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Friday, June 08, 2007

Fans' DAYS OUT with THE LEGEND at Jaya TV

Dear SPB Fans,

This time I am bringing to you all, the experience of the some of the Chennai Fans' Days Out with the LEGEND at Jaya TV. (Thanks to Ashok & Venkat for having organised this participation)

One fine Friday evening (June 1st, 2007), I receive information that there is a shooting schedule of the "Ennodu Paattu Paadungal" program at Jaya TV the next day, Saturday, June 2nd, 2007 and that I could also participate in the show as part of the audience. I could not believe this luck. Another chance to see our Legend in Real and a probable chance of meeting him in private also. I could not sleep well that Friday night with my imagination going haywire.

There I was, the next day at Jaya TV, sharp at 9:30am. The shooting was scheduled to start at 10:00 am as informed to me. Soon, I was joined by Venkat (& his two family members), C.Balaji, Prasanna and Priya. Till 10:45 am we were not allowed into the recording Studio as the contestants were rehearsing their songs with the orchestra and only the near & dear ones of the contestants were allowed inside. Meanwhile, some of us had a glance of our SPB coming out of the elevator and proceeding to the VIP room to get ready for the show. The real happy moment started with that glance of the Legend.

By 11:00 am the entire audience were seated, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Great into the Studio. Meanwhile, being the first time in a Studio of this type, I started taking into my mind the settings , the number of cameras used (7 cameras), the lighting arrangements and so on. We were all asked to switch off our mobile phones. In one corner of the Studio, preparations were on, for a small pooja. In another corner, the organisors were discussing with the contestants and training them on how to go about their activities once the show started. Some of the contestants were also rehearsing their songs by themselves. The technicians were ensuring that everything was OK on their part including the video & sound systems.

At around 11:05 am, there was a sudden bustle at the entrance to the Studio and there entered our charismatic SPB, bright as ever along with the Chief Guest for the contest and also the permanent judge ManoBala. HIS immediate gesture was to voice out HIS welcome wishes "ellOrukkum vanakkam" to ALL by holding HIS hands together and raising it. HE was handed a mic. The six contestants were asked to come over to the pooja area. The pooja started off and suddenly the studio filled up with the divine and vibrant voice of our Guruji chanting a mantra for the pooja. It was an eternal bliss listening to it. My body hair was bristling. This was totally unexpected and it was indeed a royal treat to start the day.

After the pooja our SPB went over to the six contestants and had a brief talk with them probably advising them to be calm and relaxed during the show and to sing without any tension. The contestants must have been on Cloud 9 with the Legend speaking to them.

Once the initial technical checkups were completed, our SPB started off with the show. I will not go into the show format since it is known and has been talked about a lot already. I will just try to bring out the happy experiences that were presented to us by our SPB other than what we normally see on TV.

After completing the introduction part, our GREAT came over to his seat. Before seating, HE suddenly turned to the audience quite unexpectedly and performed a big Namashkar and welcomed us all with a lovely smile. HE also asked us to switch off our mobile phones as it would impact the recording of the show. HE then asked us to encourage the contestants heartily & frequently by clapping so that it would boost their confidence and they would perform better. During the entire recording HE never missed this and kept on reminding the audience to clap.

Then the first round of the contest wherein the contestants sing melodious numbers of their choice was recorded. I will not dwell on the details of the songs or the contestants as it is a show yet to be telecast. One thing I understood clearly after the recording of the First Round is that we had been missing a lot, by viewing this show only on TV. A lot is being talked and discussed by our SPB, the Chief Guest and by ManoBala, but, what we get on TV is a very limited version of the same with major portions of the discussions getting clipped of, probably to fit into the effective available time slot of 40 minutes or so, after discounting 20 minutes for advertisements / breaks.

One more aspect that came out clearly is the fun loving nature of our SPB and also HIS thoughtfulness. It was real FUN & FROLIC all the way through. HE made it a point to ensure that all the contestants were relaxed by joking and provoking them a lot and making them smile eventually. I would say it was a LAUGH RIOT throughout. The regard HE had for all the technicians came out in the manner in which he interacted with them constantly and the RESPECT they had for HIM was evident from their body language, ever ready to serve him at HIS beck & call. It was indeed a great experience to see all these back of the stage aspects.

Even during the breaks he was thoughtful and ensured that the audience also had their snacks & beverages by requesting them to go out and have it. THOUGHTFUL to the CORE.

Over and above all these, HIS indepth knowledge drawn from HIS experience and HIS excellent memory to recollect past incidents even to the minute details were some points to be listened to and cherished. HE ensures to draw out the maximum information from the Chief Guest by interacting with him constantly and also giving lot of room to ManoBala whenever he wanted to say something. ManoBala was also up to it telling out lot of experiences regarding the picturisation of the songs and there were many pleasant exchanges of information and loving duels between him & our SPB. But unfortunately most of these get edited and is not known to the outside world and only those present at the recording are fortunate to hear it all.

The first round was over by 1:00pm and we had a break for lunch.
During the morning session, our SPB informed all that June 2nd was Maestro ILayaRaja's Birthday and HE wished HIS close friend abundantly and cherished their close relationship and the happiness in having worked together a lot.

Post lunch, we were joined by other fans namely Ashok & Madhumitha.

The recording of the second & third round of the contestants with the same participants started off at 4:00 pm and went on till 6:15 pm.

I had forgotten to mention one thing. Our Venkat had been thoughtful enough to buy a Birthday Greeting Card to present to our SPB. Priya had taken upon herself the joyful task of decorating it with her wordings, the previous night. It was decided initially to have an announcement made in the Studio through ManoBala and then present the card to our Great. We were waiting for Ashok to handle the whole affair. This was initiated by Ashok during the post lunch session but ManoBala suggested that it could be done the next day, Sunday, as there was shooting schedule on that day also. Meanwhile during the coffee break in the evening, Ashok & Venkat went up to our SPB and informed HIM that we had a Birthday Card to present. Our SPB told us that HE would meet us privately in the VIP room after the recording. During this brief talk, HE shared his biscuit with Ashok & Venkat who in turn shared it with all of us.

After the post lunch recording, we all assembled eagerly outside the VIP room waiting to meet HIM. But the organisors there tried to shoo us away from the spot by saying that no one would be allowed inside the room. We informed them that we had a prior acceptance from our SPB but it all fell on deaf ears. Fortunately for us, the same organisor, called us and informed that the Legend wanted to see us in the VIP room. GREAT MAN. Not forgetting inspite of all the recording pressures and mobbing by others as well. We just barged into the small VIP room. Ashok handed over the Birthday Card and we all expressed our Wishes to the GREAT. Some of the fans started falling at HIS feet. HE felt quite embarrased as usual but this did not deter most of us. Then our Ashok informed our SPB about the planned donation to RASA on HIS birthday and the plan to visit RASA on another day to be with the children. Our SPB listened to all this attentively. HE told us that HE also wanted to be at RASA on 4th but HE had already planned a visit of out town. Ashok also told the plan of going to RASA on a later date but our SPB was short of dates as he had a busy schedule for the month. HE however said that HE would think about it and inform later. HE also enquired with Ashok if he had received HIS contribution totalling to Rs.40,000 (for 4 months). HE apologised humbly for not having sent it monthly, but, promised that in future HE would promptly deposit Rs.10,000 every month to the Charity Account. Available adjectives & adverbs will not suffice to describe this GREAT HUMAN BEING. HE asked us to go ahead with the cheque donation to RASA on 4th and not to postpone it for the sake of HIS presence. Of the fans present, Priya received special attention from our SPB, for HE remembered her well, based on earlier email interactions. Priya was on Cloud 18 !!! from that time onwards and we had to exert ourselves a lot to bring her down to the ground.

We all left the room quite content with having seen HIM privately and having wished HIM in advance.

Even this meeting was not enough for us and we once again waited at the main gate of the Jaya TV building so that we could have a final glimpse of HIM for the day when HE moved away in his car. Shortly, our SPB came of of the Jaya TV office and before getting into his Benz car, HE turned to us and bid farewell. Even after getting into the car, HE had the windows down and for one more time he waved to us as the car left the premises.


Having got the information that our SPB would be again at Jaya TV on June 3rd for a recording of further episodes, our minds started ticking and Ashok & Venkat came out with the idea of celebrating HIS bithrday with a cake the next day at teh Jaya TV Studio. Off we went, myself and Ashok to the McRennet Cake Shop at Ashok nagar and ordered a 5 kg cake.

We all left with a plan to be at Jaya TV the next day also.

On Sunday, June 3rd, the fan group was larger with the members being Ashok & Mrs.Ashok, Venkat, Priya, Madhumitha, S.Balaji, C.Balaji, Vijaykrishnan, Harikrishnan and myself.

WELL, the events of the day were quite similar to that of the previous day. However there were a few happenings worth mentioning. For a start, there was more FUN & FROLIC as our SPB tried to liven up the mood of some of the tensed up contestants and in the process making everyone laugh out heartily. HE also presented an unexpected treat to all of us when HE hummed a few songs like "thEn poove poove vaa...", "naan paadum mouna raagam...." & a few others. This was during an unplanned break due to some technical problem during the recording. HE filled up the time for all of us present, by humming the songs. We should be thankful primarily to the orchestra for this, because it was they, who had prompted our SPB to hum these songs by playing the music and captivating him and making HIM hum along with the music to fill in the gap. During this break, HE also rehearsed the song HE was to sing for the program which was "kanaa kaanum kaNgaL mella...". What a SWEET VOICE, the sweetness more evident when hearing it in live and with amplified effect. IT INDEED MADE OUR DAY.

HE also gave us a glimpse of his immense memory skills when interacting with the Chief Guest of the day who was a renowned violin player and also a very good SOLO player. HE said, it was in the year 1964, a few years before HIS singing debut, that he had gone to meet one of the Music Directors to request for a chance to sing for films. During the visit, HE recalled the Chief Guest playing the violin for a song rehearsal with the Music Director. HE sang out that violin bit in his sweet voice and we were all dumbfound that he could recollect a portion of a background that he had heard 43 years ago !!!. The Chief Guest himself was not able to remember that and he praised our SPB for treasuring it and reminding him.

WELL, that's all as far as the happenings at the Studio. However there is more to come by way of Birthday celebration.

If you all remember, we had ordered a cake the previous day. During the coffee break in the afternoon, Ashok & Venkat went and brought the cake to the Jaya TV office. We had already informed this to the program organisors the previous day itself. But unfortunately, we were not given the opportunity to announce or celebrate with the cake in the Studio. Instead, the JAYA TV organisors themselves had ordered a cake and through ManoBala, they announced our SPB's birthday and celebrated with the cake and shared it with the audience too. Our SPB was quite embarassed at this celebration as HE had abandoned the practice of celebrating HIS birthday for the past many years due to the demise of HIS closest friend. When we approached the JAYA TV organisors with our cake, we were asked to present it privately to our SPB. We felt let down at that point of time. However Ashok went up to our GREAT and informed HIM that we had a cake ready for him. HE once again resisted saying that HE would not cut the cake and asked it to be distributed to all present. But our Ashok was clear in replying to HIM that the cake would be distributed only if HE cuts it. Finally our SPB informed that HE would meet us in the VIP room. And true to his words, HE came to the VIP room and even though he expressed his embarrasment, HE later cut the cake in the presence of us and also the majority of the audience who were still there. It was a great occasion celebrating his birthday in his presence. The cake was cut and distributed to all present. Mrs.Ashok whose birthday also falls on the same day as our SPB was presented with a cake bit by the LEGEND himself. A great way to celebrate one's birthday. Here are some photographs taken during the celebration.

5 kg cake ordered for our SPB (wordings by Ashok)

Our SPB cutting the cake

Ashok's daughter presenting the cake to our SPB

Our SPB enjoying the moment with fans


magisivappa said...

Dear all

I was to come on 2nd and 3rd to Madras from Bangalore for the same programme as Venkat had offered to take me in.

As fate always does, it played a negative role in my life that I had to hurt my leg and sit at home.

I read this posting with tears to know what I missed. I should have come. I thought that it would not be nice to be limping around being a bit of burden for the people with me(you).

Thanks for sharing your experience.

suganthi said...

superb and enjoyed it

Prasanna said...

Hi Dasaradhi
Very gud narration on the Gr8 days ... U just made me go back to June 2nd to recollect the moments we had with HIM ...Thanks for bringing the gud moments u guys had on june3rd which i missed badly ... U have gud memory - U r really a gud silent observer ...

Luv and Live with Music

Nalla Manam Vaazhga said...

// Available adjectives & adverbs will not suffice to describe this GREAT HUMAN BEING.

Perfect Wordings, SPB himself an Adjective

To Magi Mam..

//I thought that it would not be nice to be limping around being a bit of burden for the people with me(you).

GIST in the LAST!!!!

I Love UR Dedication and Affection towards SPB, and Pray the Almighty for the Speedy recovery.


Dear Sir,

Day by day your write up is getting more polished. Really its very interesting to go thro your write up.

I had not seen you during the shoot that you had taken the notes, but you had mentioned each & everything which was happend. Hats off to your memory power.

I really enjoyed this article. Pls. keep up your work in future too.

Anonymous said...

Excellent article, keep up the good work !!!

கோவை ரவீ said...

SuPerB Dasarathi sir,

I am feeling with you all.

Thanks for lovely posting.

Anonymous said...

Dear All,

As usual I was not able to make my self available on those days. Bevause, I got the information only on 01/Jun/2007. I really missed it.

Those who went to Jaya Tv studios are very lucky.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

S. Seshadhri

usha said...

Dear friends, I missed the function to see because i m in Hyderabad. But I enjoyed the photos u have sent about the function photos is really nice.
thank u for sending this photos to view.