Who am I ?

I plead to accept me as who I am,
If not, one you see is not who I am;
Some want me slim some a trim,
Some, to see me proper & prim.

A few would like to see me formal,
Some feel I should be more normal;
Couple of them liked my beard long,
Some like me to sing a mellow song.

Doctors tell me to watch my diet
And friends to skip the said diet;
Some say greens bring glow to me
Some make fun of the me in me.

I try to see the smiles so I change,
Till there is nothing left in me to change.
But is it me who is living my life today
I still retain the christened name so to say.

But I feel lost since the day I heard spells
Someone asked me to be someone else;
I went on changing myself to live peace
I don’t know or see myself today with ease.

– Krishna Iyer

Bismil – Stole many hearts

One of the many whom we forgot, Ram Prasad Bismil was a man who inspired a man, who inspired millions – Bhagat Singh. The words of Bismil still lingers in our minds “Sarfaroshi ki tamannah … ab hamare dil mein hai…”

A freedom fighter who was involved in the historic Kakori train robbery is what many historians would write. But he stole a million hearts with his words. Born in 1897 at Shahjahanpur, Uttar Pradesh to Muralidhar, Bismil was the name he adopted to write in Urdu.

He teamed with stalwarts like Ashfaqulla Khan, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagawati Charan, Rajguru and many more. In order spread awareness about the freedom struggle and gather people’s attention, he published a pamphlet named ‘A Message to My Countrymen’.

On 9th August 1925, Ram Prasad Bismil along with his men involved themselves in the Kakori train robbery. All except Chandrashekhar Azad, were arrested. Ram Prasad Bismil along with others were given capital punishment for the crime committed by the British Government and executed on 19th December 1927.

My efforts to remember him through his words ….

सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाज़ू-ए-क़ातिल में है

ए वतन करता नहीं क्यूँ दूसरा कुछ बातचीत,
देखता हूँ मैं जिसे वो चुप तेरी महफ़िल में है
ऐ शहीद-ए-मुल्क-ओ-मिल्लत, मैं तेरे ऊपर निसार,
अब तेरी हिम्मत का चर्चा ग़ैर की महफ़िल में है
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

वक़्त आने पर बता देंगे तुझे, ए आसमान,
हम अभी से क्या बताएँ क्या हमारे दिल में है
खेँच कर लाई है सब को क़त्ल होने की उमीद,
आशिक़ोँ का आज जमघट कूचा-ए-क़ातिल में है
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

है लिए हथियार दुशमन ताक में बैठा उधर,
और हम तैयार हैं सीना लिये अपना इधर.
ख़ून से खेलेंगे होली गर वतन मुश्किल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

हाथ, जिन में हो जुनून, कटते नहीं तलवार से,
सर जो उठ जाते हैं वो झुकते नहीं ललकार से.
और भड़केगा जो शोला सा हमारे दिल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

हम तो घर से ही थे निकले बाँधकर सर पर कफ़न,
जाँ हथेली पर लिये लो बढ़ चले हैं ये कदम.
जिन्दगी तो अपनी मेहमाँ मौत की महफ़िल में है,
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है

यूँ खड़ा मक़्तल में क़ातिल कह रहा है बार-बार,
क्या तमन्ना-ए-शहादत भी किसी के दिल में है?
दिल में तूफ़ानों की टोली और नसों में इन्क़िलाब,
होश दुश्मन के उड़ा देंगे हमें रोको न आज.
दूर रह पाए जो हमसे दम कहाँ मंज़िल में है,

जिस्म भी क्या जिस्म है जिसमें न हो ख़ून-ए-जुनून
क्या लड़े तूफ़ान से जो कश्ती-ए-साहिल में है
सरफ़रोशी की तमन्ना अब हमारे दिल में है
देखना है ज़ोर कितना बाज़ू-ए-क़ातिल में है

Jai Hind!


Try reading these lines with a smile, then with a frown, then with surprise and then with disgust:

“I know … You can do it”

That’s the limitation of the written word. If there is no voice to a line, it means something other than what it should or what it was meant to be by the author. Voice acting is an art of giving life to a body of words and each person can treat it different. The modulation, the stress, the breath, each one gives the words a new meaning. Around the world, there are many voice artists or voice actors who have been giving life to characters or the written word.

Imagine a movie where Morgan Freeman or Amitabh Bachchan renders a narration. The narration would remain iconic forever, as they are the people chosen to give even voice to the unseen God in certain films. Have you seen the movie “Book Thief”, Based on a book of the same name by Markus Zusak, directed by Brian Percival. The movie is taken forward by the award winning actor Roger Allam, the narrator who has given his voice to “Death”. Even death starts alluring you, for the beauty of his voice. But, what about the others who have been unsung and remain so even now. Many actresses win awards based on the screen rendition done by voice artists. Hence the endeavor to elucidate the importance of life, as an art of voice acting or better to put it as the ineffaceable link between life and voice.

Every day we have been using our voice to convey our deep feelings,  whether it is love, hate, anger, dismay, stress or even happiness and excitement. But we have never tried to use it as a profession or seen its potential in a profession. Voice acting is such a talent which is hidden in every individual from the time he starts speaking. It is an inherent quality of a human. Even those who cannot speak have a voice – the inner voice, which speaks to us in different ways, like a voice actor.

If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’
then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
– Vincent Van Gogh (The famous artist)

So there is enough and more importance to voice acting in life. It is a means to effective communication. The basic talent is the voice; the rest can be trained to suit the needs. The texture of the voice, the modulation, the stress, quality of rendition and pronunciation, all are factors which have to be taken into consideration but can be trained if you have the passion to pursue your voice. The field is vast and encompasses Voice for Radio commercials, TV commercials, Movie Dubs, Tele sales, Emceeing, Presentations, Singing at times, Cartoon voicing, and even telling a story to your child. But in every profession, you need a voice to suit your stature. Even if it is over the telephone or radio, we try to give a face to the voice, haven’t you? Think about the last time you ordered a pizza, if the voice was not pleasant enough, the chances are that you won’t call that restaurant anymore; which goes to say that Voice acting is not just a profession, but life itself.

Think about a corporate head with a meek voice. Would he gather the attention he really ought to have? The respect we give a person is also judged by his or her voice. Would you prefer to work with a team leader with a great voice or a ludicrous voice? The answer is obvious. But the fact remains that every voice can be trained to be better.

My ex-boss, Mr. Dinesh Bhaskar, corrected me once while I was on the phone. He said to me the lesson that changed my life: “You don’t smile when you receive calls… but do you know that is you smile the person on the other end of the line actually sees you smiling, and otherwise if you are not”. So even adding a smile to a voice can change the outlook of the person hearing it. Other than the smile, there are other factors which can mould voices. Basic warming up, with relaxation techniques and the choice of tone, will all change the person’s image in the mind of the receiver.

Hardly do many know that with more amount of air while voice acting would generate the positive emotions and lesser the negative. A calm soothing voice can prevent aggression in an office and a powerful voice, which can be from the same person, can bring about the change required. The control of breath in Yoga is called not Swashayama (Control of breath) but Pranayama (Control of life). So the bare essentials of being a voice artist, a corporate employer or employee, remain to be having a voice and the ability to control breath and emotions.

Being a voice actor myself, many a time, I have faced difficulty in understanding what needs to be conveyed. So I would reiterate the fact that it is not an easy task. But with practice, the art can be mastered to give it what is required, just as living life is all about. So I can boldly say I train people to live, but in fact, I train people in voice acting. In the corporate world, if you delete the word acting, the rest says it all. Be the voice of the future corporate world, by living your life to the fullest and training your voice.

Kris Iyer

Its a world of words

The “world of words” would be my means to reach you with thoughts, notes and more. Where I would get to know what you feel about them. Ideally a forum for the exchange of ideas.

  • Kris Iyer