That time I sang with Vidya Vox

Poor girl.

But first, story time.

This is a continuation of everything I told you about yesterday, with the twelve hours at an airport, thirty hours' commute, extra-terrestrial life-forms growing in my fridge and what not.

After that shower that almost made me weep, I crawled into bed at 11 a.m. I have a faint memory of asking Shane if he also thought his shower was the best thing that ever happened to him and eliciting no response, I too passed out beside him. But not before I remembered to set an alarm for 8 p.m, which gave me a few hours to wake up completely, have dinner, make a few cups of lemon and ginger tea for my throat (that was killing me by the way), and go through my script for Vidya's interview scheduled for 1 a.m. the following morning. After the day(s) I'd had, I was finally at peace, proper peace, at 2:42 a.m after our conversation with Vidya went splendidly, mostly because she's one of the most lively, chirpy, and sweetest human beings we've had the pleasure of speaking to. She drove that entire conversation so my being sick and muting the microphone to cough my lungs out from time to time, or being on a messed up sleep schedule after traveling across continents, did not in the least interfere with the quality of the conversation we had.

I realise that this time around, both Meenal and I have been talking about our Season 4 Premiere with Vidya Vox (which was released yesterday by the way) in a very blasé manner although it's been a huuuuge dream come true for us. We started corresponding with her lovely manager on June 4, 2017 and after juggling a lot of dates and times around, we finally got to do this after exactly four months and four days. They'd been lovely from the beginning and Vidya, in fact, joined us from her dance studio after a practice session. She'd been on tour and will be going back on tour again very soon, so it meant the world to us that she decided to squeeze us in despite being super busy.

But going back to why Meenal and I have been so calm about the whole thing, usually, when we have any guest on our show, we make it a point to explain their backstories and give our audience some context into who they are and what they do. And although Vidya has a very interesting backstory that leads us to her immense popularity and achievements at just twenty-seven years of age, we haven't been taking into consideration all those people in our audience who may not have come across her work so far. And that's simply because we can't imagine that someone out there who has access to the internet, someone who might be reading this blog post right now or even listening to our podcast, has not heard of Vidya or at least come across her work as a musician.

For me personally, the first time I came across her work was when all the Malayalees in my circles were sharing this video left, right and center:

Vidya's rendition of this Kerala folk song elicited sentimental emotions in Malayalees everywhere, but more so in Mallus like me who were far away from home.

It fills my heart like no other song can

It's the sound of the race,

The boats leave the land. Take me

Back to the waters of my homeland

We'll sing dhi thi thara dhi thi thei

dhi thei thaka thei thei thom

Here's my homeland, you guys:

Namma ooru Keralam 🌴🥥🌅

A post shared by Ankita Narayan (@ankita.ink) on

And I promise there are backwaters between the first layer of coconut trees and the next.

I was also pretty shameless in asking her if she could please sing a few lines from that very song during the interview, but never did I expect her to ask us to sing the chorus along with her. I'd just told her minutes before that I'd been trained in classical Karnatic music myself but couldn't sing to save the world, and right before asking her if she could sing on the show, I'd just muted my mic once again to cough for about a minute.

There was also a delay in the audio because of our Skype connectivity so Vidya had to pause in between her singing to accommodate our croaky voices. Either that or she simply shuddered when she heard us sing and found it physically impossible to keep going.

Anyway, here's where you'll hear it all - from our croaky singing that Shane threatened to edit out for the sake of our poor unsuspecting listeners, to Vidya's melodious voice in which she renders her heart-warming story from the age of five which distinctly reminds one of a go-getter.


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