When I purchased the red colored Adidas T-shirt from Shoppers Stop a few months back, I never thought I would wear the same on a day which shall mean the most to me. The bag I received from my college for organizing symposium events - I never expected it to accompany me on the day when I will feel like I'm in heaven. Yes! I’m posting this piece 46 hrs post my visit back to Earth from heaven. An event I had wished it happen before I could bid adieu to my fellow men on Earth happened, as early as day before yesterday - A 10 month dream turned into reality. Those were moments when I couldn’t differentiate between actuality and illusionary. Those were moments when I wondered if I had been gifted with special blessings from God. Yes! With special blessings from God, I had the opportunity to meet my Goddess – Playback singer Ms. Shreya Ghoshal.
I virtually sensed the heavenly moments when I purchased my ticket for the Shreya Ghoshal Live-in concert that was to be held at the Music Academy, Madras on the 31st of January 2009. Most fortunately, the sequence of events happened just the way I had wished it to and I actually wonder if God can ever be more kind to me. Hence firstly I would like to thank the Almighty for what has happened and then proceed with the narration of the most memorable (will always be the most memorable) evening of my life.
I made myself well-prepared (whether or not Shreya was, for the concert) with the list of things I had wanted to do. As soon as I purchased the concert ticket last Monday, I made it a point not to have a shave that week – 'grow as much beard and moustache as possible and then get the neatest one done on Saturday morning'. Apart from that, I documented another write-up about my admiration for Ms. Ghoshal’s music. This was done on Friday evening and I made sure, I gave my best amidst the flurry of messages friends sent – texting me names of heart specialists available in Madras if something should happen to me the next evening, out of uncontrollable excitement and joy. And as I had planned, I took a print out of the latest article I had written to present her for the evening and 2 copies of the article ‘Fallen in love….' wherein Shreya herself had commented. I also made sure I added that comment of hers at the end of the document to add 'THAT' special feel to it. One copy was taken for me to get her autograph - as a present by her and one as a gift I shall present, as a token of reverence. With all happening as planned, I rid my way to the auditorium half-hour ahead of time and gladly, was pleased to find another Shreya Ghoshal fan in the neighboring seat. We discussed a lot about the love and admiration both of us have for Shreya, our favorite songs etc.
As time passed, the star of the evening and the ever twinkling star of my heart – Shreya Ghoshal decorated the stage with her presence, entered on-stage and made her first angelic appearance in front of my 2 eagerly-awaiting eyes, which had always wondered if they could ever make use of themselves to see this child prodigy from close quarters. She started off with Silsila Yeh Chaahat (Devdas) and went on and on, non-stop for an hour and half. After a 20 minute break, she returned back and continued for another one and a half till 11.20 pm. Though her divinity-rich vocal chords were good enough to keep the audience enthusiastic and the mood thoroughly exciting, she reached us still better with her humble talk and the occasional display of her sense of humor. And despite preparing a list of songs for the evening, she heeded to the requests of the crowd and tried her best to go by what we wanted. That attitude of hers was amazing and I was completely bowled over when she said the following after singing ‘Agar Tum Mil Jao(Zeher). ‘I feel very good every time I come to Chennai because people here appreciate good music and I must confess, I loved the blog that was written by the guy from your Chennai’. Wow! Never in the wildest of my dreams did I expect her to make such a statement amidst 1000-seaters. Those words into my ears were equivalent to the pour of honey into my mouth and on listening to her appreciation; my heart got itself dissolved into these never-before-felt emotions.
Her on-stage performance was mind-blowing - actually better than what I had expected, could say The Best ever. It's really worth penning down those songs, at least for people who didn’t have the opportunity to be there. They include her fluent rendition of the classical notes in Mere Dolna (Bhool Bhulaiyya), the ever-perfect Tamil diction while she sang Munbe Vaa (SOK) and the seductive stance she took while performing Jaadhu Hai Nasha (Jism). Another aspect of hers which I must mention is her command over the lyrics – she never used a lyric book to render hindi songs. What moved me was the pleasing nature with which she asked for pardon, well in advance, if she happens to mispronounce Thamizh (this was how she pronounced the word….wow!!) lyrics but that never happened with Munbe Va (a filmfare winner) but faltered a little while rendering Uruguthe (Veiyil). Some other songs which I found as perfect as the original include Ab to forever, Waada Raha, Yeh Ishq Hai, Pal pal har pal, Piyu Bole, Barso Re, Tu Meri Dost, Teri Ore, Tere Naina (on-stage debut at Chennai) and I’ll be doing injustice if I fail to mention 'Tujh Mein Rab Dhiktha hai' (Wow!! That was jussssssttttt toooooo good. I was stunned. At her vocal best!!). I'm a little sad that she didn't perform Kaise Mujhe (Ghajini) and Beiri Piya - while her mellifluous 'ISSHH' is my sms tone, 'Aaaaaa' from Kaise Mujhe is my ring tone.
She finished the concert brilliantly with Dola Re (another filmfare winner) and it was time for me to get into action. As soon as the concert ended, I ran up the stairs and stood in front of her on-stage. She smiled at me and I reciprocated with the biggest one possible. I took out the hard copy of ‘Fallen in Love….’ and showed her. She received it and questioned ‘What is this?’. I replied ‘A small gift for you – this is my article’. One look at the title, she started with a few divine sentences which still echoes in me and it’s getting pumped by the heart on and on, along with the blood. Below is what happened.
As she read the title of the article, she started "YOU ARE RAJESH? YOU ARE ONE PERSON I WANTED TO MEET. I’m HAPPY YOU’VE COME". She then told her Personal Manager ‘He is the person I was talking about' and then pointed to her fans waiting for autographs, ‘He is the blogger guy I was talking about, during the concert. He's written such a wonderful article’. I shook hands with her (Wow!!!) and finally managed to pump out a few words, spoke something in that sense of extreme excitement, told her, 'Shreya, it's a dream come true for me', she turned her eyes away from the sheets of paper I had given, looked at me. That one word she said, with such a sweet voice - it was an equivalent to a million. She said in her characteristic style, accompanied by the cutest smile ‘Aaahaan'. People waiting for autographs were pushed away but I alone stood next to her. I was just admiring the beauty - I didn't know what else to do (and was wondering if these things were real or illusion). As I was admiring her, she winked at me and said 'Please wait. I'll autograph'. She then autographed on the hard copy and accepted my request for a photo which was clicked by her Personal Manager. I was one of the very few who had the special privilege to take a photograph alongside her, in those 2 minutes. I presented her another of the article I had just written, on the eve of the concert. On receiving, she said 'Wow!!! Nice' and has also promised to e-mail me her reply. Despite the mention of my e-mail id, mobile number along with the articles and her promise to mail me, I'm so happy with just her words of promise - that meant the world to me. She passed on the sheets to her PM to let herself autograph. As she moved out of the hall into the car, I made sure I never moved away from her, tagged along and was pleased to find my sheets of paper alone, seated next to her inside the car.
This was truly an experience I never have experienced in the past and it’ll call for something really BIG to come anywhere close to this and I can’t think of anything, as precious as this, happening in the near future.
Apart from God, I take this opportunity to thank the following people for making my dream come true (in the chronological order of events):
1.My cousin Divya and aunt who first made me take notice of the newspaper ad.
2.My parents for the financial support they provided to purchase the ticket.
3.My friend Muthu for allowing me to take his digicam.
I'll be doing injustice if I fail to convey my special thanks to that mysterious person who passed on 'Fallen in love...' article's link to Shreya. I'm waiting for the day when I could meet him/her. Thanks a lot!
Also, I would love Shreya to make a music album in the near future and definitely, that should be one of her long term goals and if it is one, I'm sure she'll look into the intricacies involved, work hard towards it and deliver one of the best ever possible. She actually deserves to make one for the talent she possesses - if not for her, at least for her millions of fans like me. My best wishes for the same.
The moments on-stage with Shreya provided euphoria of the highest order or at least, of an order I never have experienced. The odour of her perfume which hit me as hard as her ravishing looks still haunts mesmerically. Wow! It truly was A Heavenly Sojourn.
I conclude with a line from your song and I really mean it...
Tujh (Your music) Mein Rab Dhiktha Hai Yaara Mein Kya Karoon.. Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (You and Music)
I'm a tension-free person wanting to enjoy every moment of my life. I take life as it comes and strongly opine that one shouldn't get bogged down when things don't seem to go his/her way. I believe in my abilities and feel 'EVERYTHING IN LIFE HAPPENS FOR A REASON'. I get inspired and want to inspire others. An eternal optimist :)