Is the general feeling after the concert yesterday. The euphoria prevailed much longer. Frankly my stomach had been in knots for several days prior to the concert and have been working pretty hard for this one. Did not listen to any music other than the songs I had to sing. The radio was switched off. Haven't heard anything else.
As soon as this particular show was announced the tickets were sold out within three days of the box office opening, as said by the presenter Neelu yesterday and it also tempted them to hold another concert of the same kind, we were told.
Shreeni sir opened the show with "Main Kya jaanoon", Anuradha Sriram opened with Ayiyae Meherban, and after two of her songs and the song Naresh opened with, the song skips my memory cells right now, and I opened with a few lines of Kuhu Kuhu and went on to sing Thade Rahiyo.
Kuhu Kuhu was the song that I sang in Saptaswarangal, in Tamil of course, Shreeni sir judged me for that song and I went on to meet Rahman sir. So this song, was my personal tribute to Rahman sir and Shreeni Sir.
In the total list of 30 songs I had to sing Tu jahan jahan chalega, Bahon Mein chale aao, Jaiye aap kahan jayenge, Kora Kagaz tha with Shreeni Sir, Jaaneja with Naresh and Kajra Mohabbatwala with Anuradha Sriram. The last two songs for the evening were Aaja Aaja and Jai Jai Shivshankar were we totally freaked out.
I had been wishing to be a part of the November Fest for quite a while, as I had already said before and it was an honour to be there. A whole set of the discerning audience of Chennai, the kind which can tear some of the greatest classical musicians apart if they were not upto their mark, the kind of audience, who have strong convictions about not just the concert quality and artiste selection, accompaniments, quality of music but also on minutest of details, like the demeanor of the musicians, attitude, attire and so on. Like Shreeni sir said post-concert, this is a different platform because, usually the audience is in awe of the artiste, but here, the artistes are also in awe of the audience.
It was also like as soon as the curtains go up, the audience is like yeah now, show us what you can do. :)
Somehow Vairamuthu sir's words rang true yesterday, "vayitrukkum thondaikkum uruvam illa, oru urundaiyum uruludhaDi". I was praying the entire Universe for help and that I should do well. I had slogged it out. And I needed divine grace. Maybe that happened yesterday.
I made a new investment on a Sennheiser In-ear monitor for this concert, got it at a great deal at Pro Music. Expected to pay a bomb, but ended up paying far less. I felt extremely grateful for that gesture. This was a point in time when I remembered the struggles of the past and that the Creator showed us enough grace in getting us to meet kind hearted people as well.
At the rehearsals on the day before the concert, at the Mini Hall, was when I checked out Shreeni Sir's in-ear monitors. And I liked the way it felt. And I liked the way I could hear myself.
In most of the live concerts I have been a part of, sound has almost always been an issue. It would be a guess work most of the times as I would be unable to hear what I had sung. If you are not a performer, you might wonder how that is possible. But it is. You might be singing, but you'll totally not hear yourself. If you have ever sung on stage before, maybe you would know what I am talking about.
The concert yesterday was a breeze. Of course everyone in the audience had their own set of favourites that they expected to hear which would be impossible to fulfill but Shreeni Sir and Anuradha sang small portions of several songs when they went in for their acts which I am sure fulfilled at least a part of the everyone's wishlist.
Naresh's Parda hai Parda, with Shreeni sir backing him up, had a major reception with the audience. There were several requests for an encore.
Kajra Mohabbatwala, a female duet was my fun time as well. The lyrics are naughty and I had great fun. Aaja Aaja and Jai Jai Shivshankar was what I was personally waiting for as well. Naresh and I had decided earlier to join the audience but it took us a while to figure out how to get out of the stage. And we figured the exit by the time we finished Aaja Aaja and joined the audience for Jai Jai Shivshankar. And yes the very same discerning audience, at least a few of them, joined us in dancing and revelry. I had a great time dancing with this particular lady who was probably 65+ or maybe more. She was such a great sport. I have always felt that the older generation loved dancing and singing. My grandmother used to do a lot of such antics. She is pushing 90 now. But somehow I think, maybe that generation was really not so wound up in spite of the demands of tradition and everything else.
Joining the crowds and singing at the same time was something that I have been waiting to do for ages but in most cases, us girls are advised against doing so, mainly by the organizers and the security. Most audiences are not safe. The security personnel are highly protective and justifiably so. Going to the audience, being in their midst and singing along was finally possible at the Music Academy yesterday. I would have loved to go up. But we did not have the time to traverse the steps. That was another Wish fulfilled.
To me, yesterday's concert was a dream come true and I was giving my thanks to the Universe for making it happen. Personal thanks also go to The Hindu, particularly Mukund Padmanabhan and Shreeni sir who pencilled in my name as one of the artsites. The musicians who accompanied us were brilliant. Most of them were from Trivandrum and a few of the musicians were from Chennai.
I hardly caught a wink of sleep last night. Maybe it was the adrenalin. Or whatever else. But this was definitely a concert to remember.