It was 1998…a very important year in my life! The strange thing is that I realized how important that year could be in later years of my life but not when those incidents were happening!” Padutha Teeyaga” a very popular Music show hosted by the ace playback singer in South India Mr.S.P.Balasubhrahmanyam shares a major responsibility for making this year so eventful for me! This show was so popular those days that there was no house where this programme passed unaware thanks to the fantastic hosting by Balu sir along with the excellent quality of singers who used to participate in the show.
The selection process for Padutha Teeyaga those days used to be in this way: The singer is requested to send an audio cassette of his/her songs out of which one is a Telugu song emphasizing on melody and another a classical based song. These cassettes are sent to Balu sir directly and he used to listen each cassette personally and then filter out the cream of singing talent present in Andhra Pradesh!
This process sounds so much like a gold standard then and even now after seeing the commercial way of selections going on in the name of auditions these days!
I used to be a spectator of this process until I came to know there was a Junior special which will be starting in early 1999 and there was a call for singer selection during mid-1998. I personally never even dreamt that I can be selected for such a huge programme not only because of competition but also with the feeling that there is loads to learn in the world of Music!
With my family insisting me that I should send my recorded songs for this programme I was still unsure of what I should/can sing for this brilliant show! When I was in this dilemma about what is to be done, my dad told to sing just for the sake of Music but not for getting selected or going to the mainstream singing career etc., He also added for this saying that if this attitude is developed then one will not be disappointed or dejected when not selected. This boosted up my spirits and made my mind clear about what is to be done. I immediately sang “Pacchani Chilukalu- Bharateeyudu” and a Thyagaraja Krithi “Marugelara” on tape and then handed it over to my people to post. I conveniently forgot about this process after wards thanks to the increasing academic responsibilities!
During November or so, I happened to get a letter from “Padutha Teeyaga” people saying that I have been selected for the process and was asked to prepare a bunch of songs varying from several genres such as Old,Folk,Fast-Beat, Melody, Duets etc., and attend the second round of audition in December. The overwhelming feeling which I got while just seeing the letter is inexpressible in words! I stood there looking at the letter without even opening it at least for few minutes and with the cheers of my family I opened it- still unable to believe how I could make it to this programme’s second round of auditions!
Next process was to collect all the songs listed in the second round of audition. It was a tough process but thanks to my mom and Supreme Music shop in Koti, we managed to get all the songs and prepared on them to some good extent, if not the best! The second audition round was very interesting with N.B.Sastry in the judges ( The main co-ordinator of Padutha Teeyaga programme, even for the current episodes) and he went over board and asked me to sing a Hindi song (Jiya Jale- Dil Se) and a Carnatic style krithi also ( Annamayya Composition- Narayanathe) .
Finally, the stage in Saradhi Studios Ameerpet was set during January 1999. The big day arrived very soon and I was entirely privileged to just meet SPB sir and even interact with him. One of the best things I observed in SPB sir is that he speaks like somebody next door or a close family relative who is just giving a casual advice while singing. It never sounds like a critical comment or some ridiculing thing even for a second!
All in all, a memorable day and a truly important milestone in my interest in Music , which made me not only confident but also gave me a wonderful platform to start the Musical passion in royal style!
Here are the videos of my performance in Padutha Teeyaga- Juniors Episodes:
I sang Sasivadane- Iddharu in the first round where melody-centric songs were supposed to be sung..
Second Round was Lalitha Sangeetham round where private songs were asked to be sung..
Third Round was Fast Beat songs round where I sang Oh Mariya- from the then popular film Choodalani Undhi!
Huge thanks to the Padutha Teeyaga team as well as my co-singers who made me feel at home during the filming of this programme, and of course SPB sir for being so jovial and friendly with me!