Facing the music

Friday, January 08, 2010 10 Comments

It was time for the New Year Bash at our Company. We have a rock band called "Rock Darbar",  which was formed couple of years back by Vasanth and Prem. Vasanth noted for his singing and Prem for his guitar play.  Work intervened, and both of them went onsite permanently. We thought that was the end of the Rock Darbar.  Every celebration, we used to miss them, and had to make do with Karaokes.

It was then Shiv came as a blessing in disguise and brought the band to life again. He definitely deserves few words of praise.  He is an excellent keyboardist with a crooning voice. A real task master, he made us sing again and again till we were perfect.

Manoj our drummer, who had to buy a new drum kit for this, he is one of the director of our Da Vinci Club, quite a busy guy and has passion for music, sales and girls and not necessarily in that order.  He is way too sweet and can never say no to anyone, but often disappeared when it came for practicing.

Ajay played Tabla, flute and guitar and many a time even drums didn't escape his attention, he will try his hand there, play Dandia raas and country music. Whenever Manoj heard that, he used to cringe and naturally he is the one who paid for it.

Hari played Flute and he also is our coveted male lead singer. A guy full of spirit and with a very good sense of humour.  A good dancer too.

Kanchana: A classical singer, quite well versed in Carnatic and learning Hindustani, naturally she is a pro when it comes to singing and her voice is divine.

Dhivya:  She has a soft and sweet voice and very addictive to listen to.

Nami, Ram, Sri:  They are from our Da Vinci team and they were our cheer leaders who encouraged us to perform.  They were the silent witnesses of our croaking sessions and they listened not so silently, always made a face, gave disgusting looks, pulled our legs non stop, yet atleast they listened to us.

Practice session started and we started to select our songs.. We wrote, scratched and wrote again the names of the songs we were planning to sing.  It took 3 days for us to complete the song list.

All of a sudden we realised we have just five days left and we were yet to select the songs. Shiv was confident and patient.  We planned for a keyboard solo, tabla and flute duo,  three hindi songs, three tamil songs and an English song.

I work from my city office, hence it was difficult for me to join the practice session everyday.  I practiced the song alone.  My house then was crowded with guests and the moment I started to wail, they gave me a not so encouraging look and fled for their vacation spot a day early, giving me some space and peace to sing.   My mom subtly asked when the program was scheduled for.  Anirudh graciously gave his room.  I was amazed by his generosity when he was willing to part from his dearest PS2.  People around me were too good, I should say. 

Now for spoilers,  Kanchan came with a sore throat, cough and temperature on the day 2 of practice session.  We gasped when she croaked. But her passion for singing, made her swallow throat drops, with gallons of warm water and Samahan and disprin... After a day or two I heard the pharmacies where running out of stock of cold and cough medicines because of this passionate, budding singer who had the voice of an angel otherwise.  Dhivya, our other singer, had fever and she turned up only on the day of final rehearsal, but she again is a pro and didn't need much practice.  I for one, howsoever I wished, didn't get cold or fever, I even tried using Kanchan's hanky when she was not looking.

The day dawned clear and sunny and when we saw the sound system, our heart missed a beat.  The best sound system we ever could witness, I was told..  I never realised the full effect of that, till I hoisted myself on the stage and checked the mic.  There were two stages, one main stage, where skits, dance and other performances happened.  There was a separate stage for us next to the center stage.
When the carnival games started, we were busy adjusting and checking mikes. The instrumentalists were seen tuning their instruments.  We were asked to check our mics.  Everyone sang a line or two and I opened my mouth to do my piece.  I was shocked to hear my voice reaching back to me after a second I sang. OMG! it was jarring, was that how I sounded?  Why the hell I am there?  That was a strange feel; I had to strain myself to hear my voice. It threw me off balance. It was then the full thing hit on me and knew for sure I am going to make a fool of myself.

Shiv started the show with a keyboard solo, an old song of illayaraja.  He did that like a pro followed by the english song.  How he crooned?  When he sang Robbie Williams,  "she is the one", I couldn't help to chek the crowd if he is eyeing someone.  Then Kanchana, Dhivya and Shiv sang "ennai koncham matri", some places were missed,  but overall it came out as a fair performance.

Ajay and Hari duo played tabla and flute and I should say the audience were hypnotised.

The next song was mine. I thought, I will faint. But strangely I was composed and as I feared started off key but got adjusted and started to sing aaj ki raat.. a beautiful song along with Kanchan. Please don't ask me if we sounded like Alisha or Maha Iyer... Common! If we do, then I would not be writing this blog.  I will be too busy with my recordings.  When people started to tap their feet, we thought we sang well... till we saw the video. Like a clock work, the keyboard, drums, other instruments everything went well.  But later I heard from them, they missed some notes too... so as I said before we were "partners in crime" and if we messed up we did it in such a style, that everyone ?applauded us for our “team spirit” and we took our bows with aplomb, while inside we were quaking with giggles and trying to control it... The grand finale was "Naan thaan sagala kala vallavan" a new year song in Tamil and everyone of us shouted, sorry sang and then Manoj's drum's stick broke and wrrrrrr it flew :)


Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard. Google

10 Candles:

Shivsu said...

To me the real blessing was Manoj, without whose efforts we wouldn't have had a keyboard without which we couldn't have performed at all! Period.

For our next gig, I wish to start early and perform with him the song he's always envisaged to play - Animal Song by Savage Garden.

...although Manoj, I really owe you much more than this!!!

Opaque said...

I like the cheerleaders line, hehe. Seems like lot of fun! Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing!

Viji said...

Thank you for your comment Shiv.

Manoj is really something...got a heart of gold but try to hide it under a brusque exterior. I was very eager to hear you guys play animal song, but that's really bad we couldn't.. May be you guys shd start practising it right away.

Viji said...

@ Ajey... you deserve a special mention here... you were the only person, whom I had never seen but who had been there with me through my blog always..god bless you! thank you!

He he,Viji. This level of modesty? U sang really well. But somehow people remember "star singer" debacle only. Why why? :D. U got a wonderful voice and perhaps U should be competing with kanchana (a little confidence on stage is all U need,may be),that's wat I feel.So,next time rock darbar will feature a competition, wat say?

Viji said...

thanks a ton kiran for your kind words... ha ha! competition uh? i am game.. provided you are joining us. why the hell the star singer award winner is avoiding rock darbar? it is a crime that you are not singing.

Nice performance Viji!!!!

Viji said...

thanks devasena :)

Wow..sounds great! gr8 to see the activities. Congrats viji!!! pls upload ur voice in ur blog!

Viji said...

thanks sundar... upload my voice...trust me sundar, i'm just a novice when it comes to singing... indha visha partichai ellam vibaridhama mudiyum :)

wisdom comes with experience

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