Saturday, February 27, 2010

I forgot to mention something and instead of inserting it in the previous post, I decided do write anew. Dubbing for Theeradha Vilayaattu Pillai and Vinnaithaandi... happened at the same time and the hero's name in both movies is Karthik. I was also dubbing for the Telugu versions of both movies and incidentally I had probably said the name Karthik a million times. One of those days I had a recording in the night and had to walk into the next day, I started calling random people and my mother also, with the name Karthik.. got up in the morning and said absent mindedly "Karthik... I want coffee" to Amma.. If I had mentioned any other name, she would have been happier thinking and had the feeble hope that I had finally found someone, but since she knew that was the name of the hero in two movies, at the same time, she new better. The number of times I have said Karthik or even the name Gautham in the movies I have dubbed is phenomenal. Karthik ... Gautham.. Gautham... Karthik.. There was a rare Shakthi or a Ravi here and there. Someone once told me that naming the hero and heroine is a big issue for several people and hence they usually just pick something ... like Prem or Rahul in Hindi movies.. they cited this example. I forget who told me this.. Anyway that is that.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Voice of Trisha in Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya / Samantha in Ye Maaya Chesaave

As always I write about this here only on the day of the film's release. The entire experience of being a part of VTV has been amazing. The dubbing, singing in the movie, performing at BAFTA London, once again in Chennai, the rehearsals that went with that and more than anything else, getting to meet and spend time with people like Mr Rajeevan, Mr Anthony, Manoj Paramahamsa, Nalini Sriram and such super creators who were there during the trip to London and thanks to that I got to know all of them. The direction team who assist Gautham sir are good friends too now. 
Dubbing in Malayalam was something I was hyper excited about. I have always loved the language and have hoped to learn it properly and maybe even be fluent in it. But for some strange reason, every time I learn a certain word or expression, someone else comes along and says that is wrong Malayalam. Despite all that I hope I get to speak some acceptable dialect, someday.
 Now, more than ever I am adoring and admiring the people who are connected to this craft. The passion that they have, their ability to give their all, work 24 hours a day for several days,  even weeks at a stretch, their take on things which might be abstract and interesting, I find them all very fascinating. I like the way they talk about their craft, on putting things together... These are the kind of people that students should listen to. Maybe listening to them will inspire the students enough to pursue their passion and go after the true calling of their hearts, despite everything and despite anybody. 
Gautham sir is someone who is so very open to suggestions from people and while working under him I observed that quality and reminded myself to learn from that. All that I had to do while dubbing for the movie was just hear him say the dialogue a couple of times and then repeat it.  He would literally act out every line. The way he says the dialogues are just awesome, for lack of a better word. I thought even if I could 'ee adichaan' copy the way he says the lines, or maybe as best as I can, it would be easy. The sessions were always fun. A lot of times Mr Ganesh would also be there and he is a man who is fun to have around. He has a quirky sense of humour and a peculiar voice. He might just be saying something like "I want to drink water" and I would double up laughing just for the way he says it. A couple of times I met Silambarasan at the dubbing studio and he used to do a great job of imitating Mr Ganesh. All the sessions were happy times, fun, with great food. I discovered the desserts of Sandy's Chocolate Lab during these and we used to pig out on the food during breaks. Gautham sir and his team are great foodies. I met some great people, got to know them, made a couple of good friends in the process and this experience has given me beautiful memories that I will cherish.
I also went to Gemini Labs to watch how the coloring happens. Mr Raghu gave me a nice demo of how things are done, courtesy Manoj. Manoj is one of the highly spirited people I have met and once he starts talking about his craft  there is no stopping him. I wanted to know what DI was and said I was curious to know how that works. And promptly the session was arranged and it was an eye-opener. This entire time was also a reaffirmation to myself to keep my ears open and remember to listen a lot more. So much to learn, so much to know. 
I also happened to visit when they were shooting Kannukkul Kannai. I could be there only for a very short while as the fumes of freshly painted sets was too much for me to bear. And there was the crew and the cast, working the entire day in that atmosphere. Trisha and Silambarasan okay-ed every take the first time. We have heard of things like that in interviews but it was wonderful to see that live. 
If you have watched the movie, which I really wish you do and in theatres, and like my dubbing, the credit goes to Gautham sir entirely. He inspires people to work that way. Something I have heard from Manoj also. Almost like he casts a spell I believe when he narrates the script to his crew.  I always thought if there are people like Gautham sir in classrooms we would have wonderfully inspired students. But then this is my perception. I think perhaps teachers that inspire are way too far and few between. Anyway, I am digressing. Thank you Gautham sir for another wonderful learning experience and thank you to the members of the VTV team that I have met, who have given me some great times.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Blue Elephant featured in the Indian Express

And here is the scanned copy which Kathiresan uncle took the pains of doing. (And I post it here for my own records - easy to retrieve, whenever, wherever if it is a click away on WWW)

I am setting some goals for the company and hope to achieve them by the end of the year. God help me. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I have perhaps blogged about this before... One of my favorite songs is 'Say' from the OST of Bucket List sung by John Mayer. I wish I get to see movies made like the Bucket List in India,  but anyway that is not my point here..
Have been listening to this song over and over and the lyrics, simple as they can be.. How tough it is to say what we need to say? Can we really say whatever we need to? And as one of the lines in the song goes, It is better to say too much / Than never to say what you need to say, again

There is always this question of who will judge, who will think what, who will say what after  we have said whatever we have felt like. It is not that easy to not have regrets after we have done something that we have wanted to, especially when it did not work out the way we expected it to.  Yes we might have regrets, perhaps we might feel like punching ourselves, especially if there is embarrassment in its wake, but laud your guts that you did something that most people can never do. Or perhaps we did not have any vision of how things could be, but we did some things nonetheless. I think now, correct me if I am wrong, that we all bother way too much about what the others would think when we did/said something even if that is one of the things we want to do the most. We lead entire lifetimes thinking, bothering, worrying about an opinion of someone, somewhere who is going to be of zilch use to you or your scheme of things in life - not that every one needs to be of some 'use' - but why is this obsession on what others think? Who put this notion in our heads? As one of my friends says, when he hears a line which starts with "They say.....", He immediately retorts, "Who the *@$%#%# are 'they'? Who are these  Log, or oorla naalu paeru? Why do these "they" with no particular identity have such a profound effect on our lives and decisions that affect it?We are given this gift called a lifetime. And what a waste we make of it sometimes. We go against our conscience a lot of times. But yes there are times when we have to worry about things we do do which might have an impact on the community in a negative way. Say if you are wiping out entire acres of trees, or driving a vehicle which smokes like an industrial chimney, or something on those lines. 

So many times in life mom had come across groups of individuals who would come and advise her on how to do things. Then another will say whatever she had been doing would be wrong and that she has to start over. At different points in time in life. Now there are people that tell me that I should not be on this blogging/tweeting scene and that there should be more exclusivity. And that a musician needs to maintain the distance. Sometimes I feel that they are right. Considering some comments I get, I wonder why people are so obsessed with obscenities and the related but why should I be subject to all this is their question. Yes it does make sense several times. But if and when I don't blog, it would perhaps be because I have tired of this medium of expression and there would be a proper goodbye. I don't see it happening for now but the thing is, no matter what you do, there will be tons of free advice. And in Oscar Wilde's words "I always pass on good advice. It's the only thing to do with it. It is never any use to oneself." 

But I will also tell you this, some words have a certain ring to them, when they come from people that really wish well and mean well for you, you'll kinda know. And even though at times you might not be in agreement with everything that you are hearing,  it is best to give it a listen, sincerely.  

And here is what I feel. Our lives are way too special to be governed on what an x y or z could think about what we do or say. I assure you, as one of our well wishers said, people are too busy doing their own thing and dealing with their own issues to bother about us. So if you want to do something, or dream of starting something, go ahead and start it. You know where to get your wise counsel from, at times it comes from unexpected quarters as well but keep your ears and eyes open, and begin it. Boldness has Genius, Power and Magic in it. These words I thought were by Goethe but there seems to be some debate about it. No matter who said it originally, take the words for what they are and go ahead, chase your dreams, try even if you think you might fail. The Universe already loves you. Love it back by loving yourself and accepting yourself for who you are. 

Much love to you.


Have been catching up with a couple of friends lately, people I have lost touch for several years now. When I was younger I really did not do everything that everyone did. For most people I was too driven. Which is why when people tell me of friends they have grown up with, best buddies and things like that, all I can do is smile and wonder what is like. I didn't have a group of close friends. When the ubiquitous Friendship day happens and the magazines/papers call me for a quote, it is one of those times I am at a total loss for words. They ask me to describe friendship or true friends. Here its tough for me to draw from experience. I sometimes wonder why and all but I don't regret it. I have met several people along the way, have silently watched, listened to or learnt from them. Some have left a mark. Some have left bruises. Some scars. But a mark nonetheless. And this week I finally met with friends after ages really. Now I cannot help but smile when this flashback happens, filmi style :) and to see the changes, to see the evolution. The wisdom in the words and in the eyes. And how some endearing mannerisms thankfully stay. I got the Bhagavad Gita as a gift today and intend to start reading it soon. This friend was telling me, that when I was his colleague, new and all, I apparently hummed while I worked (when I worked while still in school that is) and then he turned and asked "why are you humming?". And I'd said "because I sing". And then he said "uhhppp .. hahaha.. did you hear that.. she sings songs". And he said this evening, he apologised for it. I have absolutely no recollection of this incident but it was hilarious to hear this nonetheless. I worked with him when I was in 11th std. And then there was this girl I met  in the same office. Bright, funny, very smart, charming.... She eventually started her own theatre production and I was supposed to have worked with her. And just like that, on Valentines Day, she died. I just couldn't digest the fact at all. How could it happen I kept asking myself. I still do.
Life teaches you so many things. Sometimes it is in the face. Some times it is quiet. You win some people, you lose some people. But you don't want to lose people altogether. Not to death. And definitely not when you are some 50 years to get to an acceptable dying age. I will never claim that I was a great friend of hers but I had known her reasonably well. Its tough to push the lump that rises in the throat. 
And then there are people you meet, who exasperate and accuse you of something that you are not, or say things as strong as you ll never get there, you ll never be this or you ll never be that .. you ll meet them all along the way, No matter who you are. No matter what you do. But these are the people you need to be thankful for a lot more. Because in spite of everything, they contribute to the fire in your belly. Don't we need something every once in a while, to make you say "I ll show you!!" ?  Thank your stars for your detractors. For the people you meet on the way side, your co passengers. People will eventually get in and get off at various points. Its a ride. Bumpy, smooth, comfortable, lulls you at times. Love it, live it, hate it, experience it. There will come a time when you can say "I have arrived". Until then, keep going. Or maybe, you don't have to say that at all. When you arrive, the announcement is made. Perhaps. Ain't it?

P.S.: I blog and I write here to log certain thoughts that come to me at a certain point in time. Its a process wherein this is also something I do to watch what I am doing and thinking. And to keep in touch with you the reader. And like anything else a post is inspired by a certain set of events. Ideas and beliefs according to me need not be something that has to be unchangeable. What is the point to have only one set of ideas and hang on to it till death? Especially when there is a better option? I like the concept of evolving and I shall continue to do so. I like taking new ideas and suggestions as long as it leads to progression. Or to what my notion of progression is. It all need not necessarily have to conform everything under the heading of standard-ly accepted. Why conform to that anyway? 
My journey is not about conforming to standards at all. Again, that is a personal viewpoint and I don't expect that you should agree.  And this space primarily is to watch that process.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Voice of Neetu Chandra in Theeradha Vilayaattu Pillai

This would be the second time I am dubbing for her after Yaavarum Nalam. The director of this movie, Thiru was fun to work with. He has this very just-out-of-college air about him. I dubbed for this movie at AVM, where the veteran engineer is very strict. He doesn't like too much joking about, laughing and the works. But he is a darling. He usually gives me a little bit of jitters while dubbing. Working on this assignment was not all that very easy though. But, as they say, when the Director is clear about what he wants then things become easy. I have also dubbed for Neetu in Telugu for the same movie as well. And around the time I saw the out-takes playing at the end credits. Hilarious it was. So when you watch the movie in the theatres, do wait and watch the end credits.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

SSN College and the visit

was quite an experience. I met with the professors and the Dean first and also met the other two chief guests. I was able to interact a lot more with Mr Sudeep Jain, special IAS officer. Loved his speech and am truly admiring IAS officers. I have been pretty awed by what they had to say whenever I have heard them speak. One of my well wishers used to tell me that the IAS/IFS officers are some of the brightest minds and interesting people around. And I cannot but help agree. 
I was the last to speak and whenever I mentioned Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya the students there cheered so much that I was quite taken aback. I was perhaps OK with my talking and all and I did confess as soon as I went up that it was tough for me to be there and talk. I did do my singing as well at the end of whatever I had to say and truly the moments when the audience responds, those are the moments that I live for. 
To the Students at SSN, thank you very much for making my time there special. I shall cherish it.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Speaking at SSN College tomorrow

On Opportunities within India. I thought earlier that it would be too much of a topic for someone like me to handle. It seemed kinda out of my league. But then they asked me to give a personal take on how I utilized the opportunities presented to me. Hopefully it should be worth the while of the students there.  I hope I do a good job. It shall be the first time I shall be speaking in front of a college gathering. Its going to be a long drive to the college tomorrow and have to be ready really early to get there in time. 
If you have suggestions on what I can say, do leave a comment. 
Thanks again.

Voice of Sameera Reddy in Asal

I know I am late, but as is the self explanatory heading, I have dubbed for Sameera Reddy in Asal. I happened to meet her at the Vinnai Thaandi audio launch. She was kind enough to mention then that she liked my dubbing for her in Vaaranam Aayiram. She is such a down to earth person and has no airs about her and she is more of a stunner in real life.
This, of course, is the second time I am working with Saran sir. The first being Modhi Vilayadu. During one of those sessions I also got to know Mr Yuhi Sethu. I have never had the opportunity to be formally introduced to him and speak to him. I had a great conversation with him over lunch on several things, philosophy included. Unfortunately I did not get to meet Mr Ajith during these sessions. Really admire him, more so after his forthright speech at the FEFSI event yesterday. 
After I had dubbed for the movie Prabhu sir happened to suggest some changes and I heard he told the engineer at the studio that he would visit the dubbing studio and time it to when I went. I thought that was extremely kind of a man of his stature to say that. However, I met him earlier at another do and introduced myself. He was super friendly and I really did not expect him to be so affable. 
Am yet to catch the movie, hope to do so this week. If and when you watch the movie, please be kind enough to watch it at the theatres. And do also let me know what you thought. TIA.