Yesterday the shooting for the finals of Ooh La La took place at
Chettind Vidyashram auditorium. Our band, Srishti had lost the semis.
We were called along with some of the other bands to perform one song
together. We chose Vande Mataram. Two days of hard practice and the
song was ready. Basically it was a transition from the National song
to its unforgettable album version and then to Aazadi ( my idea :D ).
The shooting of the finals episode was to start at 7 pm. Three
finalists 3 songs each. Going by previous experience, I was quite sure
it would start much later, and was prepared for a late night showdown.
We were to do our song after the three bands were finished. I started
from home at around 10.30.
The atmosphere was electric. The first band had finished shooting 2
songs. The third was to start. There he was! Sitting on a sofa on a
separate dias. And we were seated hardly 10 feet away from him!! There
we sat watching the band perform. I was watching ARR's reactions
throughout the performance.
Once the third song was done, there was the usual gap when the next
band sets up on stage. This was my chance. I asked Selvakumar Sir (who
provided us a practice pad and is a close associate of Rahman Sir), if
my sister and I could take a snap with him. He agreed and up we went
on stage. To my surprise, I was introduced to Rahman Sir as the singer
of Srishti and he seemed to remember the band !! Click!
Next band onstage. Their second song got over. Another chance. Went
onstage with our band's female vocalist, and Selvakumar Sir
reintroduced both of us!! This time the conversation with boss was
longer. I asked him if he had heard our band. He said "yes"!!! I asked
him for an autograph on a piece of paper I'd managed to find. And I
requested him to sign his name fully, saying the last two times he had
given me an autograph, it was just his initials :P!! Sir smiled and
obliged with :
Lots of love,
A R R
It was around 2 am and Sir was getting late for a flight. Shooting
went at a faster pace. The three bands were done performing, and
Rahman Ji was called onstage to announce results. There were quite a
few funny moments, with the shot of him walking up the stage having
many retakes. A visibly amused ARR hopped on one leg between takes :P!!
ARR spoke a few words about the competition and its positive effects.
There was tremendous tension in the air. Then came the anticlimax of
the day. ARR said he wasnt going to announce the results as he wasnt
ready with them yet, and that he would have to go back home, think and
decide!! Then he presented a Yamaha Keyboard to one of the bands, as a
special mention, praising them for their performance at a young age.
Then he said "bye guys"
Only later did we realise it meant he was leaving the sets, and going
back home. Disappointment. ARR would not be there to see our
performance :( H.Sridhar ji who was at the mixing console, was very
particular about pitching and warned us he would decrease levels if
the voices went out of scale :P! We went onstage, rehearsed,
performed. !! It was 4.30 am. My voice was gone by now, and my
throat was sore. Time to leave. Few photographs with the friends we
made in the other bands. Many goodbyes. Back home by 6.30.
Am I happy?? Yes. 2 photographs and an autograph...And an assurance
that ARR will watch our performance on TV.
But a slight sense of disappointment lingers. Would've been such an
experience singing with the MAN right in front of us!