Taking up playback singing
I took a break from stage shows when I was in school because the traveling was affecting my studies.
After five or six years, I took up singing again, this time as a dubbing artist. I wanted to train for singing for heroines, not children.
My progress as a playback singer was gradual because in those days, there were not many singers in South India. Chitraji sang most of the songs in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam. It was difficult for her to be everywhere. So sometimes, the song would be picturised, and then she would record it. So I would sing the song first, which would be used for the shooting, and then Chitraji would sing it in her voice. I learnt a lot from her.
But some songs were not re-recorded in another singer's voice, and those would give me confidence. Then, I decided to sing fulltime as a playback singer. I thought that even if I get just one song, at least it will be mine, not someone else's. So after my graduation, I started playback singing in Kannada, Tamil and Telugu.
After some time, I wanted a change. I had two options: Chennai and Mumbai. I chose the latter, because if you sing Hindi songs, you are have a wider audience.