Sunday, November 29, 2009

TEDxChennai Today!

Had been planning to go for this one and Kiruba had told me a couple of months ago in advance to be, wherever this was going to be happen, on this day. And turns out Kribs asked me to co host the event with him. Sure, hosting shows on TV/Radio and hosting an event of this nature is a totally different thing. And the past couple of days with the personal health ministry going for a strike I had been wondering whether I would be able to pull it off at all. Its 6:27 AM and I am thankfully OK. And off to the venue in a couple of minutes. Shall try my best to blog about this. Tweets are more like it though :)
I am given to understand that there will be a live webcast of the event. is where you should perhaps be today, if you are not at IIT.

Have a good one and may none of you ever have a headache!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Meeting Abida Parveen

The Hindu November Fest launch happened this Evening at the Taj Coromandel. The launch concert had Ranjani and Gayatri performing. Mom and I walked in a little late, but weirdly in time. For the concert and perhaps most of Mr N Ram's address.
Somewhere halfway into the concert I saw this person walk in. Someone I had seen on the jacket of CDs and cassettes. A voice I loved.
Abida Parveen. She walked in with her daughter. Simply.
She thoroughly enjoyed the concert but one of the best times in my life happened post the concert. She was called up on stage to felicitate Ranjani and Gayatri and all I could see was that she held their hands and bowed low.
Thereafter she took the mic. We were informed earlier that her concert was sold out and we had to be early if were to get good seats. When she came behind the mic she said she would speak in Urdu. And music began with her words. And she said "If Maula willed shaayad kal kuchch achcha ho jaye (perhaps tomorrow something good can happen)". I had never seen her speak before. Or seen her on TV. Only seen pictures.
Here I should also say that there have been several people I have met who are said to be humble, those who are said to be warm and friendly. But I have personally felt that only with a few elevated souls that I have had the good fortune to meet and spend time with.
When Abida ji spoke it was so easy to feel her surrender to the Almighty God. From her words. From her countenance. From her bearing. Her total surrender to God and that she is His instrument was simply conveyed. So much so that I began to wish for that sort of a state of being. Where all the questions can die down and the total surrender can happen.
Anyway, thereafter it was time for dinner. And that was when I walked up to meet her. But then the number of people around her increased and I thought I should step back and not intrude and probably wish for another time. A tad disappointed. Mom then quietly said, "Didn't you want to meet her? Just step forward and it will happen." In a few minutes the people around her dispersed and I finally got to speak to her. All I could say was that I have loved her music and I have been listening to her music for a very long time and when I do, its like I can feel God is around me. I introduced mom and said she is my Guru too. And at that point she held my Mom's hands for quite a while and bowed her head. Mom told her she feels as if she is transported to a different plane when she listens to Abida ji's music. Abida ji said nothing. But continued to hold our hands. And I was emotionally moved.
I have realized that I don't have to be sad or whatever for my eyes to mist over and sometimes weep at the altar. I could be perfectly happy and joyous everything can be picture perfect. But when I am at a temple and at the altar, I have at most times been overcome by emotion. And at other times I have fought it. And I have seen it happen with some people too. People, who I think are closer to God than any of us are. I believe Abida ji is one of them. And I wish, that someday soon, I am blessed with the peace that she radiates. The communication that she has with the creator. And I am looking forward to her concert tomorrow and you bet I am going to be an hour early.
Today, I wish for you, that you can feel what I have felt today. That you meet such people. And at some point in time feel that elusive oneness with the Creator and the Universe. May you live in love. Thathaastu and God bless

Monday, November 09, 2009

Latest Release - Uyirodu Uyiril from Kavalar Kudiyiruppu

A song for Mr James Vasanthan. Have been wishing for a long time to work under him. When the time did come I walked up to his studio to see it is one of the most beautiful ones that I have seen and worked in. His studio overlooks the sea. Standing in the voice booth I could see the waves hitting the beach. It was beautiful.

This movie is a Bilingual and incidentally, when it was time to record, this became the first Kannada song that I recorded in Bangalore. Not sure what the title is in Kannada yet. (There is no beach in Bangalore. I know. Most of the world that cares about beaches and Bangalore knows. It was recorded in a different studio. Different from James sir's own studio in Chennai. Thought it was a simple thing to say but a lot of issues to the extent that it seems like I am saying "there is a beach in Bangalore". So let me spell it out again, I recorded the song, the Kannada version, not facing the waves but walls.Walls that are acoustically treated. In a location that I don't remember now, in Bangalore)

James sir has perhaps been seeing me from the very beginning. He has seen my transition from a girl who hardly conversed with anyone to being a host of reality show on Tamil TV. Then, I hosted Paadum Office which is his brain child. And that was working under him for the first time. The next time, I went there as a judge for the finals.

The first ever time I sang a song for him was in a Christian Devotional Album, at least 6 years ago, I forget the name of the album but the song is called Sindhanei Sei. It was so much like a Ghazal that I went berserk. I remember a lot of people telling me much later that they loved that song. It remains one of my favorite songs.

James sir is a task master. A very kind one at that. He also taught me some basics of Pro Tools in this session. There are some things in life that makes you feel grateful, gratified and blessed all at the same time. And whenever singing or a recording session is that reason, there is no other experience that comes even close. As an album, I loved it. A personal favorite is Gangai Nadhi. Whenever you can give it a listen.

Thanks James sir. For a beautiful song. A beautiful experience.