“My first-ever tryst with whistling happened when I was eight. With a natural flair for it, my talent got recognized soon enough and I was put on stage for various performances in school. Looking back, I still have vivid memories of my first musical-live to Titanic’s ‘The heart goes on’ and how happy I was at that moment.
But the problem with less-recognized artforms like whistling is that one has to go through their fair share of obstacles with naysayers at every step. In my scenario specifically, everything, right from practice sessions extending upto 10 hours, to even the nature of this skill made people frown. They either viewed it as an activity done for teasing women or one indicative of bad omens and funeral tunes; all of which did hampered my confidence at certain junctures. All I wanted then was to make our society understand the pleasant side to this gift and how beautiful it truly can be!
So despite the turbulence, I kept going and was lucky enough to enrol in a college where peers were appreciative of my talent. The cultural fests, especially, became major turning points which helped me to slowly establish myself, both as a whistle artist and a singer. And with time, I was able to work my way into many short films and stage performances as well.
Now, of course, there were people questioning my long-term vision throughout, with the notion that whistling cannot be a sustainable source of income. And this was right from my close ones to outsiders whose doubts proved more stunting to my growth as an artist than beneficial. Adding to that, the dynamic nature of the media which either floods artists with work or renders them jobless for months together was simultaneously taking its toll!
At one point I’d hit rock bottom and was almost at the verge of giving up music altogether. Nevertheless, here’s where I believe that prayers came to my rescue and the universe signalled me to keep going in the form of solid work right the very next day. And since then, it’s been a steady journey upwards collaborating on some incredible projects like Jil Jung Jak and Vishwaroopam 2.
Within that, one of my life’s highlights was when actor Kamal Hasan appreciated my talent and encouraged me to never back down. Words from a legend like him are what I aspire for! In a few years, I hope my dream of collectively uplifting budding whistling artists and establishing the skill as a reputable one comes true!”