Saturday, November 04, 2006
I was coming back from the ATM in building one when I saw a face that warranted a second look (decently put) go in the opposite direction through the other door. I cranked my neck to give it what I thought it deserved (a second look) when my eyes caught another poster “SPB concert on Oct 30”. I first thought that it must be some concert somewhere in the city whose collections were to be donated to some charity organization and that it was just advertisement being put up here.
Then I realized that it was talking about A LIVE SPB CONCERT at Infosys Sholinganallur. My joy knew no bounds as I planned my work for that day even about a week back, thanks to the predictable part of our project work. I carefully followed all the mails from HR regarding this happening before shift deleting them as is the usual process for all HR mails. I was a little disappointed that it was being shifted to indoors because of rain but then I said what the heck man its not going to be one bit less interesting.
We went out to punnu for lunch on the day of the concert and my cousin asked everyone if they would be staying. One said no and I almost blurted out “Are u nuts ??”. She is one girl who keeps quoting someone as “thank god, the world is not filled with sane people, otherwise we will miss all the fun”. I wanted to tell her that but just held myself back, because for me, missing SPB live is perhaps the most insane thing that one could ever do.
We got to a nice place in the front row seats and were waiting with bated breath for the great man to appear and when he came on to the stage it was just another level of happiness or bliss. The whole of the audience came on its feet and gave him a standing ovation even as he entered and to get to see him a few meters away in flesh and blood was just unbelievable. I had to pinch myself to assure that this was happening.
Any talented person (in any walk of life) whom I have come across has an air of authority and carries an aura of pride along with him in his behaviour. As for this great man there was no question of his talent but if there was any authority that one could see in him it was his authority over music. The first thing that he said as he came on stage was “This is not live recording and so I apologize for the mistakes that may be committed and I request all of you to bear with us and encourage us even if there are any so that they will be less in number in the next song.” This coming from a man of his stature is just what simplicity is all about.
There is simply no one in the world who can match his talent in music and he could have easily answered anyone who dare find any flaw in the concert. I just could not keep it to myself and I kept msging all this to two other SPB maniacs that I knew though I got replies only from one of them. He started off with ‘Attindom” from Chandramukhi and went on to Ilaya Nila. Senthil nearby me said “Who better to listen to this song from than the great man himself.”
After every song he picked up one person from the troupe who played one notable instrument and introduced them to the crowd. There was no need for him to do that but he did it time and again with all respect, another gesture that made me awe at this person’s mental stability. Success had not gone even one bit to his head. He went on to sing “Malayoram veesum katru”, “Valayosai”. He sang “pottu veccha malliga mottu” and even requested the troupe to play the music once again as he was very much impressed with the notes and he repeated it again.
“Which is your most favourite song of SPB” is perhaps the most sense less question one can ever put to a SPB fan cause no one can “not like” any of his songs. But if there is one song that I would want to listen live from the man himself then it is “Shankara” from Sankarabaranam. I just told Senthil that requesting that song would not be a great idea cause here was a big crowd which obviously did not like much of karnatic kind of music. I just sighed in despair and turned to the stage to listen to the next masterpiece when the voice reverberated across the hall “SHANKARA………………………MANASA VEERA PARA”. I fought back the tears which forcefully came out but managed to somehow hold them back.
He went on to sing “Anthi Mazhai”, “Sangeetha jaathi mullai”, “Sippi irukkuthu”, “Malare Mounama”, “Manguyile poonguyile…”, “Tere mere beech mein” and others. When went “Anjaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiii……….. Anjaliiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii……………En uyir kaadali” the crowd just went berserk. He signed off with “Devuda Devuda…”.
There was just no difference between listening to him sing live and listening to his voice in a proper processed audio file recorded at the studio. Such is the sweetness and mesmerism in his voice that it is no wonder that becomes filled with magnetism. I think no artificial improvement to his voice would even be attempted by music directors at the studios when they do all the mixing with all the current day gizmos because perfection cannot and need not be improved.
I felt like “Softwarum venam oru mannangattiyum venaam, ivaroda pattellam pottu kettundu irundhale podhum da vazkaila”. Wish that could be possible………..