Another day another milestone...
Chennai Trade Centre had never seen so many people line up for a ticketed event as early 8 am in the morning as it had seen on August 20th 2012...
This was the Concert titled "Be With Me" featuring none other than the Maestro Illayaraja!
Need I even tell you it was brimming with his ardent fans who would do anything to even see him just once in a lifetime. And here was an event which gave his fans the opportunity of hearing him answer just about any question they wished to ask him...!
He started by explaining why this concert was held... One was to get to know the audience personally by talking with them as a friend and the other was to showcase his experiences with some of the songs from its conception, recording,mixing,mastering and finally the end product...
I had to sing 'Yedho Mogam Yedho Dhaagam' for the Concert. Anyone who knows me closely will know that my deep respect and awe for this person makes me just as scared... So standing on stage with him listening to me literally gave me the chills... but looking at it positively... the chill and the shiver worked for this song :-)
The Orchestra was a small 10 - 12 piece one which included the likes of Guitarist Sadha, Violinist Prabhakar, Lead Guitarist Donnan, Flautist Napolean, Tabla Prasad, Navneeth on the keys and Aalaap Raju on Bass.
There were many celebrity fans of Maestro Illayaraja... Producer/Director Gautam Vasudev Menon, Actor/Writer Parthiban,Comedian Vivek, Lyricists Na.Muthukumar and Pazhani Bharathi etc and of course the Maestro's family consisting of Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja and Bhavatharini.
The first onslaught of questions came from Kartik Raja and Yuvan and it was evident the deep respect they have for their Dad.
Then came a myriad of questions from the patient,most well behaved audience.
Then came Gautam Menon's turn to talk about him. His devotion to the Maestro was unmistakable. They spoke alot about 'Nee Dhaan Yen Pon Vasantham' and shared their countless experiences during the making of the songs with the Symphony Orchestra from Budapest, Germany and here in Chennai,Bombay etc...
Gautam Vasudev Menon said that he has never heard 'such a beautiful song in his life' as the one the Maestro had composed for him! He request Raja Sir to sing the song and couldn't control himself and started singing the rest of the song by himself on stage... It was quite a treat for us fans and the song was beautiful...
Then Actor Parthiban came on stage with many more of his own questions and two very unusual ones...
He brought a guitar and said that the Maestro had to play the guitar for a change for his fans...The wole audience cheered and it was very cute to see Raja Sir hide his face behind the guitar and plead to Parthiban not to ask him to play...He said it had been years since he played and he had lost touch...but parthiban wouldn't have it and we all got to listen to the Maestro play even if just for a minute...
The next unusual question was whether the Maestro would be able to compose a tune on-the-spot!
So Parthiban gave him a situation right there on stage and in an instant he was giving instructions to his orchestra to play a loop and then I was called on stage along with Ritha to render the song then and there! Whew! That was as stressful as my board exams! But nevertheless... all was well and I can proudly say now that I have sung 'Two' songs for Maestro Illayaraja :-) (The first was a solo from 'Madhu')
Everytime I would see him, I was just too shy and scared to take a pic with the Legend but this time I mustered up all my courage and now I finally got a pic with him...

Another day another milestone...


Ashwin S Kumar said...

Awesome post, ma'am! :) Needless to say, you're one of the luckiest people in the world !! :D

I just can't wait to attend Raja sir's concert in Bangalore next month !!

shalini singh said...

Thanks a lot! Yes I think so too...
Have fun @ the B'lore Concert.Sure its going to be a fantastic one.

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