Six years ago when I wanted to quit my consulting job and get into the media, my dad asked me 'What do you want to achieve as an anchor?' And I said, ' I Want to share the stage with Superstar Rajnikanth'.
It all began with one phone call. I was asked if I was free to meet Soundarya Rajnikanth and immediately my mind began racing 'What is this for? Could they possibly be considering me for the Kochadaiiyaan audio launch?' Before I could think any further, I had agreed to meet her the next day. As I walked into her office, I saw Kochadaiiyaan posters all over the place and I was mesmerised!
Even in a picture, Thalaivar's eyes are electrifying.
The meeting with Soundarya turned out to be very interesting. She was bold, intelligent and knew exactly what she wanted. We are the same age. In fact, we were schoolmates for a year in our third grade but sitting in front of me was this beautiful woman who was facing so much pressure from the cinema world because she had chosen to take up such a Herculean task in her very first film.
She told me: “You were our first and last choice, hope you don't let me down”. And then I knew what I had to do. I cancelled my ticket to Mumbai, called my husband who understood why I won't be home for a week and then sat down to revel in the world of Rajinikanth.
The next few days passed by in a blur. Thankfully, I had a couple of friends who helped me with the script before I presented it to Latha Ma'am. One look at her smiling face and pleasant demeanour, I was immediately put at ease. She was patient, kind and almost motherly in her treatment towards me. I left the meeting wanting to work extra hard just to make her happy.
Being an anchor is not always easy. You work very hard and you hardly or sometimes never get recognised for it. But this experience was different. The entire team took interest in what I wanted to say, gave me creative freedom, spent quality time with me even though they had a million other things to attend to.
March 9th, 2014 is a day that will forever hold a special place in my heart. I will always remember how Latha Ma'am hugged me before the event and told me that she had full confidence in my abilities. How Soundarya marched forward with such confidence and ease, even though she hadn't slept in days! How the theatre was filled with some of the most notable VIPs from the Indian film industry.
But the icing on the cake, was my interaction with Rajini sir. How he allowed me to finish my introduction of him, smiling encouragingly. How he blessed me and acknowledged my words of praise by simply and superbly folding his hands. How he turned my world around by softly saying 'Thank you'.
And when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it - Paulo Coelho
Bhavna Balakrishnanan is an MBA graduate, professional anchor and performer, TV host, RJ, voice artiste, dancer and columnist.