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A celebrity in her own right

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Shoba Chandrasekar
Shoba Chandrasekar

S.R. Ashok Kumar

"My first light classical music programme `Samarpanam' was telecast on Vijay TV in April 2003"

Shoba Chandrasekar was a singer in light music troupes. She later graduated to singing in films. She has written several stories that have been made into movies by moviemaker husband S.A. Chandrasekar.

She turned film producer and then became a film director. She learnt music under Brinda Thygarajan, daughter of the late Maharajapuram Santhanam. She has also performed at various classical concerts.

Shoba Chandrasekar, who recently released a devotional album titled `Anaimuganum Arumuganum', talks about her singing career.

I am a silent and sober person. I now know how to remain cool as a cucumber, thanks to my seven-year practise of yoga.

My siblings, Sunder, Surender and Sheela, and I joined to form a music troupe Lalithanjanli Fine Arts, named after my mother Lalitha. We became really busy with it. I was only 11 when I first took the stage, at Vadapalani Murugan Temple.

My parents wanted me to learn Carnatic music, so I studied music under Meenakshisunderam, a disciple of the great `G.N.B'. I gave up studies to join Music College at the age of 17. I married S.A. Chandrasekar, who later became a film director.

When our first child, a girl, died I was depressed for years. Meanwhile, my husband became popular by directing films in different languages . I used to accompany him to various film locations. When Vijay [now a popular actor] was born, my parents and in-laws took care of him.

Slowly, we settled in Chennai, and I got more spare time. I decided to continue learning Carnatic music under Brinda Thygarajan. I met her in August 2002. My first light classical music programme was telecast on Vijay TV in April 2003. The title of the programme was `Samarpanam'. My first live concert was for the Maharajapuram Santhanam Trust.

My first film song was `Maharaja Oru Maharani ... ' from the film Iru Malargal. I think I have sung in nearly all the films made by my husband.

I have produced 10 films and written stories for more than 50. I have also directed two films Nanbargal and Innisai Mazhai. In fact, Mr. Chandrasekar acted as my associate director in these films. He was assisted by Shankar, now a famous director.

My first CD was `Samarpanam'. My latest is `Anaimuganum Arumuganum'. Both were appreciated by director K. Balachander, producer A.V.M. Saravanan, and musicians Sudha Ragunathan and `Veenai' Gayithri.

My favourite singers in the south are P. Susheela and S.P. Balasubramaniam, and Sadana Sargam and Hariharan in Bollywood.

I do not have the capacity to compose music and I do not want to. I come from a music-oriented family and my husband also has a good knowledge of music. My son, Vijay, is also a good singer. My daughter-in-law Sangeetha Vijay plays the veena. I continue to learn music and attend music classes every Monday and Friday. I want to sing till I can sing no more.

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