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Doing the boring stuff!

“Doing the boring stuff’ is one of the most used phrases in interviews with high achievers. There is an interview by Larry King with a pop singer (Mariah Carey I think) who explains daily practice – it’s mostly boring stuff. If you ask a successful trader in the stock market he would say – 60% of the time the market trades in a range and it is boring stuff. A successful fast bowler does more boring drills every day than actually bowling outswingers. It’s the same thing for Carnatic music. The other day some one in the gym asked “How do you practice? It must be great to listen to you practice at home” – my answer “Sorry but it’s just boring stuff!” Repetitive singing of phrases, songs, can get extremely tedious for people who are listening in. When I am on tour I have seen that happen with Varadarajan and Venkatesh. There are times when Varadu would repeat some difficult phrases 100 times. I have seen Venkatesh continue with ‘tha ka tharikita thaka’ on his thighs as we are in the car enroute to the concert. That is why generally we do our practice individually without having to listen to the others’ boring stuff. Aarthi still gets nightmares about the 3rd swaram in a particular varnam that I found tough to crack almost 25 years ago! The period from March to mid November I was doing the boring stuff everyday. Getting into virtual concert mode slowly brought a change to my thinking and practice schedule.

At least now I get to sing and record one virtual concert every month for Sanjay Sabha – a series of concerts being uploaded on to my YouTube channel for Patron members. (

The launch of my first music video தமிழன் (Tamizhan) by Sanjay Subrahmanyan and the prospect of doing some new stuff is exciting. However, Bhargavii Mani, the auteur of the video, insists I continue doing boring stuff, but in front of the camera this time!!


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