Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Sandalwood, here I come (ish)

Ah yes hello, I am back. And for those who don't remember me anymore, allow me me re-introduce myself. "Hello, jeste my name is Bikerdude, malayalam vooice-oaver artistte."

Whaa? Yes. This is the new me, and this what I did on my first day of official unemployment.

Whaa? Yes. I bade adieu to my software engineer avatar a couple of weeks ago to see if I could pursue my true interests in the arts. Well atleast that's what I wrote in my resignation letter. Bwahaha. I'm not sure how much pursuing I'm going to be doing, but this was definitely an interesting start:

A few months ago, I got in touch with Suchitra Lata, an immensely talented musician/composer and virtuoso veena player, who very sweetly invited me to check out her studio in Jaynagar. They do some amazing indie jazz-fusion music, aside from mainstream stuff like jingles, voice overs and radio clips. Suchitra's brilliant Album Mobius Strip (2006) has a dreamy loungey sort of feel to it, with very crisply executed veena leads all through. A wonderfully refreshing change from the usual ersatz tracks that you hear in our page 3 lounge bars across town.

So off I went to the studio last week. After I'd gawped at the all studio equipment and was sufficiently bowled over by Suchitra's fusion tracks, she asked me if I'd like do a voice over for a photo printer ad. "Um, sure", I said, and was led into the recording room and asked to sit in front of an extremely cool looking mike. She handed me a 4 page manuscript with a series of jalebis drawn onto it. I was to do the voice-over in Goad's oawn Language.

Whaa? Yes.

"Err.. no English?" I asked nervously. "Err, no English", she said, "Unless you want to do the voice over in Tamil or Gujarati. I stared at the jalebis intently, hoping I'd suddenly be able to read the script as fluently as I could as a kid. No hope there. I finally gave up and begged to be excused for a day so I could go home home, weep for an hour and then attempt to make sense out of it.

After several hours of laborious Malayalam-to-English transliteration (and standing out in the rain to get the perfect nasal twang), I went back to the studio to do the voice-over. Gokul, the brilliant sound engineer, smiled encouragingly at me through the glass window of the recording room and cued me to begin.

"Namaskaram, ende peru Bikerdude. Njaan oru photographer aanu..." (Hello I am Bikerdude and I am a photographer....) I began, looking steadfastly away from Suchitra who had collapsed on the studio floor in uncontrollable giggles the moment I began speaking in my rah-rah malayalam accent. Gokul played my voice back over the headphones. I looked around for a sharp intrument to end everybody's agony right there. Apparently they were used to reactions like mine, and had padded the studio walls as a precautionary measure. After several re-takes and some cool cut-paste jobs by Gokul, the voice-over was ready. It was maginally less hijrotic than when I first started, but still sounded like Hermann Gundert on coconut schnapps.

"I sing and play the guitar a bit too, you know.." I told Suchitra hesitantly, after we'd done the voice over. "Oh?" she said. "Let's do a scratch recording then." It was for a kannada film track. The lyrics hadn't come in yet, she said. But not to worry, I could sing it anyway using the phrases 'love me', 'touch me', 'kiss me', and 'oooh bayyyybehh' in random order.

I sang. Gokul recorded, and played back the track over the headphones. It sounded like a cross between a foghorn and Rajamma miss. They made me sing the same track in a higher key. It sounded like a cross between the HMT factory siren and Rajamma miss.

"Uh-huh, cool, so lets see how that works out", Suchitra said diplomatically, after I was done. "And next time, try not to wobble so much while you sing, yeah?" I simpered, melted into a puddle and trickled down the studio stairs into my car .

So if you hear of mass-malayalee-suicides resulting from a printer infomercial, you'll know who was responsible. And as for me being the next kannada singing sensation, don't hold your breath. I'm not quite sure "Love, touch, kiss or hold me in no particular order baby" will make it to the top ten countdown any time soon.

Thanks tons Suchitra and Gokul for being so patient and long-suffering. You really are awesome people!!

Sandalwood = The kannada film industry ala Bollywood, Kollywood, Tollywood etc.


Vivek M said...

This is great news but I sensed it coming! All the very best with your new venture.. I shall be all ears for the slightest noise from you.

longblackveil said...

Heeeeeeeeheeeeeeeeeeeeeehyaaahahahahahaaaa. Well done. Such-ay whatte interesting life you lead!

a million different people said...

Oho! We have a celebritee amongst us.

I need to use my favourite word in the palindrome: Adipoli!

Also, it wouldn't hurt to say my second favourite word is "Ariyo?" no? Okay.

Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Congratulations on the move! Now upload audio files please? Esp of the cross b/w HMT siren and Rajamma miss!


Anonymous said...

Oh wow! Congratulations on the move! Now upload audio files please? Esp of the cross b/w HMT siren and Rajamma miss!


maxdavinci said...

you should youtube the printer ad if it sees the light of the day!

Nandini Vishwanath said...

Oh goody! Congrats :) Suchitra Lata is awesome no? We did recording for our plays from her studio. My college (NMKRV) and she go a long way, apparently :)

Idling in Top Gear said...

Wow - Mr. Bikerdude is turning into a real celebrity (as opposed to staying a virtual celebrity.) Do blog your escapades with Mallu ad-jingle groupies. :D

kavitha said...

angene BeeDi (more)femous aiyalo! adichi polikaan. :)

ps: ee online sugirthyalake marakande.

gugiinsingapore said...

am loving rajamma miss i say, u have blogged her famous dialog? u must!

Anonymous said...

'Bigerdute's Owrtistig UxpLoayits' - Uxcellunt teidil (title) foar a bust-suller huh? Oal the bust! May Goad Bluss u!

(Sorry if I went too far with the imidation! :P)

Prats said...

aiyoooo!!! celebrity saaaar!!! We shall keep the autograph book in my hands....ooohhh soo much fun!!!!

How was the experience?
Looks like now you're doing voice training with Rajamma miss...

sanjana said...

Mr Bikerdude, wow! very intersting, all the best with your new job!sounds fun too..
P:S you made was wait for quite a long time for this new post..
write off more often i say!

PizzaDude said...

All the best for the new venture!! I have been intending to do something similar(I mean quitting the s/w job) for quite a while and plans are underway.

Yes, can you please youtube the printer ad for the benefit of junta not residing in India? :)

Scribblers Inc said...

welcome back on blogger and welcome to the world of sound...have been around this for near two years...not as profound as your engineering knick-knacks, it surely manages a bit of the pie tho...welcome to my world I say!!:D

Scribblers Inc.

Anonymous said...

( Can there be a Beedi post sans vun number ahumanbean comment?! Sorry to tangent maadi, but I do hope someone missed me :) )

Beedi Dude: huge congratulations for taking Big Step and following youvar passion for doing arty-farty. I also do that, but not very vell...!

And have to say, am *so*relieved that your silence didn't mean you had runoff and got un-singletonned. That's the way I lost most of my formerly-great buddies ( "There went a good man" types).

Because that would have meant the demise of funny posts, you know?!

@ sthitapragnya - totally got youvar accent :D

Anonymous said...

What would be zimbly soooperr:

An audio clip of Beedi accent accompanied by vun kartoon! How coooool would that be wonly!

Cynic in Wonderland said...


and beats coding doesnt it?

Anonymous said...

Amazing news is that u quit the gastric inducing job i.e., the IT Professionals.
Congrats on that first of all.
2nd of all, wishes for the new ventures.
Wishing many many oppurtunities coming ur way.

Good come back dude.
U have come off to jaynagar, JP Nagar not too far i say, likdat only come off to rangashankara also if u free.


narendra shenoy said...

Great! You'll be doing something you love, which is most uncommon these days. So, congratulations on your liberty, freed slave. May this tide lead on to fame and fortune. I am planning to be in Bangalore on the 30th and 31st of August. I would be honored if I could buy you a beer in commemoration of this momentous occasion.

maami said...

Ah this is vhat you have been upto these days-a? Naaghty bouy!

mem said...

congrats on move!

perplexed said...

watz with all software engineers leaving their jobs to pursue their passion while we students are studying so hard to get one???

i once told someone that, writing is my passion, business is an interest and wat about engineering??... a big mistake!!

playbyrules said...

congrats bikerdude saar! potential material for the hindu column on people who have chosen offbeat paths. Is there a book in the offing also?

buddy said...

nice post..lol
and nice blog

Nileena said...

Wow! Great news I say!! You'll be doing something that you love and thats just great :)
All the best!!

Anita said...

Hi BD!!!...
wowwie..!!...you quit and going to chase your arty dreams full-time haa?!!...how cool is thaaat!..In this day of "playing-safe always" (I am one of `em..sniff!)...you have done a gutsy thing I say....!!..and yes, it shall pay off soon...I totally freak out with joy when somebody I know or even remotely know..quit their mundane vocations and pursue their passion(s)..coolio BD!..all the bestest to you...and keep the good writing coming in...!

Pri said...

boss many horty congratulations. kindly arrange audio clip for yuver many fans.

A.S. said...

great to see you back, bikerdude! and congrats for having the guts to follow your dream.

so since you're a voice artist now, you should really give serious thought to what a couple of us were suggesting while commenting on a recent post-- lets have a bikerdude-podcastu along with the blog.

Kamini said...

Terrific to read about someone actually being brave enough to do what he really wants to do. Just for that, you are one in a million. All the best, and wish you every success.

YD said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months now and was missing you this past month - I actually thought you had gone on a jaunt to Germany, or somewhere like that. :)

BTW, I am from B'lore (Malleswaram) and have been in IT ever since I finished college (KREC) a lo-ooo-ong time ago! Believe me, there have been many times when I have gone down the "what-if" path, eh eh. You are young and now is the best time for such a change. I know for certain you will have second thoughts from time to time, but hang on tight. :)

I do second the idea of audio bites, youtube, etc.

Anonymous said...

I miss you :/

-your chair at the old job

VAN said...

Congraachlashuns, BD!

Jeshtt I tell you waat to do nouu. On that Radio Indigo no, there are these aawful Naarinja Properties and Naarinja Woods ads. Waat a haaribul they are. Since you are voicewover artisht, you go to Indigo and offer to re-do those. Even haute-Mallu accent will be an improvement. Please jeshtt you kindly adjushtt and oblize.

Abhipraya said...

ooooooohlala this fantastic I say. I am all for people pursuing arts :D Congratulations! And good luck!

Nice people that Suchitra and Gokul. Incidentally the last time I was at Music Mint we were recording in Marathi, Telugu and Gujarati with people who didn't know what the words meant!

But please oh please don't stop blogging. I was having withdrawal symptoms!

Good luck again!

Sumi said...

Good luck dude! When u become a sta singer, dont forget ur blog and ur blog friends/fans!!!!!

RustyNeurons said...

I am soo very glad to hear this great-escape story! All the very best to you BD, I hope you will continue to update your blog.
And, someone did say about youtubing the ad, please please do.

Anonymous said...

Awesome: one small steppu fpr a dude, a giant lip for Asianet-kaara!

Bikerdude said...

Gosh! Thanks everyone for the wishes. Do forgive the sporadic online-ness. Not as often in front of the computer as I used to be :)

vivek m, prats, sanjana, pizzadude,scribblers inc,RSC,mem,buddy, nileena,anita,pri,a.s., kamini, yd, sumi, rambodoc: Thanks very very muchly I say :) :)

longblackveil: Heh what intersting life and all men. Flipping channels only I do all day mostly.

a million different people, kavitha, sthirapragnya: ess veree goodeh, menee thaangse yinnow :)

max, pizzadude, rustyneuronsiniammal: doubt it will see the light of day but i will if i find it!

nandini vishwanath, abhipraya : yes they're super peeps!

idling in top gear: heh heh waaaaay to early to be anything remotely like that!But thanks :)

M, gugi: Here you go - the famous Rajamma miss-ism: Father mother send-uh money , you come skool blay. Mother cook-uh deeleeshyuss fuddeh, you eatteh (flounces out of classroom) :) :)

ahumanbean: So lovely of you I say. PS, my appologies (or ammologies as case maybe ) I thought you were gents and hence had drawn you like gents bean with scrawny legs in prev cartoon. Would have given you flattering figure otherwise :) As for new toons, kindly wait plis- office laptop containing software for drawing cartoon being non-existent, I have to scrounge around for a copy to install in home comp. Hence the delay.

narendrashenoy: Uyyo, awf couwrse I say, kindly do the needful and slake the thirst of the unemployed :)

maami: ah yes :) extremely sorry for incontinence.

perplexed: Oh i dont know about that. I think engg is a cool comfortable job. Just that its not for me anymore (for a while atleast). After all this hoo haa for all you know I might quietly go back and sit jhunnng in office again :(

playbyrules: Ahem, err no, not as yet. All publishers will thuppu no?

my chair at the old job: wish i could say the same ma :) heh heh

van: heh heh eses I will do the needful, thanking so many muches.

Anonymous said...

AaapilEyePaad and DarthVaadiyar by the Also Romba Brilliantu KrishAshok was also on my mind: he and youvargoodself have the same SouthIndian zimble brilliance that I vastly prefer over those fakeArtyFarties ( you know, the air-kiss dahling types ayyyooo saaaami).

btw - dude! I zimbly louvvu the bean-with-scrawny-legsu cartoon. Don't you dare ( please!) change even one pixel of it :)

I am EveryMan,

Alex Meadue

anoushka taraporevala said...

hey BD i admire your gutsiness in chucking up your nine to five to do things you want to. much successes i am wishing, in all your future endevours

Manasa said...

haha.. lol.. Hope god save Suchitra n Gokul in the future :)

Pettai Maami said...

YES!! YES!! Atlast got acces to net in this jungle!!

Aye BD, cool maadi, how you ever figured out tat PM doesnt approve of software enggs, ill never know!!! :P .. congrats, n all the bessthu for the futureu....

10yearslate said...

Numgoo obb gotthiddha ree sir-a, kabbNa badiyo kelsa bitt Dharwad Kala Bhavan-daag kelsakk hogtheen anth hvaadh noad-ree.

(We also knew one fellow sir, sir-a, iron banging job left and DWD Kala Bhavan job doing said and went see-sir)

Solp dina bitt aa kade hvaadhaag aen nodtheevi, hotti bittkoNd, security kelsa maadaak-hatthidh.

(Few days after that side went, what we see, big belly grown, security job doing)

Yaak-lay, aeno dhodd kala seve maadak bandhi anth thiLkondiddhvi, hing kol hidkoNd bisilaag ninthi-yallo!

(Why-man, something big art service doing we thought, like this stick holding and sun standing no?)

Adhukk avaa aen heLbaek-ree "Lay makkaLa, kala seve andhr maari-g baNNa meth-koNd addyaadoodh ondha anth thiLkoNd-raen? Hing nimmantha haaL maari-nella kol badyaak mandhi beko byaado?

(For that he what should say "Sons, art service means for face colour plastering and criss-crossing only you thought eh? Like you philistines to hit cane, people needed or not?)

The Quark said...

bhEsh bhEsh.

Anonymous said...

Am lovin it! so much so that ant bite also dnt care n reading the poshtu.

Neighbour busy heating up the seat so here's me clapping and applauding alone for the new (ad)venture and wishes and love and all for the lovely future.

yet another rsc.

NK said...

Great news dude! Congrats!! I am hoping we will be regaled of your adventures with the "celebrity" world :)

WannabeWriter said...

Been reading your blog for some time and enjoying myself thoroughly...One boring day at work read all your old posts and had lots of fun! Only regret not knowing Kannada well enough to enjoy some of your posts...all the best for your new avtar...I'm sure with your flair for languages and dialects your Malayalam ad would be pretty good! Congrats!

Arunk said...

congrats dude! All the best!

Pappreddy palya said...

I read you blog not only to read your post but also 10yearslater's comments.

Anonymous said...

Youtube video of prinder ad. Ippozhu venum
Thang you
No Mention

Puppy Manohar said...

Dear Bikerdude,

Congratulasuns on your new job. I had my own experience being voice over boy when I was 10 years old.

I had History and Civics exam next day and aunty next door (who is an good singer and also does voice overs once in a while) made me to go to Picture Productions in Egmore. There they made me say two words which will haunt me forever.

If ever you see Ajanta Clocks advertisement on the TV, please remember that it is the Puppy of the People saying "pom pom" at the end of the ad not that snotty kid in the video. They gave me the princely sum of Rs. 200/- for that. I only saw the ad once on TV, thankfully.


Voice over Veteran (Retd.)
Puppy Manohar

PS: Best of luck.

Jumpa said...

macha u r simply aasum. U should have sung 'gangu nee bikeu kalisi kodu nangu'. it would have been a definite hit :D. youtubed it?

VAN said...

Furshtt cartoon comment mines wonly! Woy you hauu laasht v-shape torso seen in yearlier avatars? Struggling artists can't able to go to zym and maintain physic aa?

Bikerdude said...

ahumanbean: Ah wokay ma :) Cant change if I want also, as old cartooning software has gone the rover. Only some dabba freeware is available and hence funny neckless cartoons. And thyanks for all the above sweet things said I say :)

anoushka: Aiyo thanks I say - so sweet of you to say so. Please occasionally feed me patrani machi and other things to tide me through my poverty and I shall be happy. And Happy Navroze I say :)

manasa: heh true true :)

pettai maami: where u are i say? ok will check blaag and find out - thanks!

10years: Gaaaaaaaaaaahahahaha died laughing when I read this much awaited 10 years late-ism. ANd hello, whts the insinuation here? That I will soon be guard at chowdiah eh? Naaaaaaaaaaansense :)
Please to note papareddypalyas comment above.

anon (RSC) - thanks i say :) Love to the ant!

anon (rsc), nk, wannabewriter, arunk : Thanks muy much :) :)

papareddypalya: heh heh nice id :P Thanks! Yeah 10yearslate's comments are the sone pe suhaga of every blog!

krishashok, jumpa: Oho vango vango (No I didnt do the voice for bingo chips). Will do when i find it :P

puppymanohar: Excuse, I want the above job. DO not mind saying Pom Pom for Rs 200!!

Van: Aiyo no I say. This is new cartooning software (freeware) hence half the featureses of old software naat available. Also yes, no rupees for gymnasium. Old, fat, ugly and unemployed - what a lovely I will be no? Yes.

kavita said...

Low rider purple pants, two sizes small tee, spiked hair va? orrey fashion conscious voice over artisshtuu. Besh Besh, we like. :D

10yearslate said...

Bikeranna, Papareddy-garu,

Hyaaae, bhaaL hogaLtheer bid-ree pa! Nunag naachki banth andhr noad-ree matth, aen aen-aadhr eddhva thaddhva maathad-bid-theeni.

BTW, Please send yuvar bank account details. I will remit Rs 999.95 each as agreed previously for publicly praising.

Anonymous said...

whaaat putta dnt say unemployed n al, u making us all proud u know.

Scribbler said...

Congratulations! Somehow I was expecting this to happen. :) Not the inability to read chaklis/jalebis but rather the pursuit of a career in the artistic realms... someday you will be an RJ? We will have the benefit of your wit on the airwaves? Or some RJ will be playing your songs, Insh'allah! And I hope that happens. :) You must first set to music your Raj Saxena at Forum verse.

PS: You still have to come to Ranga Shankara.

perplexed said...

u know i really hope u don't go back to that chair!!.. c'mon u r too good for a job like that!! :)... u don't seem like someone who belongs to the nerd-world ;)

Rithish said...

congrats biker!!! have a great life ahead!!! :o)

Anonymous said...

( same comment left at KA's most excellent blog krishashok.wordpress.com)

(off topic but still relevant! Apologies for the hijack)

I've said it before here and may I please say it again:


Mere words aren't enough to express my appreciation of the Tamil/S. Indian language and culture centric blogs such as this and krishashok.wordpress.com

A read through NitaWriter's post on the awful Western arrogance toward Marathi should get a few minds thinking!

BeediDude: please do not apologise for the S. Indian centric in-jokes. I love them and work as hard at understanding the more complex ones - the same way I strive to get the in-jokes en Francais!

/end of commentsujack

theja said...

most of all the above comments are more cryptic to read than the post itself :P

Anonymous said...

Hey this is my first time here, came from Krishashok's blog. You proved to be interesting by switching to arts from computers. Good luck to you and I hope you become someone like Shankar Mahadevan (or even better?). Your description of the anecdote was very funny :)

noka said...

you're going to be famous eh...
nice to have u back! your blog cracks me up.

Rukmani Ram said...

good to see you back.. I have been lurking around your blog for a long time!

As for your post- hahahahahahaha

bluejay said...

u wud really make a damn cool rj!! why dont u try?!!!

I love Lucy said...

Please to accept award for creating a brilliant blog.

KC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

cool!! sounds like a happening life going on there - good luck

Sunshinemom said...

First time here! Liked the casual writing - good blog:) So how is the new career going? Best of Luck!

The Psycho Blogger said...

u got balls dude. that's all i'll say :)

Shruthi said...

ushhoo! you are not only, but also, I say!! this time please giuv colour xerox of both foots-u.. I baaw to you sir!
p.s I like that studio -"Music Mint". Gokul and Suchitra are very very talented, no?

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