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Joined: 26 February 2005
Here are the entries!
~ ~ ~ Antara Contest House ~ ~ ~
By: Karish89, Sumesh, Chukkna, Shwan89, Sonyaee & lovly_angel
LIVE SHOW IN MUMBAI - ANTARA MITRA
26th March 06
You are like my best friend always. I can share my thoughts, sorrows, happiness and above all my secrets with you. I always wait to come back to my room and change and write to you about what happened today. I know we have this secret friendship since years and you know all about me, but what I am going thru now is a totally different experience. I didn't get a chance to write down in the last couple of days and believe me I have been thru a lot in these days.
I am not able to believe that I am in the Top 3 of a contest which was a dream till now. Last year I was watching this competition sitting on the couch, eating dinner in my pajamas and now I am here performing in this competition. Life is now like riding a roller coaster, wearing a new pair of dancing shoes everyday and dancing to a new tune. Everything happened so fast, the initial 9 weeks just flew and here we are, the final three contestants, going to the public, performing among the public asking for more love, more support and more votes. It was a mixed feeling of emotions, fear, strength and joy.
Today I had my first performance live among the Mumbai public. The performance show was arranged in Shanmukhananda Hall, Mumbai by Airtel India. It is a very big auditorium and artists of big fame have given live concerts there. So it was also an honor for me to perform on such a big stage. I was tensed of course as it was a live show and anything can happen among the live audience. In studio if there is any issue with sound/recording things are taken care of well and also it is edited before the telecast. But here it was like "Aarya paar". One has to be the best, win the confidence of the public to become their idol. Shall I share my secret wish; I want to be the first girl to be the Indian Idol.
During the practice session, we were also taught some dance steps so that I can interact with the public and get more of their attention. It was so much fun in the practice but I was scared to death to perform in front of the live audience. I have seen a couple of stage performances of big artists and I have seen where music system would go off. The artists were professional and they have managed things well and if something would happen during my show I am not sure how I would handle. Many different thoughts were coming and going in my mind. I wish Ma and Baba were here with me. You know, when I win this contest, I will always take them with me to wherever I go.
In the evening we reached the Hall, all dressed up. I was also supposed to change the dresses in between each song, which was scaring me as to what if I get late for second song and all that. We had a warm welcome and a grand entry on the stage. Lights, camera, action. . . . By now I had no stage fear as the performances became a part of life every week. But this feel and experience was totally different. Aman and Minnie had couple announcements to do. My attention was totally on my songs.
I cannot forget this, what happened today in the live performance. We could hear the cheer and applause of the audience and that filled us with lot of enthusiasm and courage. It was the first time being in the crowd facing them live. We knew anything could happen here. There were fans uncontrolled and almost ready to break the fence. While walking to the stage we had to come thru the crowd. People didn't pay attention initially that is was us. Then suddenly someone said "hey look, there is Antara." I could feel the mob then coming towards me and the security people had to control and stop them. I gave a few autographs on the way as it was a pleasure and first time attention. It was always a dream to become popular and perform in front of live audience.
People were cheering. I saw the fans dancing and few had banners in their hands. I saw a banner that touched me most was "Talent has a new name: Antara Mitra". "Antara you rock" I could hear constantly. Then Aman and Minnie interviewed a few fans who also got a chance to come up on stage to dance with me during performance. I was called on the stage to perform 3 different songs of different moods. I was dressed up in a maroon sari which was heavy, but OK to handle as I am getting used to all different dresses. I was tucked in pins from all sides.
I started the performance with a song from Chameli:
Behta hai man kahin
Kahaan jaante nahi
Koyi rok le yahin
Bhaage re man kahin
Aage re man chala
Jaane kidhar jaane na....
It was a versatile song projecting the innocence in the heart of a prostitute. The lyrics fascinated the audience. It was a Sunidhi Chauhan number and a difficult one to impress the audience with cos it was a popular one. As the song was over people started shouting "once more, once more" for the great performance. It gave me a lot of confidence. I was almost bought into singing it again, but then Aman announced they have to wait for the next performance as we have a lot in store.
I quickly changed to a lovely bluish green ghaghra for the second song "Kajra re". Ipshita told me that this dress was selected by my fans on the internet called India Forums. I have to thank them and talk to them soon for giving so much love and support.
The lyrics to my next song were:
Aaisi nazar se dekha usne jalim pe chowk par
humne kaleja rakh diya chaku ki nok par
Mera chain wain sab ujda zaalim nazar hata le - 2
barbaad ho rahe hai ji - 2
tere apne shehar wale
meri angdai na toote tu aaja - 2
Kajrare kajrare tere kare kare naina - 2
ho mere naina mere naina mere naina judwa naina....
It had lots of public involvement and I was excited to perform this. People liked the song a lot and I could constantly hear "once more" from them.
Then came the most (then scary but now funny) interesting part if the show. Aman and Minnie invited few fans on the stage and interviewed them and I gave autograph to all. Then appeared a funny looking fan with beard, chewing "pan", looking like a goon or cheap roadster, claiming he was from Kolkata and he loves me and wants to propose me on the stage. I was so zapped. He knew everything about me, my b'day, and parents, even which song I sang in which gala. I was surprised, shocked, happy but nervous at the same time. Aman asked him to sing something for me. I was nervous and scared thinking what he would do next. I do not recall what he sung for me.
Minnie asked him to propose me in front of the live audiences. I felt like running away from there as I didn't know what would happen next. He innocently came and said "Ami tomake bhalo bashi". I could tell, it was a non-bengali not a local Kolkata person. Minnie asked me to respond. My face was pale and I had no emotions. I was very uncomfortable, looking down trying to get buried into the floor.
Suddenly, I heard a sudden laughter and when I looked up, to my surprise the funny man disappeared. Sonu Nigam ji was standing next to Minnie and they all were laughing at my expressions. It was a prank played by Sony. I heaved a sighed relief. Everyone was laughing and the camera was focused straight on my face. After few seconds I was back with a cheer on my face. They got me cos of my innocence. It is funny when I think back, but that moment was killing. Minnie asked me how I feel after the prank is over. I said if I would have known it was Sonu ji, I would have said yes. People were laughing at my wit. The atmosphere was pleasant. They asked us to sing a song together.
Sonu ji said "Kya bolti tu" I said "Kya main bolu"
Sun, suna aati kya khandaala, kya karoon aake main khandaala
And Sonu ji said "Gaayenge, nachenge, stage performance denge, popular ho jayenge aur kya" The crowd busted into laugh. They were clapping and cheering.
I rushed to change to a rose dress for the last but not the least song was from Jism:
Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai Madhoshiyan Hai
Tujhko Bhulake Aab Jaao Kahan
Jaadu Hai Nasha Hai Madhoshiyan Hai
Tujhko Bhulake Aab Jaao Kahan....
I am thankful to God today. I am glad the audiences were happy. I could hear "Once more" again and again. People were cheering for the best performance so far.
As the show was over few crazy fans were given a chance to come up on stage and take pictures with me. I signed many autographs. It was fun doing that and I felt like a celebrity. It was a very happy moment and a very precious moment. Since we were late we packed up fast and left to the hotel. As I moved towards the car many fans rushed towards the car. I rushed into the car as it was late and was told not to stop for pictures and autographs. I could see the fans rushing behind the car until we moved and the car caught up speed. It was a great experience being among the people, with people and singing for those who love you a lot. This was the most unforgettable day of my life.
Thank you dear diary, you helped me ease after the show and also I will remember this always. I can always come back to you to refresh my memories and laugh at situations like this.
Good night and sweet dreams!
~~AMEY HOUSE ENTRY~~
August 13, 2006
I have never felt so in the last 16 years that I have been learning music for. Never felt so in the last 4 months that I had spent singing in Indian Idol in front of a huge throng of people. Never felt so in the many stage shows I did. Never before had I experienced the anxiety, the nervousness, and the eagerness that I felt today. Today, August 13, 1 day before the Independance day of Pakistan, and 2 days before the Independence day of India, was certainly the day I will remember for the rest of my life. There was this embryonic feeling of fulfilment and elation while I was doing the show. Yes, there were a few moments of embarrassment but they are now buried deep down beneath those numerous sweet memories that I will treasure forever. Yes, it's a dream come true!
What a huge event it was and what a big purpose it served! Today I got a chance to meet so many respected personalities who were there, just to watch me perform. It was truly an honour that my concert was held at India Gate to symbolize the unity between India and Pakistan.
I knew that MY show was going to be sponsored by big brands like Airtel, Nike and Sahara but I had absolutely no clue that personalities Dr. Manmohan Singh, President Musharaff, Sonu Nigamji, Lataji, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, M.S. Dhoni, Sohaib Akhtar, Shahid Afridi, Imran Khan, and A.R. Rehmanji were the chief guests.
When I heard about it backstage, I was totally shocked and went numb all over. I couldn't calm down. I started feeling queasy; this was the first time I was going to be performing in front of the people I had admired all my life. And not to forget the huge crowd who were bringing the noise and my nervousness to a crescendo. Aai was by my side like always, helping me calm down; she knew better than anyone else how important this concert was to me. I was getting increasingly restless. I still don't know whether I was restless because of nervousness or excitement, or was it both? But, Aai's faith in me helped to bring back my confidence.
As S. Tendulkar, R. Dravid and MS Dhoni entered the stage carrying the Indian flag, and Imran Khan, S. Akhtar and S. Afridi carrying Pakistani flag, I could see the Star Plus and NDTV cameras focusing on them. As the national anthem of both countries were played and the flags were being wave, a sense of nationalistic pride rose within me.
As I remained there analyzing my feelings, I heard Shah Rukh Khan's voice. He was there, hosting the show! I didn't know about that either!! Yes, it was my concert but many things came as a surprise to me. He was giving some speech but I didn't get to hear him because I had to get ready for the concert and in all the anxiety I hadn't dressed yet. After entering the dressing room, I put on the clothes that were set-aside for me. The outfit consisted of a black full sleeve shirt, a slick leather jacket, and a pair of leather pants. I looked at myself for the last time in the mirror and felt that at least I was looking presentable. I looked up at the television to see SRK and prime ministers of India and Pakistan shaking hands. They were saying something that had to do with the rising talents but I was not paying attention to them. I was thinking about how I should be performing and how would people react to my performance. I was mumbling the Hanuman Chalisa to myself when SRK's words hit my ears. I heard SRK announce, "and now ladies and gentlemen…please put your hands together…for the latest heartthrob of the nation…at his very first sole live show. The amazing Ameyyy Dateee!" And then my heart skipped a bit.
I took a deep breath and ran to the place from where I was supposed to make my entrance. I could hear the drum roll, and loudly exclaimed 'ganpati bappa moriya' to myself. The light hit my face and so did the cheer of thousands and thousands of people as I appeared on stage.
As I took a step forward I could feel the heat of the light hitting my face. My body went numb all over; I couldn't hear the crowd anymore. The sound of the bass drum hit my ears and I shut my eyes to sing the song that was so close to my heart. As I began by singing the words 'vande matram' the crowd volume started to build up but I was drowning into the feel and depth of the song, and then when I sang the words ' maa tujhe salaam' I felt this new feeling of fulfilment and freedom. All the anxiety within me had all been released in those few words. Every word I sang seemed to come naturally. I was in a world of mine, totally oblivious to the cheers of the crowd. A chill passed down my body, as I heard the strings build up.
I opened my eyes after singing the last alaap and a thunderous applause struck me. I could hear millions of people clapping & screaming out my name. And then I got the biggest shock ever as I saw President Kalam wipe tears from his eyes and AR Rehmanji giving me a standing ovation. The man who had composed this powerful song was actually applauding my rendition. I had never felt so satisfied in my entire life. I wanted to scream out of joy, but all I could do was smile sheepishly at the adulation. I looked back to see Aai who was standing backstage, and even she had tears of joy in her eyes. I felt the happiest at that moment. I had finally managed to bring that happiness on her face that was missing for so many years.
As the crowd began to calm down, I only managed to mumble a thank you. The whole place had gone silent; everyone was waiting for me to speak and I was totally lost for words. I tried to remember the speech I had planned last night, but I couldn't remember a word, so I simply thanked the crowd and all the organizers. All the effort I had spent mugging up that speech had gone down the drain!
I headed backstage to prepare myself for my next performance. I met my Aai there and talked to her about how I was feeling. As she had done earlier, she got me back to my original self and she told me that I had done an amazingly good job. I was prouder then, I valued my Aai's comment over everything else and she said that it was my best performance ever so I was really very delighted.
As the time approached I got ready to appear at the stage again but this time I didn't hear SRK's voice calling me onto the stage, it was some lady's voice, which was so sweet and so familiar. I immediately thought I loved that voice and ran onto stage.
As I appeared on the stage, I saw some tall lady in an elegant red sari approach me. For a second I thought I was dreaming, as I saw her walking slowly towards me, with that magnetic smile on her face. My jaw dropped as I saw Sushmita Sen'ji', only a few metres away from me. I could hear the crowd hooting and I went beetroot red in the face. What a fool she might be thinking I am. I stood at the middle of the stage staring at the gorgeous lady standing in front of me, urging me to sing but I couldn't think which song I was supposed to sing.
I mumbled something for a few seconds and suddenly burst into singing 'who lamhe woh batein'. I don't know why I sang that song; it was really impulsive. The orchestra was stunned because we hadn't prepared for this song. I could hear the crowd whistling louder than ever, when I sang the line 'sagar ki gehrayi se'. God, I still can't forget how much I blushed. I could feel the heat rising to my face as the crowd hooted louder.
But I couldn't take my eyes of Sushmita'ji'; she so beautiful. Everything about her was so genuine and I'll never forget the way she said 'mashallah' after I finished singing. Even now I turn red, when I remember that boyish grin I had on my face when Sushmita'ji' complimented me.
The performance went well. After I finished singing, the crowd gave a huge applaud and the chief guests were also nodding their head in satisfaction. The last breath I took was a sigh of relief. Under normal situations I wouldn't have expected such response from people at anybody's such stupidity but today I was witnessing it; people were clapping and really appreciating me for my stupidity. And I was standing in front of them thinking about Sushmitaji, and how much I got carried away by her that I ended up signing the wrong song and how embarrassed I was! But now the embarrassment was gone and it was replaced by joy as I realized that I could get a good response even in the song, which I sang without preparation and without music!
"This song had been stressful," I thought as I sat backstage. But I was still smiling remembering the wonderful surprise.
But that wasn't it. I thought I had my share of surprises to last a lifetime, until I saw what came next. I went backstage to get ready for my final performance. I quickly dressed myself in black pants, with a matching black jacket, with matching shoes and a belt. On stage I could hear SRK reciting some funny incident. Sushmitaji had given the stage back to SRK. I thought that was a relief, at least, I could give my last performance without being distracted and to the fullest of my ability. I was feeling much more confident this time. As I made my entrance at the stage for the third time, the people whistled and cheered with no less enthusiasm. I had to shout at the top of my lungs to get myself heard. I'll never forget the way this crowd cheered for me.
I greeted the crowd saying 'Hello Delhi!', and I must admit that a wave of arrogance hit me when I got an overwhelming response. I thought of interacting a bit more with the crowd, so I asked if anyone from the crowd wanted to accompany me for the next performance. Little did I know what was coming. Loads of people put their hands up and were jumping catch my attention. I was confused; I didn't want to upset any of those people.
They all had such eager expressions on their faces. A young teenage girl in a bright orange shirt caught my attention, so I asked her to come onto the stage. Just as she got out of her seat I saw some elderly lady pull her back and what followed was a huge fight between the two ladies in the crowd. I was totally lost; the crowd was getting impatient, so I decided to call someone else. Just then I saw the elderly lady running in my direction and came up on stage. Her steps were really heavy and the stage literally shook as she walked towards me. I could sense that something terrible was about happen. The elderly lady told me that she was the orange-shirt girl's mother, and that she wished to accompany me. Honestly, I would've loved to dance with that cute young girl, but I was stuck with her mom. But that wasn't it. Only after I started singing 'Sayoni' (by the band Junoon) did I realise the height of embarrassment I was going to face.
The moment the first chord was struck, the lady broke into an obnoxious dance; or should I say fit. Luckily, I had practised this song many times before because seeing the way this lady was dancing was surely distracting me. I could hear people in the crowd laughing like hyenas and some were even booing. And to top all of that, the lady put her arms and all her weight on me. I could feel the stage shaking. An unknown kind of tension was building up within me. As much as I love female attention, I have to admit that this was one time I really wished that I didn't receive any. I could hear the thuds the women's feet were producing on the stage; the thuds were matching the beats of my heart.
The crowd smirking away didn't help to calm me down either. I knew something was amiss; something was going to go wrong. I tried to concentrate hard on my singing but before I knew it the floor beneath me collapsed. It all happened so suddenly. I had fallen down with the broken stage planks around me, and the elderly lady on top of me. My mind went totally blank for those few seconds. I still can't recall what happened after that. I was unaware of what happened in those few moments or how I was brought back home.
It was truly one the most memorable day of my life. I can still picture the crowd cheering, Rehmanji applauding, Sushmitaji's charisma. I did have my share of embarrassments today. Perhaps the ending of the show wasn't perfect. But I guess those embarrassments and mishaps is what makes this day even more memorable. The most perfect thing about it was that it wasn't all that perfect. It was something that even dreams aren't made up of.
This is our slideshow of the contest made by neha house...
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