The visit to Los Angeles was not on the itinerary, says Tanvi Shah, the ‘ Jai Ho’ girl who went up on stage to receive the Grammy Award there on January 31, along with composer A.R.Rahman.

She was in New York on personal work when she was called to be in LA. And it was a whirlwind after that. She was nervous, “palpitations and all that. I wondered what to wear. I had to represent India. A cousin helped me choose the outfit. I wore a lot of make-up. It was crazy. The U.S. focusses a lot on the way you present yourself,” says the young singer, who got back recently.

The reality that she has won a Grammy is yet to sink in. “I feel like Cindrella.” Her mother has placed several photos of her at the function in their living room.

“Winning the Grammy is the ultimate recognition for any musician,” she says, cherishing every moment.

The team had barely settled at their table for the awards function when the nominations in their category were announced. And almost immediately the winner was announced. “That’s how Sir (Rahman) came up with the expression ‘It’s insane’. We were running to get to the stage,” she recalls.

The high school opera bands nominated for the award were impressive especially as they performed on stage though they did not win awards.

“When you perform in front of the nominees you learn that the industry appreciates you.” However, there are some people she missed there: Sound engineer H. Sridhar a “super support and guide” who passed away over a year ago, and A.R. Rahman’s conductor Murthy “a taskmaster”, who couldn’t make it to the grand event.

After winning the award, she called her mother in Chennai, waking her up at the unearthly hour of 4 in the morning. She also messaged Augustine Paul, under whom she has been training since 2003.


R. SujathaJune 28, 2012