it.

What is happening?

Post Script: as of now 30 are feared killed in Hyderabad after a flyover that is under construction collapsed. And the best thing is this was to be inaugurated in December. Work has been under way on this bridge for almost a year already. And clearly this piece of construction has given way in the final stages. Bullcrap! So Again

What is happening?

Monday, September 03, 2007

While in Canada in June, I was interviewed by Desi Life a part of The Star. The article is reproduced below as I could not find a URL (Thanks Aruthi for sending it across)
I have found the URL and here it is

Saturday, September 01, 2007

In somebody's fort.......

I saw that one of my friends was listening to Veerapandi Kottayile from her status message. I had to listen it the next instant. And as luck would have it, I did not have the song on the laptop. After a lot of searching I fished out the cassette and am now listening to it the on the player.
Picture this: driving a super car with this song playing in a Bose sound system on an empty road. Or forget the car. No other noise, thank you very much.
Pure magic .. Nice thought to have at the end of the day .. *all smiles*

Post Script (Post) to the one below

To Selvam and Musically me:
The comments section was getting way too filled up so here goes:
Just to clarify you both, any other post of mine receives an average of 30-50 comments. Within hours of writing something. The one below has received only 2. Discuss relevant issues no one really bothers. Ask for help to make a change in the society no one steps forward. Even on radio people don't call in when we discuss a socially relevant issue. Picture this. 8 Am to 9 AM is the hour of discussing something, anything under the sun. Basing on the recent news article on the Junior actress who went to Dubai, trusting her co-artistes chasing a dream of making big bucks and was subjected to sexual harassment. This appeared in almost every newspaper and magazine. We decided to take this up and asked people to call in. We had exactly about 9 people who did. So we spaced the callers out and took two callers for each segment and wrapped it up. The next day, during the same hour, we spoke about the success of Chak De and how sports seem to have become popular subjects to base movies on. Chennai 600028 and slightly older Gilli as long as Tamil cinema is concerned. So I asked which movies have used games/sports as a part of the story and which of them would you like to see on the big screen. I had about 47 callers. There lies the difference. Everything from Silambaattam, Pallankuzhi, Goli, Pandi, Kho Kho, Kichu Kichu Thambalam, Sungu and some games I had not heard of. But handle a social topic and be prepared to face weak response. Also people do not want to be aware. They'd rather spend their comfortable lives than be subjected to turbulence. Even if it is for the greater good.
As long as singing children are concerned I have heard that some music groups have signed contracts with them, and they will have to sing until they are 'children'. They are not allowed to perform anywhere else and are threatened with dire consequences if they perform outside or drop out. If the parents cannot see sense then God save the children.