Those of you who had tuned into the morning show ‘Hello Chennai’ of Radio Mirchi a few years ago would remember the distinctive and bold voice of Suchitra Karthik Kumar, better known as RJ Suchi.
Having carved out a special place for her in playback singing (without any musical training), she has sung more than 100 songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam. Suchi still continues her RJing with Mirchi where she does a world news show on Sunday evenings. She is also a dubbing artist and has dubbed for several artistes including Malavika in Thiruttu Payale, Shriya Saran in Kanthasamy, Lakshmi Rai in Mankatha and Iniya in Naan Sigappu Manithan. Though her solo song was May Maasam 98’il in the film Jay Jay, it was Enn Aasai Mythiliye in Manmadhan that catapulted her mainstream. She then followed it with several hits that include Dole Dole and En Chella Peru Apple (Pokkiri), Tharai Erangiya (Eeram), Pilla Naa Valla Kaadu (Adhurs), Yen Idhayam (Singam), Vada Bin Lada (Mankatha), Sir Osthara (Business Man) and Diamond Girl (Baadshah). She also hosted Vijay TV’s Koffee with Suchi interviewing cinema celebrities. With such hit songs to her credit, she shares her college experiences in an email interview with edex.
Suchi graduated with a BSc at Mar Ivanios College, Thiruvananthapuram and went on to complete her PG in Management at PSG, Coimbatore. When we began with what she learnt from college, her response was not something surprising, “Actually, nothing! Whatever I learnt about life, work and work-skills, I learnt on the job. It is sad that I can’t name a single teacher or professor who I can say, inspired me, or mentored me.”
Though she was on good terms with her professors, she now jokes that she could have been at odds with them, “I was quite liked by my teachers. I always did my homework and had all the answers. Looking back, I wish I had rebelled a little bit. Those guys always seemed to have had a great time.”
But being a good student did not stop her from bunking in college, especially when she was doing her PG there were mass bunking sessions. She says, “We rarely bunked in Thiruvananthapuram, because there’s far less to do in the city than in college anyway. In PSG, it was more like, our entire class would decide to take half the day off and loaf off to a movie or a sweet little hilly spot outside town. We’d inform our professors and do this, so they could take half the day off as well!”
“In Mar Ivanios, we weren’t allowed to hang out with boys at all. There was this scary guard, Krishnankutty, whose only job was to break up students who were hanging out, and rat to the principal. But I dated and had a boyfriend when I was in PSG, so that more than made up for the drought in Ivanios!” she says talking about boys and her dating experiences. Their hangout spot in Thiruvananthapuram was a place called Downtown, which is the only place where they could get pizza. “My friends’ mums were great cooks so I’d hang out at their places too. In Coimbatore, the college canteen steps and juice shops around the college were good enough. I was dating this amazing person, so as long as I got to hang out with him, any place was okay,” she says.
Suchi started to sing during her college days, especially when she sang on Mar Ivanios College Day, which she considers her proudest moment. She was also a part of the college band at PSG. “Getting through the auditions and then performing with the band were probably my happiest moments,” she says. The multi-tasker is now looking forward to releasing her own album, “I’ve been dabbling a little in composing songs and writing lyrics. I think I’m ready now to bring out some original work. It could be a single (in Tamil) — and I’m thinking I’ll release it before the end of this year.”