We just came back after shoots in Coimbatore for the preliminary auditions. We had a press meet before the event and the Creative Head of Vijay TV happened to mention that there will be auditions in Singapore and Malaysia due to a lot of inquiries and online applications. Apparently a lot many came from the US and UK as well.
We had come down to Coimbatore after attending a traditional Chettinad wedding. I saw one for the first time and it was highly interesting to say the least. Only I was surprised that they did not have any Homam. As soon as the groom and bride came in, the groom just tied the Thaali and placed a diamond thaali around her neck, and some two other pieces of jewellery I presume, could not make out what it was. Apparently the married women of Chettinad only wear their mangalsutra made of diamonds on a daily basis. The traditional thaali tied with the sacred yellow thread is worn only on special occasions. Also noticed that the women wore only diamond jewellery. Hardly saw the any gold, except on outsiders. I asked a lot of questions as usual on this and that. I am usually interested in the hows, why, and whats of every traditional ritual that goes on in any function. It was interesting to know at least the basics of what happens in a Chettinadu wedding. Also they have another special ritual - not connected with weddings though - something called "Pullaiyaar Noambi". I attended one such ritual a couple of years ago. I guess the idea was the men pray to Lord Ganesha before embarking on a journey. (correct me if I am wrong, of course. Reminds me that I have to verify and ask about this one all over again). Celebrated once a year, the most interesting part of the ritual, accoding to me, was when they had a 'vilakku' (lamp) made of some edible flour, lit the wick which was apparently pre-immersed in Ghee and swallowed it, flame and all. My quest of knowing the rituals of various traditions in India continues.
Anyway, coming back, Super Singer auditions will be held this weekend (14th/15th June) in Trichy.
This time, at Coimbatore, I got to know S P Shailaja ji a lot better. Though she has been a part of Super Singer in 2006 and 2007, we decided to go to Marudhamalai on Saturday and she came along with us. All along the way, I realized we had a lot in common. That we read the same kind of books, dreamt in Technicolour, scene by scene and would even direct our dreams in our sleep. As we spoke, she mentioned a book she was reading that I had just finished the same afternoon. She also happened to mention that she has some really rare books, though written in Telugu, which I hope to see someday. She is genteel, sophisticated and has this special elegance in her which is becoming increasingly rare to see. Soft spoken... Telugu, when the right dialect is spoken is one of the most soothing languages to hear. And she reminded me what it was to listen to good Telugu and what a beautiful speaking voice she has! She also has an excellent sense of humour laced with just an iota of irony and sarcasm. All through the drive we laughed so much that it brought tears to our eyes and to say the least, that evening was a delight. This was my first visit to Marudamalai and the place was extremely magical to say the least. I fell in love with mountains and the clouds all over again. The people of Coimbatore are actually blessed to be breathing such clean air day in and day out. Just hope all this industrialization doesn't ruin the pristine beauty that is still maintained there.
And wonder of wonders - I was off internet for the past 6 days! No mails no internet. I am pretty amazed that I could pull through!
Here is a picture that we took at the wedding. I love this one! Quite informal. A lot of us had changed to easier, wearable clothes by the evening.