Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sayesha's in love

Sayesha lost her heart last night.

And her voice too.

At the A. R. Rahman concert.

Have you ever been so overwhelmed by a person's talent that you feel privileged to just be in the same room as that person? Today I felt like that. Unlike many people I know, I will not refer to Rahman as God because I still haven't figured out my stand on the concept of God yet. But for now, to me, he is talent personified.

So there I was, dressed in my salwar kameez, complete with bindi (I jump at such occasions when I can wear Indian and not feel over-dressed), not only in the same 'room' as Rahman, but also close enough to see him and the others very clearly, thanks to my friend A who got us some really amazing seats. Best 82 bucks I have spent this entire year. Add to it the delightful company of friends -- Max on my left and Starbreez on my right -- and hey, life rocks. The evening could not get better. Max with his funny quips now and then (he almost threw a shoe at the annoying MCs whom I'll describe later!). And Starbreez with her insatiable appetite for Indian movies and music. (We all need someone to talk about whom or what we love. And sometimes I feel so thankful for having her in my life.)

Now, about the two really annoying MCs. If their nonsensical blabbering (about how the black-eyed-peas had almost caused the roof to crash down, and how we were not cheering as hard) was not enough, they invited the finalists of some superstar contest to sing on stage before Rahman could be put on stage. Twelve of them. One by one. Aaarghhh! It was so annoying. We were there to listen to Rahman, dammit! I think the audience made quite a statement when huge numbers (including us) just walked out. To get drinks because we were getting so impatient, and the twelve seemed to be taking their own sweet time. Bumped into a lot of people from uni outside who had also stepped out to get away from the trauma.

Finally, the ordeal was over, we went in and Rahman made his entry. And wow. No, actually I mean WOW. No, I mean WOW!!!!

When I think back, the total amount of talent on the stage last night was enough to bring the entire stadium crashing down. Rahman, Hariharan, Chitra, Sadhna Sargam, Madhushree, Udit Narayan, Kailash Kher, Karthik, and of course, the incredibly talented musicians, including the unbelievable drummer Sivamani.

As the Indoor Stadium filled with the beautiful sounds of Rahman's music, you could see that every song they sang was from the heart. And many of these songs have a very special place in my heart.

When they sang 'Ishq bina' I was reminded of uni days. My friend A and I had sung it during one of the performances of our uni's Indian band. It was been a huge success. So it was a very special feeling that we were both sitting in the same row, listening to the live and original version of the song we had sung in uni years ago.

Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam and Chitra did a piece called 'Unplugged' where they sang songs with their own little modifications. It was sheer magic. The control that Hariharan has over his voice is enough to make one go dizzy. And Chitra's voice... there was something divine about it. Something you cannot describe, yet something you cannot ignore. And Sadhna Sargam. Her voice is like the sound of water flowing. So incredibly pure that it leaves you craving for more.

I sang along with every song they sang. As for the ones in tamil I did not know, I sang the hindi version. Till the incessant singing caused me to lose my voice. And now I sound like a talking frog. But I have no regrets.

I was just waiting for Sadhna Sargam to sing 'Snehidane'. She did. And I sang along. (Yes, I love the song so much I mugged up the full lyrics, even though I don't understand a single word of it!! I need to get someone to help me with the pronunciation before I can sing it for people.)

I believe that some of the songs originally done in tamil just don't sound right when sung in hindi. I can never equate 'Snehidane' to 'Chupke se' or 'Vaseegara' to 'Zara zara'. Yes, both versions sound good, but there is something in the original one that cannot be found in the second version. You can tell something is not right.

The audience was equally divided into tamil and hindi speaking people. So every time the singers would perform a hindi song, there would be shouts from the audience, "Tamil song!" and when they'd do a tamil song, the others would shout, "Hindi song!" But irrespective of the language they performed in, I enjoyed myself immensely. It really is true -- music is the language of languages.

Udit and Madhushree sang 'Hum hain is pal yahan' from 'Kisna', totally taking me by surprise. You see, I love that song, but I have never heard anyone giving it great reviews. So this was like a personal surprise for me. And I thought of the lines at the beginning of the song (the real meaning of which I've lately begun to understand):

Kabhi kabhi hum ek doosre ko khokar bhi toh
pyaar ko ooncha darza dete hain...
Juda rehkar pyaar ki oonchainyon ko praapt karte hain...
Har pyaar milan toh nahin
Judaai bhi toh ek pyaar hai...

("Sometimes, we honour love by losing each other. By being apart, we attain the highest levels of love. Being together is not the only kind of love. Being away from each other is also a kind of love.")

Speaking of love, is it me or is the Karthik guy incredibly sexy?? I did not even know of his existence before the concert, but there was something about him that made me look only at him whenever he was on stage. Yes yes, he was wearing a black shirt and all that, and I know that does something to me, but I think this was more than that. It was probably the attitude he had when he was singing. His expressions, his body language. "Starbreez, I think I have a huge crush on him!" I whispered my confession. As he sang on, and they showed close-ups of his face on the three screens behind, I shivered and shrunk back into my seat to stop myself from gushing like a 13-year-old in love.

Kailash Kher. I had no idea he was so short. But the little man, dressed in a very strange costume (white dhoti with pink motifs, a sleeveless satin blue top, and a red shawl) sure packed a punch. The rustic and earthy quality of his voice adds a certain character to his songs that no one else can.

There are some moments in life when you are so happy that you are sad.
And in that moment, I missed certain people in my life very badly. People who are special. People whom I love. People who are not around me. People who should have been with me. Sitting next to me, losing themselves in the divine music I was losing myself in.

I was privileged to be part of that wonder. I got goosebumps. I hugged myself in delight.

I think I have fallen in love.

With music.

All over again.


Aj said...

I second that.. thought our music choices mayb different...but the soothing relaxing heavenly feeling that music gives to me is inexplicable

...hey m still waiting 4 u r replies to my comments on ur prev 2 posts ! tats bad :(

Anonymous said...

I live for music! [thankfully my gf doesn't read this ;-)].

hey I am all with you. Even I attended a few live rock concerts and its mind-boggling! tunes up every musical bone in the body ;;) I believe they are worth the time & money and once in a while everyone shud go to some LIVE CONCERT!

Pradyot said...

Yeah! Music always has a magical effect.
On an unrelated note… this is my first time on your blog and liked it… nice one.

Anonymous said...

The moment I saw the entire troupe listed in the papers, I knew I had made a mistake by not getting tickets.

I don't know that much about music. Neither lyrics nor styles. But I know when I love a voice or a tune. Everyone listed here (except Rahman) is in my "voice-I-could-listen-to-anytime!" list. And of course, ARR is brilliant with tunes and adding layers to music.

All-in-all, this was one I shouldn't have missed. Well, next time this group comes here, you know who's gonna be there!

(Will they release a 'live' CD of this concert?)

Sayesha said...

I did reply to your post! And I also commented on the nostalgia post on your blog. :)

You mean your gf competes with the "other love of your life", eh? ;)
ps: Yes, seeing the maestros live is an experience in itself and TOTALLY worth the money!! :)

I find it amazing the way music brings people together. It's like an instant bonding factor. I often find myself instantly warming up to strangers just because our taste in music is similar!
And oh, thanks for dropping by :)

Yes, you missed something brilliant. Hopefully they'll come to Singapore next year again. :)

Pi said...


I am jealous. I really wanted to see Rahman perform. But I think you deserved this performance, esp since you had missed the Hariharan concert.

Did they sing "Yeh Tara Woh Tara" and "Yun Hi Chala" from Swades?

Pi Baba

pingoo said...

awesome !! so u had a great time :).

PS - Word verification - cpallu time I might get c-thru-pallu!! :O.(ok let's keep this coment space PG 13 :))

starbreez said...

One thing that those folks who missed the concert can do is to follow it to another city it's yet to visit -- KL is over, though. I'm suggesting this cos the 'wildly' popular hosts who will henceforth 'live' on in my memory said that it's something we won't see for another ten years -- though that might be another fool thing from their fool heads.

Sayesha, what a wonderfully heartfelt post. I couldn't get to sleep last night (this morning?) either, had to read a few chapters of a novel before I could think about it. Buzz, buzz, buzz! Though I think the after-concert Nescafe milkshake accounted for some of that!

"Without music ... what is there to live for?" :)

Sayesha said...

#Pi Baba,
You really should have been there man! It was mind-blowing.

They didn't sing 'Yeh tara' but they sang 'Yu hi chala chal'! Remember how obsessed we were with these songs once upon a time?? :P

Yeah, I had a blast! What a fabulous weekend!
Now gotta catch up with all the homework! Darn! :(
ps: c-thru-pallu?? Yikes... this Pingoo guy I tell you...

'Wildly' popular hosts... hehehe! :D

I couldn't get to sleep either! Even our post-concert bumming around in the 24-hour coffee shop had not exhausted me enough to not blog before I slept. I went to bed around 4! :O

Anonymous said...

Awesome write up about the AWESOME AWESOME show .. i was there last night .. enjoyed every moment there (except the annoying MCs) yea.. but don't think would be able to write s'th so lovely about it .. and geez.. Rahman simply Rawks!!

Anonymous said...

WHAT A SHOW IT WAS :-) i was there and yes i know what you mean when you said you fell in love all over again...*sigh* it was beautiful...infact i couldn't wait to post so got back last night and sat up to pen down all the things i was feeling.......

Cheers to A.R.Rahman and his wonderful team......

Cheers :-)

Anonymous said...

rahman kick ass big time! n which karthik are you talking abt.? karthik raja? illayaraja's son? naaah..can't be. (whatz he doing at a rahman concert?)

was listening to alaipaayudhe n kandukondein kandukondein this morn. i musta worn the cd out listening to the title tracks.

btw, methinks illayaraja is better. {u wanna fite? lets take this outside. meet me by the deserted warehouse this evening. 22:00. no seconds. *a dog howls in the distance*}

Bhavesh said...

me wondering wen i ll ever get to watch d man live.. someday i will too..!! hopefully!!

Packan said...

the concert was just awesome..

glad to run into u thr!!

the bestpart was Chaiyya was incredible!!

Anonymous said...

Sangeet mein hai aisi puhaar
Patjhad mein bhi jo laaye bahaar
Sangeet ki na koi deewar
Sangeet jaaye sarhad ke paar..

WOW this sure would have beena once in a lifetime experience. You sure would have had a super time. Good for you :) Did Madhushree sing Aap ko mujhse gila hota?

Sayesha said...

Yeah! It was simply fabulous, wasn't it? :)

My love for music had never been stronger. :)

#Fao san,
I dunno who's son Karthik is! What I do know is that he was simply awesome at the concert!

//meet me by the deserted warehouse this evening. 22:00.
Nice try, dude. Sayesha ain't meeting you anywhere. :)

I'm sure you will! :)

Yeah man, good to run into you at the concert. Long time no see!
ps: I was trying to figure out what I thought was the best part, but I can't! Everything was SO GOOD!

Yes, it was totally once-in-a-lifetime (tho' I'm hoping not!).
Nope, Madhushree didn't sing "Aap ko mujhse". These dudes have too many amazing songs to fit into one concert yaar. I was heartbroken that udit Narayan did not sing 'Ae ajnabi'. So Starbreez and I played it on loop on the way back in her car. And then we did some midnight CD shopping at Mustafa too! :P Gosh, we're nuts!

Ram C said...

Indeed, that was a great show... I too enjoyed it very much. You can check out this post of mine where I have uploaded some pictures as well.

Anonymous said...

ye, lily-livered villain! *slap sayesha's face with glove*

oxymoron said...

well, your post can make ppl, who missed the concert, also fall in love with music and rehman's talent. though you don't need a live performance to acknowledge his talent! but i guess it would have been a memorable experience!

Bonatellis said...

lucky u :-)

Sayesha said...

Yeah, I read your post! And gazed at Karthik's photos for about ten minutes or so. Do you have any pics of him in his first costume (the black shirt and black jacket number?) :P

#Fao San,
What the..?! A stranger just slapped me? :O

Yup, it was incredibly memorable. :)

I completely agree! Lucky me! :)

ankur said...

its an amazing feeling...isnt it. i guess music has that be irresistible...

i remember how music helped me through times when there was no one around...and looking back i ust thank the seven notes...for their wonderful company...

keep listening...keep falling in love...


Phoenix said...

I'm jealous of u

Phoenix said...

I'm jealous of u

Phoenix said...

I'm jealous of u

Anonymous said...

sigh! *talking slowly as though explaining to a 'spl.'child* that was a challenge to a duel, sayesha san!

*smacking S' face with another slo-mo this time*

Ravi said...

How do you listen to music? There some of the following ways to choose from.

1. Day to day listening- This is listening to music with all other distractions of life. Not very effective, but serves the purpose of giving you your daily dose of music.

2. Removing all other distractions. Switch off the light. Close the rooms door to remove all ambient sound. Switch the music on. Make it loud. Nothing other than music is on your mind then. No light & no other sound to distract you.

3. A concert- Now this is on a whole new different level of its own. One simply has to be there to experience it. The effect of a live performance does bring out deep rooted emotions out in the open. I actually got more high on one of the "Indian Ocean" concerts on campus than any of the booze sessions that I've had. What an ARR concert will do, I cannot start imagining.

Enjoy the feeling while it lasts :)

virdi said...

i went to Brayn Adam's concert in Bangalore few years back and it was awesomest. :-)

Sayesha said...

//keep listening...keep falling in love...
Thanks, Ankur. I will :)

Don't be jealous.
Don't be jealous.
Don't be jealous.

#Fao San,
I'm a street fighter, my dear. You dun use jargon with a street fighter.

Sayesha socks Fan San in the face.
Fao San crashes to the floor, never to rise again.
Sayesha shrugs and walks off.

Nice list. I like it :)

You listen to Bryan Adams?? Cool! :)

virdi said...

i am big big big fan of Bryan Adams, Pink Floyd, Metallica and Vodka... was fan of Dope... not anymore... :-)

spent some 1000 bucks... and was on my friend's shoulders to sing along Here I am, This is me.. travelled some 1200 kms... to and fro i mean... :-)

if Metallica plays anywhere in India or even Singapore or Malaysia, I am going to be there... heard MLTR is coming soon to Bangalore...

I have a good collection of Bryan Adams songs... will send across the CD soon.. ;-) enjoy enjoy...


ritzkini said...

yeskissme...those were my shoulders !! and blore aake chala gaya ullu,MLTR kal ! they are playing in mumbai next week...aaja khottey,tainu "paap" music sunatain hain..

Rags said...

Excellent...Rahman is a genius...

Princessse said...

You took me back a couple of months into memory lane - when I was at Asha's 'Aayiye Meherbaan' concert ... your elaborate yet most eloquent description of the shivers, the love, the heartbeat, the soulful music, the purity of music, the divine voices... all conjure up such a beautiful projection of a beauty that's faceless in reality - but still more real than those joys that we can see...

Mind-blowing...wish I'd been there...

Seeing rahman live is something that's on my list of things to do before I die :)...

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

Yeah some songs sound awful when you convert them from tamil to English, especially when the Tamil ones are beautiful. Vaseegara is my fav, I know it from top to bottom but don't have a clue as to what it means!!

Sayesha said...

Hope Metallica plays here then. I do wanna meet you some time in life. You get Metallica's autograph and I'll get yours! :)

No kissing on my blog! Get a room, guys!

He is. :)

Yup, I am fortunate to have been able to tick this one of my list :)

I LOVE Vaseegara too... her voice sounds incredibly sexy! :)

GS said...

nice write-up. I could feel the goosebumps reading about the songs itself.

I feel more sorry for having missed it now.

PreethZzZ The Original said...

cool... nice review... i knw exactly wht u mean by the falling in love... i went to the one in aus... and writing reviews on my blog... lots of detail... check it out when u have time...

Sahil said...

The concert must have been a huge success. But you liked it all the more coz you had such wonderful company with you, your friends and your memories.

I can almost feel all the emotions you experienced as you were listening and losing yourself in the music. Me thinks u'd be an awesome person to go with when going to a concert.

Concert mein maza aaye na aaye, tere saath zaroor maza aata!

Anonymous said...

You seem to like Sadhana Sargam a lot. please visit this link

and send me your feedbacks on my thoughts about Sadhana sargam

Lalit Singh said...

thx a ton sayesha
u dont know lekin this post of urs has brought back so many mmories... am so glad i read this piece...
someday i will write why i am so glad after reading it...thx

Bhavya said...

I am sooo jealous of you! I'm also a huge fan of Rahman, and I've never found an opportunity to see him live. And Sayesha, while still in Singapore, gets to see all of Bollywood at the Grand Hyatt and gets to hear Rahman and all the others live!!!

Bhavya said...

And by the way, I also love Hum hain iss pal yahaan and the lines before the actual song that you've quoted.

Anonymous said...

Just re-read this post again -- wonderful times. Miss you, my friend! :)