The media - Television, Print and Radio - has been the kindest to me right from the time I stepped into the industry, wanting to fulfill a lot of my dreams and on the way to conjuring some more and making them a reality. All the leading Tamil and English magazines and Dailies have had writers who have spent time with me on interviews and spent some more penning it down and these are people to whom I owe tons of thanks and am immensely grateful.
I still remember the time, 5 years back, I was still a new entrant. A girl about my age came from the Economic Times to feature me on ET Madras Plus. It was a 1000+ word article on the first page and to this day the sheer beauty of that article makes me remember her time and again. I have not heard from her since then but she remains in my thoughts. I have made several friends and all of them have taken genuine interest in my growth and have played their part in recording it for posterity.
Another girl, Thilakavathy of Ananda Vikatan. She chased me for quite a number of days for the article on "Azhagaana Aangal". On what I thought of the men I loved. Unfortunately for her I kept insisting that I had no close encounters on a daily basis. For one I had no starting point. The primary influence in anyone's life would be their parents. Ask me to talk about women. I start from my mom. But I have not grown up with my father. So I said, I would not be good enough to to talk about men and asked her to reserve that article for after my marriage. Or when I fall in love. But she was relentless. And when she did come home I said she was wasting her time. I love men. I have had several crushes. But I had absolutely no answer to "Oru Aan eppozhudhu azhagaaga irukkiraan" (When is a Man beautiful?)
That was when I realized the magic in a journalist to bring out some things that we subconsciously know but fail to recognize. I totally adore my grandfather, I spent a lot of time with him as a child. But somehow I completely forgot that I could talk about him. And then Mr Kathiresan, a gentleman who first wrote to me as a fan, but is more a family member now. My principal Mr V Venkatachalam in Hindu Senior Secondary School Indira Nagar, one of the most charismatic men I have known. And there were so many more. Somehow she brought it all out of me. And after three hours she had the stuff to write, again, one of the most beautiful articles about me. Several calls to my show on Aahaa FM said they loved the article. And thankfully it came at a time when people were beginning to think I was anti-male. At the end of the talk-talk I was grinning and Thilakavathy wore a triumphant smile. All my meetings with writers have been great. Until now.
One leading English daily in Chennai. She said she wants to do a cover story for the supplement and subsequently came home for the interview and I had a great time talking to her. Around that time, I was getting a lot of suggestions to change my pictures that are being circulated in the press and advised me to get a professional portfolio done. I was told its high time I cared about how my pictures come out in the media. I thought I could use this interview as an excuse and an impetus to get something done, met one of the famous photographers in town, make-up professionals and stylists. The only down-side was that the makeup professional I wanted had his diary full for the next two weeks. The paper obviously had a deadline. The reporter said she was in a predicament and requested us to do the photo session with their photographer. We agreed after some deliberation. Thereafter a date was fixed but the reporter took off from work to attend to something personal and probably completely forgot about the photo session.
The past few weeks for me have been extremely hectic to say the least. I dubbed for two movies at the same time. We did not intend it to happen like that, we thought only one of the projects would get finalized. But then my voice was okayed for both movies and here I was running to the studio as soon as I left Aahaa FM. My song recordings were pushed to after 7, when the dubbing sessions got over. Some days I would have had to do two songs. And by the time I returned home, it would be after 1 in the night. Though its a great experience, dubbing can be physically and emotionally taxing and its quite rare that we agree to dub for a movie. Weekends I was performing somewhere. So the past couple of weeks were going on tight schedules and less than 3 hours of sleep every day. In the whole thing, I have had to miss a couple of weddings in my family.
Yup, I am no actress, no star of the world. But somehow I am lucky enough to have lots of work. Make no mistake, I am not cribbing. I love my life. I am super happy that I am having my hands full, working round the clock, doing the things that I love to do. Its not that I am busy all year round, but there are times when time is cramped. And this interview happened to catch me at one such point in time. And I am entitled to be busy, ain't I? This is the time to sweat it out, struggle and do the needful. I would love 48-hour days. Sadly I have only 24.
Nonetheless, I scheduled for the make up, hair stylist et al to come home and if you want the best in the industry, the bill runs quite high. On the said date the photographer is supposed to come at 1 in the afternoon. My mother called up the reporter to know why they have not turned up, she says the photographer is busy because he has gone on another assignment. Also because there was a communication gap. Since she was held up on personal work, she had asked someone in her office to schedule it with the photographer. They had apparently not done it. And after spending the required two hours to doll myself up (believe me its quite a painful, boring process) I was told to wash it all off. In a way I was happy. I could sleep for 3 hours before I headed out again! And plonked on the bed, dead to the world.
The whole of this week was quite a blur as well. And whoosh its Friday.Coming to why this post - the reporter has apparently had a chat this morning with my mom announcing that the photo shoot was for today, of course there was no prior intimation, since I don't have the time for it until Tuesday, mom conveyed the same to her. She says OK. And then unfortunately for her, she sent an sms "They are doing too much, cannot tolerate the attitude. It seems they do not have the time until next week. Please handle them". This was apparently intended for someone else. And it landed in our Inbox. Unfortunately. When she met us she was extremely sweet, mom took to her immediately.
Things can go wrong, someone might forget to inform the photographer, there might be competition within the organization, or it could have been a plain lapse by themselves. Understandable. We can mess up. I don't expect anyone to own up their mistakes and be a martyr because that is the name given to people these days who own up. But what I did not expect was that it was made to look as if I was the one throwing celeb tantrums. Mom was so upset when she read the message that she broke down. And I was angry.
I read an article in a newspaper. That the Supreme court had passed a verdict saying that Torturing a woman on the basis of her looks and skin colour by her husband will henceforth be a punishable offence. And this was reported to have happened in Delhi. This piqued my interest and I took this piece and threw it open for callers on Aahaa Kaapi Klub. And I made it a point to mention on every link that it was a Supreme Court verdict. The thing is, a Supreme Court Judge called from New Delhi, he was listening to the show on the www.aahaafm.com and said there was no such case and no such verdict. I laughingly requested him not to slap a Contempt of Court or something like that on me and clarified that I read it in the papers. He said he was aware of it and that its becoming increasingly difficult to trust the information given in Newspapers anymore. My question, is what if he hadn't called? No thanks to me, another 1000 people at least would believe that there was a verdict on those lines.
As for this photograph issue, when someone who is even remotely popular has a bad pic taken, or wears the 'wrong' sort of clothes, or has the 'wrong' hairstyle, 'wrong' make up according to someone's opinion which is likewise published somewhere. And of course the "why can't they take care of their appearance?" comment. And by the way this is all about an individual's opinion which gets published just because they are on board some magazine.
We tend to trust a journalist because we believe that their views are unbiased. So what if she had told a few people that I am troublesome? And how in God's name should we trust anyone now? If a pipsqueak of a singer like me has an issue of this sort, I feel sorry for the amount of trouble that the real stars go through. If they want to make themselves unreachable, it seems to make sense now. Someone once told me that I should make myself rare. Not to Blog. Not to take calls. Not to talk to anyone. Not to be all that affable. That makes sense as well. Unreachable is definitely a better term than being called troublesome.