Friday, May 02, 2008

The Pen ......

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.

21 comments:

Pradeepan said...

Chinmayi, everything comes with a Price :)
Queen's "We are the Champions" song goes like this...

{
Ive taken my bows
And my curtain calls -
You brought me fame and fortune and EVERYTHING THAT "GOES" WITH IT -
I thank you all -

But its been no bed of roses
No pleasure cruise -
And I aint gonna lose -
}

Keep going !

SHEETAL AMBAR said...

What can i say akka ?
Journalists hold a very important job but yet some write biased and untrue articles just to fill up the pages of their third grade papers !!
We as normal people , always place our faith on newspapers as that MAY be the only way for us to be connected with the world which is what some journalists take for granted sometimes... Of course we cant all be travelling to every part of world to dig up the REAL news can we ?
I guess this is when we should all be very careful and not believe EVERY news that arrives on the pages of newspaper !!

Its really pathetic cos for me , I had once dreamt of becoming a Journalist keeping in mind people like Shobha De and all but after reasearching and actually realising the true world of journalism , One would def hesitate to do so... Would you actually wanna bend ur principles and believes just so to get an article ?

Semi-crushed, now! said...

Should I call it coincidence or...Your post is on the eve of Press Freedom day (May 3rd)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

In this fast paced world of blogs, wikipedia and 24 hr TV, there are less than a handful of reporters who even bother to collect and present facts. It pays to remember the following that most of us have forgotten or didn't know:
In an argument, present evidence, reasons and facts - only then can someone evaluate the conversation

- AK

Shobana said...

How unfortunate. Yes, such incidents do make one think twice about being in the public eye via the media. Then again, it is the price one pays for being in the entertaintment media. I guess, you just learn to live with such people and move on.

VijayGanesh. S said...

It is good to know that you are enjoying your life with such a packed schedule. Take care of your health with good food supplements !!! Otherwise, the effect would be known only later part of life :(

Chinmayi said...

thanks everyone.. and Sujay - I didn't quite comprehend your comment.

Maha said...

Akka,what had happened is quite a sad and annoying thing..but to our world,this is not totally new.. back-biting or things of that sort happen quite usually with many common folks as well as to the celeberities.. but try not to bother about a single person's opinion though you may not be able to entirely regreat it.. and highlihting the point that please don't think in a way tht you don't wanna be at the reach of the people,though your last mentioned line may be true 'cause there are so many people who love you,love to have a communication with you, encourage you and always want to stay in touch with you atleat as your fan..and I would be in the top in this list akka..so,when this comes into a talk,its obviously for the good souls that
you need to think in favour of..it is my humble opinion that, i always want to you be at
our reach akka..
W.r.t to your quote on "And how in God's name should we trust anyone now?", its definite
that, we cannot believe in or rely upon anyone that easily nowadays..cannot spend time researching it
either..just have to take things as they come akka..! even if anyone had regarded anything wrong
about you, its not that it should be true..then,what about the so-many positive and indeed good things which are spoken about you!!..where on earth will they go!?! and akka, truth always has a value and thats in no way gonna be affected by the rubbish spoken against it ..Cheer up akka.! :)

Prayers and regards,
Maha

maxdavinci said...

phew loooong post!

Was interesting to know what a packed schedule you have. People who work 9-5 and crib bout having to do too much at work ought to read this.

nice one, and keep going on.. The website is doing a great job for guys like us here and I try to catch yor programe in teh evenings...

Chinmayi said...

Why not Mr Norway? I find absolutely no problems with that.

Ananth said...

hey Chinmayi,

What is adorable about you is the choice you have made to stay humble despite all your success. And that shows in your blogs, you are definitely a star now - and one with her head above the shoulders. Please stay that way.....

Also, if I may say this, your profile pic gives a very tiring look -like a photograph taken after a hectic schedule. Your earlier picture was great...May I suggest you to change this one?

Regards,

Ananth

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am a journalist and a serious media watcher. What you have gone through with a journo is almost every-day experience for many celebrities.

I am sorry to say that media personnel are the most unprofessional people ---- I am saying this with an insider's perspective. What appears in mainline newspapers are utter piffle ---- no clarity, but just mindless flow of adjectives and vacuous descriptions. Where's the intellectual rigour? Where is the journalistic insight? Where is the vision for the larger picture?

Though many celebrities throw tantrums and tend to act big, media personnel too are snobbish, and have an irritating sense of self-importance.
With the exception of select few, most film and TV journos hardly have an understanding and knowledge of the medium they are covering.

And sorry for your bad experience.

Vijay Krishnan said...

this i wanted to ask you long since. do you maintain all your schedules by yourself? OMG!!! gr8but still,doing your favourite work will always be pleasure!!cheers:)

vijey said...

Hey if you would ask me for a suggestion on changing pic i would say use that pic ; you sleeping on your mom's shoulders :). Originality rocks ...

I find it rare to find pupil like you.. i admire at young talented women than good looking onez... :)

Herez another one whom i always admire at ..

http://invisiblethings.org/about.html

Keep going chinmayii...

SARAS said...

Hai Ma
thank you for honouring me as your family member

Sumi said...

chinmayee,

you should not get bogged down by all these people.you are ofcourse a celebrity and if the moron journalist doesnt understand,its her problem.but you may wanna avoid falling a prey to such similiar tricks again.howmuchever we try to be nice, we just cannot please everybody.so, shrugg it off, learn from it, and move on. u have a bright future ahead!

Chitra said...

Hey Chinmayi,
Very regrettable incident i would say. Journalist should understand that people under the limelight are also human being. Ignore and move on. You are doing a great job :-)

Ranisha said...

Hi Chin

I regret deeply for what had happened to u. But we all love u and want to have u reachable. Be what u are and keep going. The road is broad so never mind these silly comments. Ignore them and move on in ur royal path. There are so many people (including me) who love u so much and care for u. Please dont forget us. Please dont make urself rare. We need Chinmayi as she is now.

BTW, how u r getting time to blog in ur busy schedule? Great ya!

With love and prayers
Ranisha

A Chaingang Soldier said...

The reason behind journalists becoming this way may be the huge number of TV channels and print media fighting it out in the open industry. It's not about bringing the right news anymore, it's about bringing the most-watched news. That's why they tend to put incorrect/unverified news as well.. And a 24 hour job at that.

In your case,the mistake was definitely on the other side... Out of reach?? If you stop blogging, how would we all realise that you weren't "doing too much", if some crap spreads like that.

Part & Parcel of Celebrity life. :)

Face it, smile and move on.

-Aswin-

CodeNameV said...

Hi Chinamayee,

This is the first time I am commenting on your blog, though I have been reading your blog for a couple of months now. I agree with you that today, our journalists in both print and media are just doing sensationalism but not journalism. In my view, journalism is one of the most responsible professions in our society today. Well, sensionalism might help many stars. So, they want it to be that way. But it is definitely not right!! Let all this alone, I have a humble request. Please dont stop blogging. It is very rare to see honesty today and that too from entertainment industry. When someone of your calibre and talent talk directly to admirers about various aspects of their life, it a different kind of relation that establishes. I really enjoy going through your posts. I am sure like me, there are many many others. So, atleast for us, please dont stop blogging. And BTW, you are obviously very good at what you do (I still find your version of Ye Devivaramu in movie Amrutha haunting). If not now, you will surely get an award at some where down the line.

Anonymous said...

Hey.. awesome write-up! :)