And then, one of the best concerts of my life was in front of an august audience at Nehru Indoor Stadium, Chennai. More so because she was seated in the first row. It was a show hosted by Kollywood to thank and honour her 3 V's - Veerappan, Veeranam and Video Piracy.
I sent a few letters over all these days and somehow things didn't really move. I have been an admirer for her sheer gumption. For her grit and determination. Remember watching her Rendezvous with Simi Garewal several years ago. I loved that interview. I have heard of the struggles that she has gone through and idolized her.
Finally the call came from her office a couple of days ago and I met her on Wednesday.
We walked in after being ushered into the premises, and to her chamber and was awestruck by her aura. She has this brilliant glow about her. It was like whoah. She looks very regal. And also noticed that she is super beautiful. I was stunned and the first words I said was like wow or cool or something like that. Then the next thing that crossed me mind - countless pictures and videos of her all these days ...no one has ever done any justice or has been able to capture her magic or her presence. Or let me say, that I am yet to come across a picture that has.
It took me a while to find my words in my momentarily awed state and then she spoke to me for a while asking how I have been, how many songs I have sung, what I have been singing and what I intend to do. She also told me that I hardly sound like an indigenous singer. I think I have never giggled and smiled so much as that evening with a person I was meeting for the first time. I am quite sure I babbled a lot. And she was looking amused. I don't know whether I impressed her at all. She spoke to mom for a while as well on my mom's work.
I have heard lots of artistes mentioning that she is highly gracious and kind and I was able to experience her mehmaan nawaazi, first hand.
It was one of the loveliest times I have had and she really made us feel at ease. Loved her English, the way she spoke. She was hyper cool. I am an even bigger fan of hers now.
The thing is, once mom and I stepped out, there was clicking and all that. We got into our car and drove about 20 meters, a photographer asked us to stop and asked why we had come and what had been spoken. And took pictures. Someone even asked whether I was getting married and whether that was the reason. Now why is the marriage thing assumed? Of all things? I was wondering what can be so special about a singer meeting her. Its not as if I am some super important person or something and yes, we had to explain in detail and reluctantly allow some more pictures to be taken. Was wondering what was going to be written. This was a totally new experience, something I have never come across before.
This sure will be one of most memorable evenings of my life. Its not everyday that someone like me gets to spend some time with her one on one. And when the memory of the meeting crosses my mind, all I can do is grin. She is totally wow.
P.S.: I don't have a picture of that meeting though.