Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kumaran Silks "Paadum office" telecast

Is on air as of yesterday. This is a 10 episoder and will be telecast on Vijay TV on Saturdays between 7 - 8 PM IST and Sundays, repeat 4.30-5.30 PM.
We finished shooting for the series pretty fast and as usual a lot of fun though this was a completely new team that I worked with. James Vasanthan is the brain behind this show and he is seen me grow over the years. From a girl who barely spoke, who was highly inhibited, to someone who talks shop in front of the camera. When I did face the camera for Paadum Office and when I saw James Vasanthan in front of me giving me instructions, it felt nice. For one I never thought I would ever talk much in front of the camera, let alone host shows. And of course two other Presenters who I admire, Vijay Adiraj and Uma Padmanabhan. They have been surprised at the transformation that time has wrought about.
Paadum Office was short and pretty sweet!

My First Kannada song

For the movie Hani Hani. It has released as of last week and was recorded a few months back and thereafter quite a few numbers in Kannada. All of the songs have been brilliant. And I am looking forward to quite a few good releases there. :)


Quite a movie that.. I am thinking of watching whatever Michael Moore makes. American Dream? More like a dark nightmare.

The past few days

Life has been pretty hectic the past few weeks with a lot of things going on simultaneously. Travel, concerts, recordings, practising and prepping for forthcoming concerts. And less sleep. Thankfully this weekend is slightly relaxed. I was to attend a wedding in Bangalore and somehow the alarms did not go off and I woke up too late to catch the early morning flight.
In a way, that was good since I could be home for Karthikai deepam.

Friday, Aahaa Kaapi Klub we decided to talk about the Smalin Janita dowry harassment case. We had been hearing about them for more than a week by then and I was curious to know and speak to the people involved. That is when I knew how convenient it was to work at Aahaa, under the Kumudham banner. Within minutes we got in touch with Janita's father, her husband and her sister-in-law and got their take. And that was the first time Christy Danius spoke to the media as well. Even as the show was underway, there were several people who called in and said it was good to know the other side of the story, since the media had heard of only what Smalin Janita's family had to say. Like ever, we are told not to take sides and honestly, it is pretty tough to take sides.
We also got Ms Shivashankari, Ms Jhansi Rani and Ms. Sumathi, an exceptional lawyer to give their opinion and advise women who will or want to eventually marry an NRI. I especially liked Ms Sumathi's comment where she said, a man would never accept a woman making mistakes or pardon or forget her errors or errant behaviour,(we have heard stories right from the Ramayana.. for one I don't have much respect for Rama, but there is much to be understood in epics like these. There is more to it than the face value)but a woman has been conditioned to always "poruthu poganum", to bear with the man's issues and faults, no matter how grievous they may be, and also that a she can/should correct him, make him human, and then make him God and worship him. I was rolling on the floor laughing but that one line mostly summed up the lives of most Indian women. Even if there are wife-beating louts, criminals, or whatever else the woman is expected to live with him than without him and lead a better life and also look upon him as God. Sometimes, no thanks to the media (serials, movies, whatever) portraying women looking upon their husbands the same way. Generally Ms Shivashankari and Ms Sumathi skimmed the surface of marrying NRI-s. That said, I do not believe that everyone living in India are great and everyone abroad are demons. I personally do not think I will ever live outside of India. I am too rooted here, my work, my music is here, and I just don't feel at home anywhere else, taking my travels into account. And Chennai is definitely the place to be. And as I have said before, home is where the heart is and that is definitely where music plays

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A R Rahman Live In New Delhi

That was last night and a totally explosive concert. This was Rahman ji's first concert in Delhi.
Sivamani, Hariharan, Chitra, Sadhna Sargam, Blaaze, Kailash Kher, Madhushree, Saumya Rau, Naresh Iyer, Rayhana, Ishrath, Tanvi, Sayonara, Mohd. Aslam, Aslam Khan from Jodhpur, Dr. Narayan. Quite a gang there. 50,000 people in the audience last night, and thankfully it was not too cold.
I sang Tere Bina with Rahman sir. Nothing like singing in front of the live audience. Quite clearly the it is one of the most popular songs and to play a small part in it feels good.
Happened to meet Saumya for the first time. She is one of the voices that I have always liked and now that we also share a song in Bheema it was good knowing her. Very simple, chilled-out girl and surprisingly speaks great tamil :)
The only downside there - the mosquitoes. I guess half a litre of blood would have been sucked out of me.

Its during shows like these that we get together and spend some time talking or generally jamming. And needless to say, the sense of humour that is present my default in almost all musicians, it just flows. Everything from make up to clothes it is equated to music and rhythm. Like for example, someone's eye shadow is slightly off from where it is supposed to be, Hariharan ji comes in and says, "konjam thalli.. 'thaka' thalli irukku, avlo dhan"(roughly translates to off beat). People who know what thaka and thakadhimi will know what I am talking about. But then most of the times humour is lost in translation and I guess in repetition as well.

And then there was Aslam Khan, who sang Rang De Basanti. The pitch of that song is uncomfortably high for most singers and the only one who can comfortably sing in that pitch except Daler Mehndi would be Rahman sir. And of course Rahman sir's songs no one can repeat. Aslam Khan came in after singing that song and says "someday that song is going to kill me". Chitra ji was her usual quiet self and so was Sadhna ji. Madhushree had sprained her leg before the show and she was on a cocktail of antibiotics and painkillers and once she was on stage all was forgotten. Of course when the adrenalin sank, she was in a daze. Naresh was his usual bubbly self with a lot of people going ga-ga about his hairstyle. Mohd Aslam is the stand up comedian, off stage of course, mimicking everyone under the sun.

Its a dreamy, magical world that I usually always want to be in. Sigh!

I am given to believe that this will be telecast in Star World soon. Will be posting the pictures as well. Only this time Rahman anna wasn't too keen on being photographed, so no pictures of him... sorry!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Deepavali!!

And the festival of lights lights up our homes and hearts once again.
I am looking forward to the show on Aahaa FM tomorrow, a special with Vijay Yesudas and his wife Darshana, since they are celebrating Thalai Deepavali, and so is Aahaa FM (technically !) They are a wonderful, happy couple and Darshana is one of the nicest ladies that I have come across. And I am looking forward to speaking to them tomorrow morning as usual.
The show with Actor Vijay will be telecast on Vijay TV at 10:00 AM if my information is correct. :)
Though I am not into bursting crackers we definitely do light lamps all around our house and the ones closest to our home which makes a delightful sight.
From our family, this is a heartfelt wish for a brilliant Deepavali to yours, and may peace love joy and prosperity be all around you!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Yesterday passed in a Deepavali shoot for Vijay TV. A show called Nayakan with actor Vijay in a village called Kammavaanpaettai. About 15 kms or so from Vellore, this village is famous for one thing. Almost all the men in the village are in the Army. Every family boasts of sending at least 2-4 men to fight for the nation and the children seem to naturally choose to go to the Army. It was a lot of fun but there was enough physical strain as well. As soon as Vijay stepped into the village the team from the channel could only look helplessly as we were also shoved and pushed around and as our producer quipped "I have now become security guard in the name of a show producer"
There is one special thing that awed me as long as channels and producers and directors are concerned ....They are the ones who get on the field, dirty their hands and lose all sleep and food and water to present a programme to the best of their ability and all of them are big names as long as the media is concerned.
And I also saw that no matter how many schedules and run-orders were made as to what will happen at what time after Vijay comes in, the villagers became the directors after he actually did.
Vijay was generally quiet and when I did ask him about the endless pushing shoving and he also ended up with enough scratches, "I am used to it... and I love it". The way he said "I love it" the conviction and the pride was palpable.
Generally a good day.

Friday, November 02, 2007

3:11 PM snapshot of Chennai in time

Due to paucity of time, I am just pasting the text that you will find at Do take part!!


On the 3rd of November 2007, we invite every Chennaiite to for one second, at exactly 03:11 PM, stop whatever it is that they are doing, and click, shoot, snap, capture or photograph that moment, just hold that one instant frozen in a picture and send it to us. This is not for any great worthy cause, this is not a competition, it may or may not help charity, it will not prevent global warming, you will gain no medals, no certificates but it is most definitely not a waste.


It is to share with so many of your neighbors what was going on in your part Chennai at the same time as something else was going on in theirs. There are no requisites to do this, other than that you be in Chennai, whether it be a fancy SLR or a VGA mobile camera, get the clearest, cleanest shot you can that will suggest what you were doing or what was going on near you, in our lovely city, at that one instant.


If you wish to contribute, synchronize your watch, set reminders and alarms and just remember to shoot that moment. Please attach a note, in under 50 words, with your name and where you were when you clicked that snap.

You can also lend a hand by informing your friends and by putting up a link on your website. We wish to make not just a collection but a memory, on the internet and if we can, have it published to share with as many Chennaiites as we can,’03:11 PM’.