It has been almost 7-8 years since I came across Sindhuja online through TFMpage where I was one of the keenest participants in the Raga of the Song thread. Sindhu, Ram, Sheela and I became very good friends over the net and countless discussions have happened between us over so many years.
Sheela, with her vast knowledge in carnatic, was our consultant for developing our knowledge in songs and her contribution to my understanding of music had been priceless. Sheela and I have been friends much before Ram and Sindhuja joined. Sheela, has now resigned happily to take a back seat from music to see her daughter grow up.
Sindhu was properly trained in carnatic and had a good swara nyaanam or the ability to recognize and codify notes in even the most complicated compositions. However, her rigorous submission to technique was commented upon and she started working on her expressiveness in renditions.
Ram and I started as connoisseurs and ended up learning a lot from all these discussions. It led to Ram becoming a critic of fine proportions, the epitome of whose efforts till now, is the book on G.N.Balasubramaniam or GNB for short.
I started dabbling with composing after I started believing I had some fundamental ideas about songs. Sheela had been the most encouraging and cutting when it came to composing. She helped me recognize that I should dabble more with melody and less with technique. Sindhu always endorsed Sheela's views and till date she keeps telling me that I should concentrate more on ghazal kind of compositions. Ram has always upheld that my singing and compositions tend to favor Bhaavam rich or emotive, expressive songs and that I should do them the most.
All these without I ever meeting any of the other 3.
And after so many years, I met the first of these 3. Sindhu with her family visited Melbourne and I met them in a quick non-musical evening for a chat. The photo here bears testimony to that. It is indeed an irony that off all places we should meet in Melbourne. We had all our discussions when I was in USA and she was in India. We could not meet either in USA or in India (she is moving to USA soon) and we had to meet in Australia as fate would have it. Well, it was a nice evening with her and her parents.