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“Getting Busy” isn’t all “Fun”

Written by on in My views, Sport (Fitness) with 0 Comments

Namaste, Dear Visitor to my blog-site… I’m glad you took time from your day to join us. Here are some thoughts for today, about the idea of being or getting busy. Nearly all of us lead surprisingly busy lives, even if we intend otherwise. I know the feeling of being busy, and honestly, getting busy is not all it’s cracked up to be.

I know how flying between points going to/from performance commitments feels. It seems there’s no time for it all; the work although glamorous in the end (and behind scenes) is so pressured! Fortunately it’s rarely tedium that occupies my waking hours–it’s exciting work out doing what I love: music.

Some days my phone’s a trusted friend and open channel for information and networking; other times it’s like the calls come in threes (or more)–all at the same time–honestly there’s only one of me–I’d consider booking two or three concurrent gigs in different places if I could fly 2,000 miles an hour (No, I’m kidding–but it’d be fun, lol). Hence the need for logistics pros to iron out details. My bookers at Purple Star are the best! Thanks again, Forum and her great PSE team, and all of my folks at T-Mantra!

“Number(s), please?”

Sometimes I tend to feel (just a bit) overwhelmed and unable to reach my own desired performance expectations. I’ve noted that my dear father is also a wonderful music teacher, and yet even he can be my toughest critic. It’s an odd motivation, I think–but I suppose that occasionally travel can bring out the best in people (here I mean the best in us as performers and best of audiences). I’m sure that my father has “upped my vocal game” enough to hang “in the big leagues.” I’m not taking one day of this for granted… because the level of competition for professional singing in Bollywood is brutal. I give it my best. That’s all I can do. If Pritam still thinks I’m up for singing his songs, then off we go to the next one.

Surely our brilliant actress Deepika Padukone knows about living under the ‘shadow’ of a major sports figure: her father 1980 shuttlecock world #1 Prakash Padukone. Some may argue that the pressure of being “up” to meet expectations (in film performances or sports) is really only good. Obviously she can handle the pressure; she inspires me to be my best at all times. Competition is good and bad… we must accept the bad parts along with the good ones.

You won’t see this singer complaining. I’m fortunate to be free from too many demands that aren’t among my specialties, and glad that I didn’t pursue teaching college English literature or physical medicine. Sometimes being faced with new challenges brings out the best in us, although I’m not eagerly pursuing more than I can handle (like stage/screen acting or pro dancing); my goals are more modest.

I’ve seen Deepika in person (likewise another idol of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit), and as they say in America (of them both) “she’s all that” (so pretty, so fit–and so kind!). While I enjoy sports, especially watching a fast-moving cricket match, and badminton is also very fun to play (and to watch when the play is top-form), I cannot imagine how athletes push themselves so hard to reach top-of-the-world levels day after gruelling day! I think it’s awesome that most of our great actors also help with so many humanitarian causes, and Deepika-ji is certainly no exception to that trend. Certainly Madhuri-ji has also proven her commitment to make a difference for people in need. I admire them both and several others.

I’m very grateful for many good life lessons and fascinating work now over more than a decade from the time my entertainment adventure began with Indian Idol. I’m not sure whether anything could have prepped me for being on stage with SRK (he surprised us at the studio as well–it added gentle ‘pressure’ that actually inspired us), but I’m glad to have had so many superb musical experiences in the last few years and to work with the best mentor ever Pritam–and other great musical talents. I’m looking forward to more exciting film music! Meanwhile, I’ve just begun to try to do some AM affirmations as I approach my golden years, lol.

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My goodness, I thought I was busy… You may want to review the long string of successes that led India’s badminton star Saina Nehwal to have been at least for a time ranked No. 1 in the world, to endure the pressure of competition to fulfill her dreams and do her best to represent Mother India in Rio de Janeiro last year, despite the pain of a serious knee injury. Even a great champion can face struggles to remain in top form. We wish Saina all the best in her recovery, which all reports suggest she will be back in fine form eventually.

The “bottom line” for survival as a public figure I’ve been told is to keep one’s dignity intact. Once besmirched there is rarely a way to repair it. Prior to my time “under a media microscope” on Sony Entertainment TV, and in the excitement of the fast-moving, very creative Bollywood movie scene, I can say that romantic entanglements had for years eluded me (of course Joey the Foot was always in mind).

Now I can say that since I’ve had some successful work and recognition, I’ve had to elude several similar complications myself. It seems that some amorous types think all we do in Bollywood is the sort of love scenes and dance numbers featured in films. That’s cinema, not reality, in case you were wondering.

There is so much to do with film music production that involves skilled work of many professionals, and you can rest assured there is little that’s glamorous about a dress rehearsal or soundtrack dialogue looping session. Just as badminton pros must practice their serve for hours, we singers spend more time than many people imagine perfecting and maintaining our “instruments.”

I will eventually post some singing contest prep tips here (about when we launch my new WordPress forum, which is in development but may be as many as several months from going live). For now, my usual bit of free advice to aspiring singers is to study well, practice consistently, and don’t be too shy to share your gifts. Whatever we pursue with sincerity at some point (usually) “will bear fruit.”

The #1 secret to success is to remain driven to succeed and never quit before reaching your goals. It may sound a bit trite put that plainly, but it is true–at least that is what has worked ’til date to put me where I’ve reached.

I’m still reaching for more successes, too. Education is a lifelong process for most professionals; I wouldn’t have it any other way, mine certainly continues! Thanks again to all who’ve helped me get where I am now in Bollywood. I hope that I haven’t disappointed any of you. India is the best place a person like me could’ve originated, and it’s actually my delight to explore our music where entertainment is taken seriously by people who could easily “sell out” to mediocrity, but in Bollywood, we’re even serious about being (the right version of) silly.

This is not to imply that I am changing my work to classical music only. Art takes many forms, and I can appreciate anything with good intentions. Music has amazing potential for doing good in the world including healing the sick, and since medicine was nearly my career choice, I intend to remain in music as long as my career lasts (and it makes people feel better!).

I have only gratitude for the successes so far–in fact, I am incredibly thankful to God for it all. My dear Footman Joe (who maintains this fan site) takes a distant third to my parents, although they’ve all inspired and helped me in various (sometimes surprising) ways. Thanks again!

Namaste,

AM

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