Wednesday, May 30, 2007

When the hurly-burly’s done, when the battle’s lost and won

I know, I know, I know.
I should have written many days ago. I’ve had the time and I’ve had the intention. I just don’t know where to start. This gig started off as an innocent karaoke competition. I don’t know what it has become. Twelve people, all of who sing as if Kate Moss is headed towards the exit, and only their singing can bring her back. (Hi, Chris? How’re you doing?) Twelve people who are singers and performers and divas and…are men called divas too? They should be.

See? I have no idea what I’m saying. I told Carlton this would be the worst farewell piece I’ve ever had to write. Here it is, nevertheless. I couldn’t have hoped to end on a higher note. God knows, I can’t hit too many.

It has truly been an honour and a pleasure to write about all of you.

Abhijit
Your first song was very good. You have great range. And I don’t know if it was because it was your birthday and you had to make it special, but you pushed yourself and completely raised the stakes. And I loved the costume on the second one! You are already a star. I hope you find many platforms where you can show the world how true that is.

Andy
When you started to read your lyrics off the phone, my instinct was to run to you and cry on your shoulder. Loudly. I wanted to bawl. Why did you do that, Andy, why why? Yours was an unmatched performance. You had everything going for you: your voice is, of course, unmatched. You have this shaking writhing fist-clenching performance that has everyone on the edge of their seats. We Are The Champions was the pick of that round, without exception. As was everything else about round 2. Except for that gimmick with the phone. But enough about that. You talent is unparalleled and you need to actively do something about it.

Goo
It doesn’t matter that you didn’t make it to round 2. You should really know that. What matters is you have a very endearing voice and a very endearing personality. I could listen to you sing any old time. I guess you lost out because you were singing in a language you didn’t know, and it’s hard to emote when you don’t know what you’re saying. It takes a lot of guts to do what you did. And you pulled it off with more class and √©lan that I could have. And I speak the language. Hats off to you. You have my complete respect. And Mr. Braganza’s.

Jacob
Jacobeeeee! You made the Kroakstars of season 1 very proud. You are leaps and bounds ahead of where you were last year. What a performer you are. I thought your second song was far better than your first one. I am guessing love does things like this. In which case, I hope you stay in love and continue to be the superlative singer and performer you are. Kissy poo!

Jerusha
You have an effortless voice and a winning personality. The Mamma Song was simply the best! Which reminds me, Simply The Best was an awesome song as well. When I grow up, I want to sing like you. And oh. You should wear skirts more often. As ZZ Top once said, “She’s got legs; she knows how to use them”. Grin.

Keerthana
Song choice. Kiki. Something To Talk About is a great song. But I would never sing it if my vocal prowess was being judged. Why? Because too many people have sung it. And the most disturbingly abiding memory of that song is that nightmarish rendition by Sanjaya. I swear, I still wake up screaming some nights. You have a powerful voice and a natural ability to hold your audience’s attention. Do some voice training, lady. Awesome stuff.

Malliga
Malligaaaaa! You completely outdid yourself. Talk about being able to push yourself and raise the bar! Initially, I thought Somebody To Love was a very brave choice. I honestly think as few people as possible should pick Freddie Mercury’s vocals. Turns out, at least three people from this competition are more than capable. What a performance! And Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend was brilliant. You have a killer voice, but I love the little tweaks you give each performance of yours, to make it special. Brilliant, brilliant.

Mark
I stick by my initial reaction to and opinion of your song choice in round 1. You completely rocked I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing, but you are capable of so much more than that song can offer. Never mind. Your song in round 2 completely made up for the faux pas! And I counted 832 men and women who were drooling over your performance, so no harm done! You know you’re a star. But that will never stop me from telling you over and over again. For my dowry, I want your brother’s photography skills.

Pragnya
Pragnya, ours has been a long trip to the finals. And you know I rooted for you from the start. With good reason, apparently. Never mind that you didn’t make it to the final round. You still did a fantastic job with Aretha Franklin. I hope you keep coming back and singing for us.

Pratik
Pratik, I’ve always only had one complaint about you. It’s that you don’t sing in your own voice. It’s true that whatever you do, it’s making you sound great. But spend some quality time in the shower and find your own voice. I heard it for a couple of seconds in your recording on the CD. You should find that superb voice and give it some love and affection. You rock!

Roopika
What can I say? You deserve all the praise, the awards, the title, the crown and the adulation. With whipped cream on top. Both your songs were outstanding, and both performances, stellar. May you have many many more shows, accolades and admirers. And may Barbara Streisand kiss the ground you tread.

Venkat
Venky. You are my other hero. Great performance on Born To Run. I was going to get up and run after you, but realized I’d be out of breath. Sure enough, it happened to you. Small glitch there. Luck Be A Lady was okay, though. Your pitch wasn’t bang on at quite a few places, and it would have done you good to learn the words. Nothing more distracting in a performance, than the constant fear that you’ll forget your words. But you are still a star. And there are great things in store for you.

Monday, May 28, 2007

THROUGH THE BURGEONING FRAUDULENCE, SOME SHINING LIGHTS


By Stanley Pinto
There’s a lot about Bangalore that’s hyperbole-ridden, if not downright fraudulent. Restaurants described as world-class by writers who one is often tempted to believe haven't ventured too far beyond Chikmagalur. Fashionistas who we are regularly told are putting Bangalore (India?) on the world map, and who then disappear into well-earned oblivion shortly thereafter. A new international airport that is tom-tommed as arguably the most futuristic in the region, before it is slammed as also being, well, boring.

And so on.

So when Carlton Braganza tells me the finalists at this year’s Opus Idol are as good as anything we saw on the recently concluded America Idol, I ask him who (did I mean What?) he’s been smoking lately. But I turn out dutifully at the Chowdaiah Hall to judge the finals nevertheless, much concerned that my reputation, already verging on the flaky, is going to take a hit from which it may never recover. I mean what do I know about songs that shriek and scream and hippety-hop all over the place? I have shoes older than some of those singers, for heaven’s sake.

But Carlton was right.

The first thing I hear on entering the hall is a cover version of John Lennon’s pithy song Oh Darlin’ playing over the sound system. It’s totally wonderful and before I can ask who the singer is, CeeBee tells me it’s one of the evening’s finalists.

I’m blown away.

And I never really recover as, in the course of the next three hours, I discover that Opus and the redoubtable Carlton & Gina team have unearthed gems as deeply concealed, and every bit as precious, as blood diamonds in a Sierra Leonian mudslide.

There will be reams written about that evening, so suffice it for me to say that there hasn’t been an evening of such unquestioned local talent on display in Bangalore since I don’t know when.

Where on earth did Roopika come from? (Mysore, I was told. And even her husband and father had no idea she could sing, let alone recreate Broadway roles as electrifyingly as she did.)

Who is Andy? How can such a compact body contain the bellows he calls lungs?

Did Jerusha secretly train with Tina Turner?

Was Marilyn Monroe as gauche, and delicious, as Malliga, when she first touted Diamonds as a Girl’s Best Friend a hundred years ago?

And what could possibly account for Bharat’s virtuosity at writing songs in four languages and twenty time signatures, then mixing the sound track himself to perform the whole melange in a hysterical, uncontrolled burst of gloriously demented schizophrenia?

The questions came popping up in my mind with each performance as this passing parade of home-grown kids made that stage their own mesmerising playground. I don’t care what the moronic moral police of Fraud City have to say, Carlton and Gina have gifted the young people of Bangalore with an invaluable forum for putting their take on clean contemporary living front and centre.

As I left the Chowdaiah Hall after the show, a thought occurred: If only someone could get the Chief Minister to spend a night at Opus one of these days. He is likely to discover an endangered species just waiting to open his eyes to a future right under his nose.

chris' notes:
1. ABHIJIT
Great versatile voice. Very “new Romantic” (I’d like to hear you sing “Vienna”). Good control on high notes. First song was much better than the second. Too much running around the stage, which lost contact with the audience. It’s the eyes that primarily connect. The still moments were terrific! Frequently lost clarity of words due to pushing too hard, and running around. Your “Rocky Horror” outfit was fun, if a bit tame - you needed fish-net stockings, or something more daring!
2. ANDY
This is a voice in a million. Tenors would kill for the facility to reach the high notes like that!
I thought “We are the champions” was going to be a bit cheesy, but you made it your own and it was brilliant. “Maybe this time” was the bravest and most ambitious choice of song of the evening. I have taught this to girls to develop their lower and belt registers. You started probably an octave above how most guys would sing. And then you just kept going up and up. It was thrilling.
If I were to hear your voice on the radio, I would know it was you (that is more than I can say for any of the American Idol finalists). It is this quality and character that makes you outstanding. It is a voice that could sing all kinds of music: western classical, opera, mediaeval/renaissance European music, as I think it has great potential versatility. I think the reason you didn’t come first is because you didn’t know your words. The Nokia gag was a clever ruse, but you’ll never pull that off again!
You have a very special gift. Please develop your voice, get singing lessons, learn to look after it. You are not butch or camp enough to be Freddie Mercury, but your voice is in that league, and you have the potential to be something original.
3. GOO
You have a powerful rich low/middle register (what is called a “belt” voice) which is rather unexpected, given your slim, sexy, oriental appearance. That’s your great appeal. I was sorry you didn’t make the second round, as I heard you rehearsing “Somewhere over the rainbow”, which the audience would have loved. Your rendition of “I love rock and roll” was highly entertaining. I know you have problems with the English language, but your diction (although not perfect!) was better than some of the other contestants, as you didn’t overpush your voice. Good voice control.
4. JACOB
You have progressed leaps and bounds since last year. You ooze confidence and vocally you are much stronger. I would like to think it was all those exercises I put you through, but it’s probably “love”! Great, entertaining first number, beautifully contrasted with stillness and power in “Impossible Dream”. You have great versatility. Work at your low notes in the shower!
5. JERUSHA
You chose a difficult first number, in that it takes a while to get to the chorus. The chorus was terrific, but the verse is low and difficult to sustain the energy. And it was during the verses that you lost your audience, as your focus was on the screen rather than them. Entertaining performance of “When you’re good to Mama”, given it was a family audience.
But to really pull that song off, you have to exploit every innuendo to the fullest. Try it at Opus sometime and be very daring!
6. KEERTHANA
I think you could have found a raunchier song - or have made that song more raunchy! It was unfortunate that Sanjaya sung this so recently on American Idol - he made it his own. I hasten to say I think you sang it better, but it didn’t quite have the charisma that Sanjaya gave it! You have a Tina Turner/ Janis Joplin quality, and the song wasn’t strong enough for you to really show that off. Practise long held low notes in the shower to develop your lower range!
7. MALLIGA
Your first song was too long, and having whammed it at the beginning there was nowhere to go. Your lower notes got a bit lost. Your voice is terrific, but it only shone through when the backing track backed off. Great choice though for your second song, “Diamonds...” which you made your own. Slightly refined for the family audience - fair enough - but try it Opus with a bit more of Marilyn Monroe about it. You will bring the house down. I would love to hear you sing something more ballady to show off the qualities in your voice.
8. MARK
You showed your voice off to the full with two very different songs. You know how to command a stage by keeping still, and feeling those still moments. You have a rich baritone and “Music of the night” was a brave but brilliant choice for you. When are we going to see you in a show?
9. PRAGNYA
You have a lovely voice and gave a great performance. What was missing was diction - it was difficult to make out the words. For an audience in this situation, we stopped looking at you and read the words on the screen. Don’t be afraid of hitting and spitting the consonants. Your vowels are fine - it’s the consonants, though, that give definition. I was sorry you didn’t get through to the next round: I would have liked to hear you sing sing something contrasting.
10. PRATIK
Great character voice. It has a terrific “ashtray” quality, which is why I compared you to Mark Swaroop. Listen to some Tom Waits. You lost your audience by not knowing your words well enough, and your focus kept going to the screen in front of you.
11. ROOPIKA
10 of of 10 all round - wonderful voice, perfect songs and tremendous stage performances. I was so pleased you got the words for “A piece of sky” - this is a really difficult number, and to pull it off to a karaoke track was stunning. My only note for this was “Eat your heart out, Barbra”! I feel that music theatre is your calling. Get some training: the stage is your oyster!
12. VENKAT
“Born to run”: you certainly made this song come alive with your performance. Tremendous energy. You lost clarity in your words at high volume. ”Luck be a lady”: you did the best you could with an awful backing track. Swing numbers tend to fall flat if the the horns aren’t real! A bit more stillness would have helped you, especially after the running around of your first number.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Friday, May 18, 2007

Orange colored purple striped pretty green polka dotted pink bubbled Pre-final 3!!

Increasingly, I’ve been feeling that I try to sing with soul to remind myself that I still have one. Wednesday taught me to breathe easy, sit back and listen to those who never seem to have seen a single difficult day, in that area. Eight people who seem to have all the soul that the devil bought off a thousand needy fools and wise men. I’ll say this: he redistributed wisely.

And this is why I am not going to talk about specific people, this time around. This is not writers’ block. I just don’t know how capable I am of doing any justice, although I’m really tempted to try. So, no singling out people. Like Roopika, who had the entire crowd on its feet and knees, alternately. Or Jerusha, who got the most shouting, yelling and cheering that I’ve seen in a long time. Or Jude who won about 89 hearts in the first minute of his performance. Or Keerthana, who blew the socks off the crowd with her power and confidence. Or Jacob. I do believe he had the crowd in tears and in complete awe-struck silence. Like little puppeteers, wrapping strings of worshipping crowds around their fingers.

Did I mention I wasn’t going to talk about specific people? Good. So I guess I should mention that I’m not proposing either. I’m done asking people to

Marry Me!

I’m not asking Bharath to marry me, for instance. He didn’t make it to the top four, but he does win a prize for being one of the few people in my surroundings who can pull of Dave Matthews.

And I sure as hell can’t ask Jude, irrespective of his charming performance. Besides being mildly incestuous, we all know how many times I’ve unabashedly asked his brother and how many times I’ve been rejected. We can safely assume that this sort of thing runs in the family.

But I’ll say this. Till I find my soul without having to look for it so desperately, I’ll keep the faith by recalling the Wednesday that just went by. I’m convinced that there’s enough soul out there to go around.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pre-final 2- Chick, Korea

Music makes the world go ‘round. Music is not bound by language, geography or generation. Music is the food of love. Et cetera.

Really. Some sayings are so boring. If I were you, I’d have stopped reading at “bound by language”. I guess this is because we’ve heard some things said so often, but we’ve never experienced them first-hand. Watching a clich√© come alive, more than being a mere reality check, is a refresher course for old jaded cynics.

On an operational level, last night saw four more people heading for the finals. But on that intangible level that writers love so dearly, it served as a refresher course for this jaded cynic I know. Turns out, music isn’t bound by language after all. Ask anyone who heard Goo sing. Some truth is cooler than fiction.

More about that later. Let’s start from the bottom and move up.

DJ: I’ve heard you sing a hundred times, but I’ve never seen you nervous. You have the voice and the presence, but the sad thing about nerves is that it paralyzes you. Getting discouraged is the worst thing one can do. Get some practise (loos are the best venue for this) and come right back.

Lindsay: Real pity you didn’t make it. But I have two words for you: song choice. You were great on Proud Mary, but Janis’s version of Summertime is a tough one. The charm lies entirely in the octave she sings in, and by taking it down, I do believe you lost out on voice quality, performance and about 50 votes. I still voted for you because your first song was outstanding.

Russ: You’re a wild one alright, gimmick boy! Your performances were really entertaining, and it looked like you were having a great time. That is easily one of the things that will set some people apart from others in this competition. That, and a superlative voice. You have one of them. :)

Sulekha: Song choice, half-hearted performances and finally, an alarming incident where you seemed to be checking your pitch- repeatedly- on the microphone. Girl, get off the mic when you want to check your pitch! Please! You actually sounded quite nice on Say A Little Prayer For You. But Black Velvet didn’t work out at all. And too many people do that song for it to continue to be fresh. Come back, and sing more. It always helps.

Now for those who made it.

Goo: The greatest sorrow is that you’re not going to be reading this article, Goo. Because while I’ve been gushing over various voices these past few weeks, what you pulled off gets all my R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Ladies and other weird creatures, this is where that bit about music not being restricted by language becomes relevant. Goo topped last night’s poll.
No. of brilliant performances: 2
No. of votes received: 139
No. of words she understood in both songs put together: Word has it, closer to 2 than to 139.
I cannot wait to listen to you at the finals.

As always, fools tread where wise men fear to venture. Here goes.

Marry Me!

Andy: Here’s the thing. You sing like a dream AND you’re approximately my height! Imagine! We can see eye to eye on everything! On a more serious note, I was really afraid after your stalwart performance of Love Hurts. I was almost sure you wouldn’t have been able to match that with song 2. But when I watched your performance of Show Must Go On, I think a piece of my heart fell into my beer. You are my pick from last evening. Without doubt. There’s a ring with your name on it.

Pratik: You have a great voice, and everything else that it takes to win this contest. No doubt about it. You even seem to have this stout Rock n’ Roll background, and a general ability to pick the right songs. Which is why I can’t for the life of me figure out why you picked Kiss From A Rose. You are great, I love your voice, marry me. But please be careful about what you pick for the finals.

Pragnya: Honestly, when you sang Somebody to Love, I had written you off. It didn't do you justice, you didn't do it justice. But then your Chain of Fools came to the rescue. What a brilliant choice that was! Your voice did everything right for that song, and it's not at all an easy number to pull off. Last evening was the best you’ve ever sounded and you deserved every single one of your 105 votes.

And that brings us to the end of a Wednesday with an alarming number of bad song choices, but a heartening number of great voices. And that sentence would have sounded far less cheesy if it hadn’t happened to rhyme.

Till next week, then. Practise your scales, gargle and…run your song choices by me!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Pre-final 1: Mark says he won’t do that and Thos days are over

Last evening at Opus, we had a glimpse of exactly what we’re in for, over the next few weeks. Clearly, this is far more than a karaoke competition. I have no idea what’s happening around here anymore, but I do know that the people who run this city (yes, run it) need to stand in a corner and think about what they’re doing. The amount of talent I’ve seen at Opus in the recent past, I haven’t seen anywhere else. No surprise there, this is the result of a city choking under the sway of various small-minded scepters. I guess it really helps to stand up and shout, instead of sit around and stare.

Speaking of which, there was a fair amount of shouting going on last night, mostly in tune but some…not quite.


Remya. I really liked your voice on Fever. But I think Woman’s Worth was just a bad song to pick. It lacks character, and it does nothing for anyone’s voice. Not even for Ms. Keys. I empathize. Bad songs have haunted me forever now. Nevertheless, good job.

Shwetha. I really really wish you would let go and sing out. Orange Coloured Sky was average at best, but when you sang KT, I thought it was a pity you weren’t giving it everything. Try it next time. Get a couple of drinks, if you need outside help. But let go.

Thomas. I have no explanation for this. But I voted for you. There’s something about you. I guess when you screamed and jumped and gyrated, I kind of scared myself into circling your name. But you know I’m just being mean and Cowellish! I did vote for you, but I did it because you promised to prove something to me, and you did.

Tania.
Well, I guess I don’t have to say anything. You seem to know where you stand as far as your vocal abilities are concerned. You’re a good sport. Cheers! And oh. Please don’t ever sing Celine Dion again. I will take my own life by swallowing the ring that Mark, Malliga and Venky refuse.

And now for the guys who made it. And also, presently, my Marry Me! section.

Abhjit topped the list with 173 votes. Abhijit, your Break On Through was excellent, although it did give me the feeling there was something of Mr. Morrison’s spirit inside you. That was about 60% his voice. Sure enough, you came back with You Know My Name and we got to listen to you sing. Now we sure as hell know your name! 173 votes, my man! Every single one of them, well-deserved.


Marry Me!

Mark came in a close second with 170 votes. Mark, first off, if I had your voice (besides being over the moon in a horribly showy extravagant brash way), I’d have picked another song for the pre-1975 round. Something with more drama, you know? Not that it really mattered; you kicked Jailhouse Rock’s posterior right through the shiny new roof. And then you go and sing I Will Do Anything For Love. This is approximately the moment when you steal the hearts of unassuming women in their mid-twenties. Damn you and that big fluffy voice of yours. Marry me? I childishly circled your name 8 times.

Venky qualified next, with 163 votes. Venky, since we’re on the topic of marriage, will you? Marry me, that is. And if you’re unimaginably young and thoroughly disgusted with my middle-aged advances, forgive me, but it’s entirely your fault. You were one of only two people last evening, who nailed it on song choice, both times. The Way You Look Tonight was easily one of the best performances and Roadhouse Blues stamped your ticket to the finals. In keeping with the childish trend, I circled your name about 6 times.

Malliga tied with Venky with 163 votes, to secure the last entry to the finals. Malliga, see, this proposals thing is very...open-minded. You have to understand, it’s a gesture. You are the second of two people who were bang-on with song choices, both times. Everlasting Love had me screaming and cheering like a drunk groupie. And Sweet Child of Mine- for an overplayed, oversung number- sounded great. So, feel free to accept this ring. It’s very old and suspiciously rusted, but I’m an impoverished writer.


For more about last evening, including pictures and videos and other fancy things that Mr. Braganza does, go to http://opusbangalore.blogspot.com
Is wonderful!

Monday, April 30, 2007

Everything you need to know about the pre-finals


And whatever we know about the finals

If you have any questions, please leave a comment or mail us or sms us or just start shouting out our names in random public.

Ladies and gentleitems, here are your pre-final dates:

Pre-final 1: 2nd may
1. Abhijit
2. Mark
3. Malliga
4. Remya
5. Shwetha
6. Tania
7. Thomas
8. Venkat

Pre-final 2: 9th may
1. Andy
2. Divya
3. Goo
4. Keerthana
5. Lindsay
6. Prateek
7. Russ
8. Sulekha

Pre-final 3: 16th may
1. Aishwarya
2. Bharath
3. Jacob
4. Jerusha
5. Jude
6. Pragnya
7. Roopika
8. Gulshan


Dos:
Category 1- any song originally recorded in or before 1975
Category 2- any song you want
Don’ts:
You can’t sing a song you’ve sung before at Opus. Pretty please. No one deserves to be disqualified.

the pre finals will be judged by the audience. entry cards for the semis will also double up as voting cards .. for you to have your say and circle your 4 favorites of the night. The voting will be done at the end of the evening. The results will be up on this blog the day after the contest. (Promise.)

Recording for the CD
Between the 3rd and 19th of May, the Kroaking CD will be recorded with sharmon ibrahim. The song that you will record will be one that best showcases your voice.
The roster for the recording sessions will be sent out to the top 12, post the semis. All communication for rules, regulations, roster etc will be communicated by email and sms. And blog.


The Finals
1. There will be 12 participants at the finals.
2. Finals will be held on 25th May 2007 (Friday) at Chowdaiah Memorial Hall. The hall is booked for the whole day. Participants are advised to come in during the day for practice.
3. Participants cannot sing songs that they have performed before at Kroaknights (both Wednesday and Sunday) or at the semis.
4. There will be 2 rounds of competition. The criteria for each round will be announced shortly after the semis
5. Only top 6 from the 12 will move to Round 2. All 12 participants are strongly advised to have two songs ready. Why underestimate yourself when… you don’t have to?
6. Judging for the finals is by a panel of judges. List of judges will be communicated shortly. The decision of the judges will be final.

That should about cover it
If you disagree, let us know.

Week 8: In which Carlton found what he was looking for

Give the dog a bone; this chap man came rolling home!

We all have our agenda with what we do. Some of us sing to be heard, some to be seen and some to help Carlton along the road to his Sanjaya. After many months of anticipation and preparation, eight weeks of qualifying rounds and innumerable trials and errors, we’ve come down to 24 people who are singing to win.

Last Wednesday brought us some more new talent- something that we’ve begun to cheerfully look forward to. Suman deserves a special mention for her rendition of Misty by Sarah Vaughn. Suman, it’s a real pity you didn’t make it. You were a little shaky on that song, and I don’t blame you- Ms. Vaughn is fairly inimitable. But I hope you’ll come back every Wednesday anyway. And ideally with more jazz for us. Some of us are turning many shades of blue, for lack of good jazz.

There were other colourful moments- Sanjay, with his lyric-less belting out of Can You Feel The Love Tonight, and Sushma who gave us her startling and mildly disturbing version of Shaggy’s Angel. And of course, Mr. Mark Lazaro, about whom I’ve written more than an advisable amount on this blog. Well, try and stop me. Mark, how about a new song for us? Before too much love kills us, you know? Fi fie fo fum!

Getting back to business, four people qualified, bringing us to our desired tally of 24:

Roopika- You sang one of my least favourite songs of all-time (Hero- Mariah Carey). Which means, I’ve heard that song two weeks in a row in Opus. Which means, I should be really really unhappy at this point. But if you’ve heard yourself sing, you’ll know that’s not true. Hats off!

Swetha- Congratulations on making it. And thank you ever so much for not attempting Alanis’s yodel on One Hand In My Pocket. Hopefully, people will now realize that it’s possible to sing Alanis without subjecting an unassuming drunk audience to a split-voiced shriek at irregular intervals.

Sulekha- Turns out Orange Coloured Sky is the unofficial heart-winner of this season. Nina put magic into that song before bursting our collective pink bubbles by opting out of the contest. And now, you. Congratulations, girl.

Thomas- Well, well, well! Who would’ve thought it possible?! To be honest, not I. But no matter; the judges voted and you made it and all the best to you. Carlton is showing all of his shiny white(ish) teeth on having found his Sanjaya. But a word of caution: if you pick Something to Talk About, I might attempt murder. Please, please don’t ever do something like that to me, bonnie lad.

I want to also quickly mention Anand who sang Love Story. On my little piece of paper, I had a big exclamation mark next to your name. That usually means, had I been a judge, you’d have been given a place. You didn’t attempt to imitate anyone or sing is someone else’s voice, and I thank you for that rare experience.

No marriage proposals this week. But I’ll carry a ring with me to Opus next Wednesday, to make up for it. And hopefully Carlton will be giving us something to talk about as well. So. Here are our final 24!

1) Jacob
2) Tania
3) Keerthana
4) Mark Lazaro
5) Jude Lazaro
6) Pratik
7) Jerusha
8) Andy
9) Venkatesh
10) Divya Joseph
11) Remya
12) Abhijit
13) Pragnya
14) Lindsay
15) Bharath
16) Russ
17) Malliga
18) Gulshan
19) Goo
20) Aishwarya
21) Roopika
22) Swetha
23) Sulekha
24) Thomas


Hang in there for my next post, which will be wearing a tie and being very business-like. It’s all about the rules, regulations, dos, don’ts and or-elses.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Week 7: Lookin’ for fun and feeling Gooey

No. I don’t know what to say. And that’s exactly what I say moments before I launch into a tirade. In this case, a happy tirade because I tell you, this contest is gamboling and frolicking about the place like Kate Moss on acid!

Last evening was another revelation to close-minded idiots like me, about the amount of talent there is in this city. There was some outstanding singing going on, and it’s refreshing to have so many new voices. (Nakul, you were really really good. Very trained, mature voice. I hope we get to see you back next week. Suman, that was a very decent rendition of Moondance. Come back, come back!)

The weather god, having absolutely no sense of timing, chucked a couple of buckets of water at us, somewhere in the middle of all this. But seeing how it didn't stop people from going right ahead with the business of having fun, he packed his pails and went home. People actually continued to sit out in the open, holding up umbrellas. Now, that’s spirit.

I have to make a couple of special mentions.
Kim- I’m always taken by women who pick male vocal pieces. You did the opposite and, for once, I was impressed. Or at least entertained. Your priceless falsetto had you squeezing many oranges, and many people screaming for you. Bravo!
Bharath- I have a soft corner for that song. And the fact that you know how to rock it, made it so worthwhile. (Bharath sang Hard To Handle.)
Goo- I must say ‘Hero’ is one of my least favourite songs of all-time. These wimpy songs that put up various objects-of-affection on a pedestal don’t impress me much. But you saved the experience for me, and listening to your voice made up for the nauseating lyrics.

So, moving along rapidly to my favourite part…

Marry Me!

Andy
I must admit I was skeptical when I first heard you sing. Sweet Child Of Mine is one of those songs that so many people have mastered, it’s stopped becoming a song by which you can judge someone’s prowess. But your version of Oh Darling (The Beatles) removed any doubt that I might have had about you. Outstanding!

Gulshan
My man, this is love that I’m feeling! You started off a little self-consciously, but somewhere in the middle of your performance, you threw caution to the winds, which is exactly where it belongs. You were my pick for the night. Gush!

Aishwarya
You have an effortless voice and style. A few seconds into your song, and I knew you’d make it. Don’t Know Why I Didn’t Come is, again, not a hot favourite. (I guess I can understand Norah Jones’s angst; a lot of us don’t know why we didn’t. But must she sing about it?) I can’t wait to hear you do another song. Something sassy and with a little more attitude, perhaps? To compliment your voice.

The evening ended with our little boy wonder, Jacob Ninan. You are a beauty, Jakes. And for the record, I’ve asked Jacob to marry me as well. But he’s loving angels instead.

So.
Three more have made it. Gulshan (gush!), Goo and Aishwarya. Here’s the list so far:
1) Jacob
2) Tania
3) Keerthana
4) Mark Lazaro
5) Jude
6) Pratik
7) Jerusha
8) Andy
9) Venkatesh
10) Divya Joseph
11) Nina Mathew
12) Remya
13) Abhijit
14) Pragnya
15) Lindsay
16) Bharath
17) Russ
18) Malliga
19) Gulshan
20) Goo
21) Aishwarya

Turns out Nina Mathew (Kroak Idol No. 11) will not be competing, since she won’t be in the country. That sure is a pity, Nina, you have the voice of an angel. This means next week, the last week for qualifying, will see not 3 but 4 people through to the finals. So if you thought you didn’t stand a chance or you didn’t have the time, think again.

Whee. Things are hotting up! See you next week?
Good!

Monday, April 16, 2007

... of creeps and men who feel like women !!

we're almost at the business end of our search ... 2 more wednesdays and we will have our final list of 24 singers .. and errr .. performers.
ok a couple of things
THE FINALS ARE AT THE CHOWDIAH AT 7PM ON THE 25TH OF MAY 2007 .. tickets go on sale shortly
unlike last year, we are gonna have 3 semi finals (cant really call it that.. it should be the one third finals, i guess) .. they are 3rd, 10th and 17th may. 8 singers will perform and we will have 2 designated rounds (which will be announced once all 24 have been decided) and it will be an audience vote to pick the 4 singers that go through. entry coupons for the semis will also double up as voting cards ... the top 4 will be announced on the site the next day and at the following sundays' KroaKnight. if any of the performers have any problems with a particular date pls let us know asap.
one more time just to reiterate here are the PRIZES
a cash prize of Rs 10,000 for kroaKING
Nokia phones for the finalists
weekly prizes from levitate and native resorts...
and free entry to wed and sun kroaknights for the year for all the top 24 (thats 104 nights in the year @ Rs 110/- a night ... u do the math)
the top 12 get into a studio to record the season 2 special CD with sharmon ibrahim
... still some prizes are coming in :) who are we to complain

and now about the 3 that made it last week.
malliga breezed through and gave herself a b'day present with man i feel like a woman, bharath nailed born to be wild and mr. peterson being true to himself and the song was the 3rd to scrape through with radioheads 'i'm a creep, i'm a weirdo' ....

1. jacob 2. tania 3. keerthana 4. Mark Lazaro 5. Jude 6. Pratik 7. Jerusha 8. andy 9. venkatesh 10) divya joseph 11) nina mathew 12) remya 13) abhijit 14) pragnya 15) lindsay 16) bharath 17) russ 18) malliga

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

idle worship












(click on image to enlarge)

somebodys gotta do this and since 'baby got back' problem and 'the cat' is going through menopaws its landed on my laptop.
ok i have to say this .. since i dont know if and when i'll get to say anything here ... i wanna go on record and say that apart from melinda (who needs to doolittle to prove that shes octaves above the rest) we have, in our little backyard on palace cross road, at least 6 in the KroaKING final 15 already who could demolish the other 'idols'.
really, i'm gonna compare man for man, if u dont mind ...
1. phil stacey ... jacob ninan could and would have him for breakfast
2. chris richardson ... i think mark lazaro can more than take the pants off him
3. haley scarnato ... sorry tania, but you're my pick for this one .. we both know singing is not your forte
4. lakisha jones ... jerusha, i think u have what it takes
5. blake lewis ... barry would tear him to shreds and leave his carcass to de'compose' ... (barry still doesnt know his travel plans so he hasnt yet qualified)
6. sanjaya malakar ... now thats someone i cant match .. problem is that all in our version of the competetion can sing ... which is sad cos i'd love to have a 'sanjaya' in the final 12 . last year the kroaking finals had characters ... V had vinoj and vivek (and of course barry) .. but there are still 3 weeks and im still hopeful (russ peterson or young thos is who i have my crosshairs on)

anyways im supposed to report on last wednesdays action and keeping with the theme here goes
the marry me section ... (im proposing on behalf of ms. anand, just in case theres any confusion)
1. a very very inebriated lindsay erdman, a candian jazz blues rocker proved that one whisky one scotch and one beer are her secret ingredients, and wang dang doodled her way into the semis
2. abhijit with a rather ambitious song choice (doing sting always is) ... but he handled it decently enough to make it through
3. pragnya ... finally!! phew!! hats of to this girl though for perseverance ... she braved through that busted flat in baton rouge and is now one of the 24

ok and check it out yo! (happy anoopa?)
there were 2 other girls that stood out ... shweta with a nice vocal of sheryl crows sweet child of mine ... girl, all u need to do is loosen up and enjoy yourself ... really!! i think lindsays secrets should be shared
but the one i really felt really sorry for though, was yamini, a girl from hyderabad, who did a near flawless rendition of didos white flag. pragnyas total was 61 and yamini got 60, and when asked, she said if she were in the semis, she would be here whenever she needed to come down from hyderabad ... siggghh .. come back soon girl

thats about it for this week .... i really hope i find my sanjaya!

carlton

Thursday, April 05, 2007

TB or not TB

I’ve studied a bit of literature in my life, and I found it strangely romantic and picturesque that an alarmingly large number of writers and artists in the Victorian era died of consumption. But I’m weird like that. When I first fell in love with literature and thought I might want to start writing, I always imagined that after many years of being an unsuccessful impoverished writer, I would eventually contract consumption and be asked to spend a lot of time by the sea, being weak and disillusioned.

Sadly, science came in the way of my ambition. We have so many ‘cooler’ ailments now. Stress-related vertigo and posture-related backaches are my personal picks for Generation Vexed. And neither has resulted in the doctor advising me a decade’s rest by a calm grey sea.

What I am trying to say in this rambling comatose-inducing manner, is one of the two have kept me from being of any use to this blog, over the past week. And if you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know which it is. For now, I promise to try and get someone else to fill you in on last night’s happenings. And for the large large number of you who are no doubt feeling faint with worry regarding my health, here are some smelling salts. I have bought a hot water bag and some new reading material to see me through countless hours of lying around in bed.

I will be back soon.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Baby got bad back: Weak 4, KroaKing

Due to a sudden and inexplicable pain in my back, I am incapable of writing a long review of last night. (Stop counting your blessings, please, that is just so insulting.)

Here’s the short version.

Twenty-odd people sang. There were some highlights. Barry, you never cease to amaze me. Come into these arms of mine. Ramya, you were brilliant with that Alicia Keys song. Divya, I loved your rendition of Long Train Running. Laryngitis or no laryngitis, your voice stands out. In sickness and in health. Kurien, Mustang Sally was…interesting. I just didn’t get the feeling that you were singing it in your own voice. This happens to a lot of us a lot of the time. The trick is getting over it. Sing a song and make it your own. Will look forward to seeing you back. Saurabh, it was great to have you back and singing after so long. We hope we’ll be seeing more of you in these parts. Nina, Orange Coloured Sky was, as usual, outstanding. The matrimonial offer is still open. Thomas, that version of Gimme One Reason had a lot of…gusto. Can we have you back and competing next week, please? We had fun.

Here are the three who qualified yesterday:
Ramya
Divya Joseph (DJ)
Nina

Twelve spots, filled:
1. Jacob Ninan
2. Tania Jones
3. Keerthana Mohan
4. Mark Lazaro
5. Pratik
6. Jude Lazaro
7. Andy
8. Jerusha
9. Venkat
10. Ramya
11. DJ
12. Nina

And twelve more to go. If you think you can’t sing, think again. Or find out for sure.
KroaKing, Season 2, every Wednesday night, Opus.

I’ll be, err, back.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rock n' roll dreams come through

There is, in my opinion, only one thing that remains constant about karaoke. Variety. On an average, there will be about 20 singers each evening, and at the end of it all, you'll always find that every genre you can think of has been covered. Almost always. Which brings me directly (aren’t you grateful?) to last evening at the KroaKing qualifiers.

If I didn’t know better, I would’ve assumed that yesterday’s Kroak had a rock theme that I wasn’t informed about. It started with Andy handing out a perfectly rendered version of Sweet Child of Mine. Axl (bless his torn throat) himself would have assumed that it was his own voice emanating for another body. Somewhere in the tail-end of the applause, Pragnya burst into her very brave attempt at Led Zep’s ‘Rock n’ Roll’, and from then on, it was one yowling distortion after the other.

Pragnya, I have to say this. It’s just unfortunate- again- that you didn’t make it. You have a good voice, and gauging from yesterday, I’d say you have more than your fair share of spunk. A piece of advice? Bathroom singing, for one entire week. I’ll wait for you next Wednesday. As the Beatles once said, “don’t let me down”. *Smiles, but refuses to use annoying emoticon*

The rock fest continued with Neville (Wherever You May Go), Venkat (Light My Fire), Siddharth (Roll Over Beethoven), Manu (Jeremy), Kannan (Plush) and a whole bunch of others. Mark Lazaro, one of my favourite gents, ended the magnificent over-indulgence with a song that I do believe only he can pull off- Too Much Love Will Kill You.

Evenings like this never end with a whimper. Stanley Pinto brought the tempo down to a wistful sway, with The Shadow Of Your Smile. His vibrato had all the women screaming for him. It always helps to have a judge who has a twinkle in his eye, and wine in his voice.

They say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, and apparently there’s some truth to that. A fat lady sang, and she is I, so enough about her. Shall we move on to my favourite section, then?!

Marry Me!

This week’s Marry Me! features two people.

Jerusha
You know what is most endearing about you? Your ability to get people to love you almost immediately. It may be the big dimples at the end of each line, but I’m not so sure it’s just that. You have this effortless voice, and very good control. Learn up a whole bunch of songs, girl. You’re going to be in this competition for a really long time.

Barry
I love your voice, your presence on stage, your carefully constructed genre and your ability to move to the music, rather than against it. Some of us have no idea what that feels like. But more than loving your talent, there’s another reaction that stems from your perseverance and hard work. I think the scientific term for that is ‘respect’. I’ll check with Aretha Franklin and get back to you on that, but till then, just know that you are the undisputed King of Original.

Three more people qualified, which means there are now nine names on that list, which means there are fifteen spots left. This also means that I am finally equipped to take my ICSE Maths exam. Here are the guys who’ve made it:

1. Jacob Ninan
2. Tania Jones
3. Keerthana Mohan
4. Mark Lazaro
5. Pratik
6. Jude Lazaro
7. Andy
8. Jerusha
9. Venkat

And here are the guys who haven’t:

10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.
24.

And they haven’t made it because YOU haven’t sung yet. So be there next Wednesday. Till then, it’s over and out from me. Terminology that Team India is getting alarmingly fond of, I’m afraid.

Our very own ‘Tap-Some-Bong by Night’

There are all kinds of singers and performers. And then there are those who do something to warrant an entire write-up about themselves. This man has been doing that something for a while now at Opus- and with such elan! Vivek Madan applauds Opus's very own superstar-mixer-dancer-rapper boy. Read on.



No doubt most of us have heard/seen/heard of the famous Russel Peters line on Chinese Superheroes.

Well, we have our own Superhero, right here at Opus.

First time you see him, you see what everybody else does; a quiet, bespectacled boy with floppy hair and knapsack and you think, “Ok. Geek.” Well he is. Bharat Krishna is a software engineer by profession and an IIT Chennai graduate to boot. He works at the Bank of America and finishes work by about 7 PM or so and if it happens to be a Wednesday, he finds his way to Opus for the Kroaknight.

And that’s when you see the transformation occur.

‘Bharat Krishna by day and BARRY by night’.

“Typical Chennai attitude”, you think. “Bharat calling himself Barry to make people think he’s cool.”

But when he gets on stage and picks up that mike, “Barry” is not cool enough. The man is a musical genius; not only can he sing, he also mixes his own tracks. Most of which are remixes of Tamil, Arabic and English songs. The permutations and combinations he achieves with his mixes are just something else. I mean, who would even think that ‘Aicha’, ‘Pettai Rap’ and ‘Summertime’ would make a mixable mix? Pick up the KroaKING Season I CD to find out. (I’m on it too… Track 5)

And it’s not just like, you know, he sings in one corner with a music stand in front of him. He knows the mix so well, he sings it off the hard disks in his brain and when you have 4 different mixing back and forth like the Indian population, it’s got to be hard. And of course, Barry is a consummate dancer. Whether he’s jumping around like a maniac with his version of ‘Jam’ (which is, by the way approximately an 8 minute mix of some 5 songs) or standing still in a pose of hard concentration while singing his ‘Desert Rose’ mix, Barry proves to the world in general that he is a born performer.

Blows my mind every time I watch him. You should come and see him in action sometime. He may not have Kryptonite or a strange rubber suit or the ability to throw fridges around but man, he is truly something else.

Barry my friend, what can I say except that I’m proud to be sharing a CD with you.

- VIVEK MADAN

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Week 2- Lazaro Khwaishein Aisi

I missed the opening week of KroaKing 2, but I heard there were some teething problems. Not too many forthcoming singers, low audience participation, et cetera. Ad infinitum, even. So I went to Opus yesterday prepared for a few cavities at least; best to lower your expectations. Boy, was I in for a surprise.

There were sixteen singers last night, and I'd love to write about all of them. But this is blog not a novel. So I’m going to use every writer’s favourite tool: prerogative. My prerogative section is called…

Marry Me!

Marry Me! each Wednesday, will feature people who stood out. Today’s Marry Me! features four people and one highlight- a phenomenon that is not likely to repeat itself. I’m henceforth going to try and restrict myself to three. But for now, forgive me, I’m weak.

Pragnya
Pragnya picked two songs that most karaoke singers love to sing- Black Velvet, which helped her to Round 2, and I Will Survive. But the thing about songs like this is, a truly exceptional singer will be applauded for picking them. And she was. Come back next Wednesday, Pragnya. Something tells me this contest hasn’t seen the end of you.

The Freddies Mercury
My favourite section of last evening was the impromptu back-to-back Freddie Mercury special. Mark Lazaro- bless his wonderful voice- with Too Much Love Will Kill You and Vivek Menzel- my hero- with Crazy Little Thing Called Love. Queen is never easy to sing, but then with these two voices, there’s never any doubt that they can pull it off. Warm-fuzzies are few and far between, boys, but that was definitely one!

Jude Lazaro
What a pretty voice you have, Jude! ‘Home’ was okay for me, but ‘Fly Me to the Moon’ awakened my dormant goose bumps. I think it was your round 2 song that gave you that nudge. Great choice of song- a thing that, I assure you, will help in future rounds. Ask Ms. Kate Moss from last season, she'll tell you.

Mark Lazaro
Yes. I’m writing about him twice. Got a problem? If you do, then come and listen to this man sing next Wednesday. No, not just listen. You have to watch this one. Jumps around like a livewire, yells and screams and throws his arms around. And has a voice that makes the tears jump out of my face. (Ask anyone who knows me. The best performers always make me cry. The glistening eyes aren’t just a finton of your imagination.) Too Much Love Will Kill You and Bed Of Roses allowed this man to trample his way to the top three. Fee-fie-fo-fum.

Nina
Nina, Nina, Nina. Sigh. I didn’t think too much of Can’t Fight The Moonlight, but that’s probably because I don’t think too highly of that song. But Orange Coloured Sky. What did you do with that song?! You were simply magnificent with that one. It was just pure bad luck that you didn’t make the top three. Come back next Wednesday. You can make it to the finals. And then what say you and I run away together? And how many people are going to believe that I’m straight after this? Who cares?

So anyway. Those of you who were there, Wasn’t it great?! And those of you who weren’t, What’s up with that? Six spots are filled up already, but you have a bunch of Wednesdays left. So come and sing.

Here are the six, so far:
1. Jacob Ninan
2. Tania Jones
3. Keerthana Mohan
4. Mark Lazaro
5. Pratik
6. Jude Lazaro

More later. Bye bye for now. Turns out I have to get back to a job. And all the endless ways in which we rob ourselves of ourselves and each other. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Something to talk about

We’re excited because the World Cup is upon us like a ton of Cola wars.
Bangalore roads are ghastly- just like the traffic, the weather, the infrastructure and the BPO belts.
It’s the middle of the week and we are all at work.
Cottons are in.
Brangelina is (are?) out.

The point I’m trying to make, rather inarticulately, is that we need to have something new to talk about. Desperately. Before we all die of...Nothing To Talk About.

Under the dire circumstances, I am pleased, proud and almost childishly excited to announce- rather belatedly- that Opus is back with KroaKing 2. The contest that made waves and news, sealed friendships, allowed for our fair share of gossip, but most of all showcased some of the best voices this city has.

And this time the New could be You. All you have to do is show up on any Wednesday evening, grab a drink or ten, grab the mike from Mr. Mark Swaroop and sing your heart out. From then on, you could either make it to that list of 24 finalists or not. Either way, you’re in for a big fat happy time. I should know. I’ve been there. And I often put the ‘big fat’ in it!

In the presence of the million dangling conversations we have everyday, let at least one be truly exciting. So what if you have to sing it.
Come on, kroakers, let’s give them something to talk about!

P.S.- I will be taking over writing on this blog- at least for a while- from Vivek Madan. But I've always preferred a conversation to a monologue. So please leave me comments, requests, bouquets or their opposites. Or you can write to me at thewriterbites@gmail.com

Friday, March 09, 2007

Frogs are passe. Its the reign of the frogesse!

Right! Let me try and explain that.

I'm not in a mental state fit enough to continue with this blog. As all the 3 and half readers will testify, the quality has gone down a bit. And all 3 and a half of you deserve better reports of what actually goes on at KroaKnights, especially now that KroaKING II is upon us with it's rather deafening, and sometimes off-key, crescendo.

So, without further ado, allow me to present to you, my dear readers, the Frogesse (Portmanteau of frog and largesse/duchess, if you get my drift)!!!

Anoopa Anand, published writer, self deprecating (but a very good) singer and now the proud owner of 2 cats (which you will no doubt be hearing about) will take you through the murky depths of Karaoke at Opus, the backstabbing, the bitching, the tears, the fears and oh yes, the singing too.

And one she has improved the ratings on my blog, I will gently nudge her aside and take all the credit. :-)

Take a bow, Frogesse Noops!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Kroaking Season 2 - Rules and Prizes!!!!!



KROAKING SEASON 2

RULES
for 8 wednesdays, starting today, we pick 3 people out of the entire lot that sings, to get into the final stages ... (which means if u are not picked on a particular wednesday u have the opportunity of 7 more weeks to get in, tho im guessing it will get tougher as the weeks roll by) ... every week an updated list will be sent to all and hosted on the site... when we reach 24 people we'll have a semifinal to pick 12 .. and then a final at the cowdiah auditorium on the 25th of may ... wherein one would be crowned Opus KroaKING... aaah, and one more thing ... the judges decisions are final and binding

ELIGIBILITY

anybody and everybody can take part (even those who competed last year) ... the only one who gets a wild card into the semifinal (thats entirely up to him if he wants to take it) is mark swaroop who will be hosting the first leg of the competetion ... and yes, if u are picked you have to be around in May for the final stages

PRIZES

a cash prize of Rs 10,000
Nokia phones for the finalists (model nos. will be announced shortly)
weekly prizes from levitate and native resorts
... and free entry to wed and sun kroaknights for the year for all the top 24 (thats 104 nights in the year @ Rs 110/- a night ... u do the math)
the top 12 get into a studio to record the season 2 special CD with sharmon ibrahim
we are still working on more prizes and record deals and judges ... by next week we'll have a final list of goodies, as more and more people are coming in as partners) ..

for more competition hype go to www.kroaknights.blogspot.com

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Knock Knock...?

Ok so i'm not The Bangalore Torpedo. I didn't expect a few hundred comments exclaiming how good it was to have me writing again but at least a few?????

Bleddy cows. Just reading and running off. Say something. Even if its about the melting of the polar ice caps or about good looking balding men who sing their way.

(If this fails, I'll go off and become a housekeeper in Trivandrum)

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Guess who’s back????


Last Sunday was a very strange night at Opus for me. It was like a semi reunion of the Kroakers of last year’s competition. All the more weird because it brought home the fact that while some of us are still around, so many of the others have moved on, made babies, found different jobs, different lives. Hell, some of them have even found different wives in the short time since the finals last year.

But for those of us that were still there, the losers, there were many pleasantly nostalgic moments. Vinoj with his Eminem act, the Kuttukarn sisters Serah and Eleyah with their trademark songs ‘We are’ and ‘Black Velvet’ respectively, Mark, Jacob and Barry who are now like pieces of furniture at Opus and of course Namrata’s fussing.

All these casual incidents were legacies of a time not so far gone but man, they seem like eons ago. All those decisions on which song to sing, all the bitching about who should have actually gotten third place and the excitement of the Kroaking CD and the recording sessions; all of it came back slowly.

I’m quite glad that Carlton has decided that the participants of last year can take part again this year. Would have been a shame to deny those great voices a second chance - now that Megha has left the country.

I'm not taking part this year, for reasons that I will explain in future editions. But I must admit to feeling a small pang of envy for those contestants who make it to the top 24. They are in for a roller coaster ride over the next 10 weeks and I hope their journey is as magical (a word I have used in only one other context in my life) and meaningful as mine was 8 months ago.

If you want to know what to do to win that prize, which I’m told will be something I would kill for, keep reading this blog.

PS – The title of this piece refers to the contest and to me. NOT to Vinoj. No offense Vinoj, you sure can sing that one - only. ;-)

SEASON 3 KROAKING FINALE PICS

INDIAN IDLE

INDIAN IDLE
KroaKing season 2 every wednesday