Warning: This post will be very long. But, then, if I don’t write a long post for this, for what else will I write? I want to relive every moment.
My sister & I reached Narada Gana Sabha at 4.55 pm itself for the programme that was to start at 6. Hardly 4 or 5 people were there. I approached a person who seemed to be incharge of the seating arrangements & asked him if we would be able to go near Rahman. When he gave me a positive answer that Rahman would be coming at around 6.10 through the side entrance and we may get a good chance of going near him, our excitement doubled up! Since we were told that we would be let in only after 5.30, we roamed around the place looking at the side entrance & thinking of whether we should go in first or we should wait till Rahman comes, see him (after all that was the only reason why we had gone there!), maybe take his photos and then go in. When we came back to the main entrance, we found a queue formed already. There were some 20 of them standing before us in the queue. Counting the minutes, we waited till we were finally let in at 5.50. Entering the auditorium, we found that the first 15 rows were reserved for members and VIPs and also a barrier had been put up to prevent anyone from going to the front. 🙁 Finding a place close to a side entrance/exit, we sat down.
After 6.30 or so, someone announced that they were waiting for ‘a very important guest’ to arrive and the programme would start shortly. The concert started at 6.45. Till that time, Rahman had not come and our eyes were only on the side entrance. My sister & I kept on talking about how we could run out when Rahman leaves, get his autograph, etc., etc. (Well, imagining & talking about it itself made us feel so great. Just imagine how we must’ve felt when the whole thing really happened!) We could see people sitting next to us give us strange looks hearing our talks. But, what would Non-Rahmaniacs understand!
After the first song, the host of the evening, Neelu, announced that soon A.R.Rahman would be handing over the first copy of the CD to Shri Vikku Vinayakram. At the mention of Rahman’s name, there was a huge round of applause! It was then that he said that Rahman was still on his way.
The first glimpse of the Man:
At around 7.20 pm, when the third song of the evening was going on, A.R.Rahman entered the auditorium! Our biggest dream got fulfilled at that moment! Thank you, Rahman! As soon as he entered, there was applause (though not a loud one, since Ganesh & Kumaresh were playing at that time). Once Rahman sat down in the first row, people kept on clicking photos standing (or rather kneeling down) very close to him. We were too excited to even move from our seats. Then, we went out through the exit near us & were about to get in through the first side entrance, when two people stopped us & said since some secretary was there, we could go in only after some 10 minutes. But, he assured us that we would indeed be able to go near Rahman after 10 minutes. But, I got a good look at Rahman through the half-opened door.
As close to Rahman as possible:
After 10 minutes, we again came back to the side entrance. This time the person asked us to go in! We literally ran and went close to Rahman! While my sister gave him the autograph book and asked for an autograph which he immediately signed, I knelt down and took this picture of him when he was signing the autograph for someone else:
Immediately, many people came to get his autograph and it became impossible for us to take a snap with him. After signing a few more autographs with our pen, Rahman gave back the pen to my sister and went to the stage to release the CD. I stood below the stage and took a video-clipping of Rahman in close-up when he was sitting on the stage with Vikku Vinayakram, Ganesh-Kumaresh and a few others. I just couldn’t believe that I was actually standing before him and taking his video!
Back to our seats:
Just before the CD was to be released, someone came and asked everyone standing below the stage to leave. We almost ran back to our place and again took a few snaps and video of Rahman releasing the CD and Rahman and Shri Vikku Vinayakram speaking. But, unfortunately, those have not come out well because of two reasons: One, we were sitting far away from the stage, so I had to zoom as much as possible and couldn’t focus the camera properly and two, I was too excited and couldn’t even hold the camera steadily! But, I guess the programme would be telecast on SS Music channel very soon and you can watch it in that. I will upload the videos very soon.
This is what Rahman spoke:
“Past two months, I have been traveling to like 4 countries. All of them asked me, So why do I live in Chennai? Well I have been thinking…. Well, my house is there, my studio is there….for another reason, we have Ganesh & Kumaresh here. I was sitting there & listening to Sahana it was absolutely amazing….Flightla erangumbodhu edho bore adicha music podaama Ganesh-Kumaresh music poattaanga….Railway stationo everywhere you know let their music be all over India….(some words)….God bless you.”
Bidding adieu to Rahman:
As soon as Rahman got up from the stage to leave, we ran out only to find a crowd waiting near Rahman’s car to meet him. After some 5 minutes or so, Rahman came out and people started applauding and shouting, ‘We love you Rahman!’. Amidst all this crowd, Rahman did sign autographs for a few of them, somehow managed to get into his car and left.
What a moment it was! The feeling is yet to sink in! My sister and I still can’t believe that we actually saw HIM and got his autograph! It all seems like a dream!