Saturday, August 12, 2006

The down-to-earth "Mallu" stars and a vacation

I don't know what's the coincidence with May/June and meeting famous Malayalam personalities. Last year for the vacation trip I had the good fortune of meeting some eminent Mallus, singer Unni Menon in the train in particular. While washing at the wash basin I started a conversation with him and told him how I had seen him in concert at the Jalakanteswara temple, I.I.T Madras many years ago in the 80's. My cousin who was visiting us was also present for the concert and mentioned that if the concert had been in Kerala there would have been atleast a couple of thousand would have turned up. Unni Menon was very friendly. He was travelling with family and like me was returning from vacation in Kerala with his boys. We would exchange smiles as I would walk to the wash basin and back and it was during one of those trips I made the audacious move of asking him "Would you like to meet my family". The modest Unni Menon cheerfully consented. We had a nice little chat. He was busy with work in Tamil and Telugu than in Malayalam. There was also an Indian Express guy among us who joined the conversation too. I could never forget my son's answer when he was asked by Unni Menon what he would like to become when he would grow older. "Spiderman" came the reply.

After the mother-daughter special in the popular Malayalam magazine "Vanitha" featuring singer Sujatha and her daughter Shwetha on the cover I just couldn't help writing about meeting them at my cousin's son's marriage reception. Thanks to Ragesh, my cousin's son, the groom and who also happens to be a recording engineer at Chithra's studio in Chennai, several singers were present. It felt great to tell Sujatha "Chechi I still listen to your "Kaalai Paniyil" after all these years. Sujatha did tell me that she continues to get requests for singing this song at concerts. It intrigued me when she asked me if I were a singer. I only smiled. I had a few words with Shwetha, her daughter. When I asked if Shwetha got her height from her dad Sujatha, without being offended answered that even her husband was a short person. We did talk about Shyam the yester-year music director and Jency the malayalam singer who gave Ilayaraja some very big Tamil hits in the late 70's and early 80's. I did mention about my meeting last year with Unni Menon and about my blog too. Wonder if they'll get time to read it lest they remember the site.

Singer Ganga was modest to even sing a few lines of "Azhage Brahmanidam...." to tell me the song she had sung for a Tamil movie. I did tell her that one of her college mates was my colleague at work. My friend's name seemed to ring a bell in her. Karthik seemed to be pre-occupied with something but he was kind to answer when I asked him about his current and future projects. Ragesh later told me that Karthic was already engaged to his love interest when he had come for the reception. The singer is married now. I missed the opportunity of telling him how much I admired the way he sang the Malayalam song "Agale". "Ra Ra..." fame Binny was also present but I didn't start a conversation with her.

We are off for a small vacation for this year. This time to Coonoor where I join my old friend Binny and his family who are driving from Bangalore. Wonder whom I'll meet on this trip.


Anonymous said...

Lucky, got to meet all those singers:-)

You seem to have met with most of the singers from malayalam film music industry.


Mustang said...

u are some guy mate... neat that you are able to meet up with celebrities like that..