“And when you want something, all the Universe conspires in helping you achieve it”. Rings a bell? Before Shah Rukh Khan spouted a rendition of this quote in his movie Om Shanti Om, the unparalleled storyteller, Paulo Coelho had already popularized this notion in his great fable, The Alchemist. Why is this relevant? You shall discover.
Preeti Kapoor is a news reader, a singer, an event manager, a poet, an artist, a foodie. To draw a portrait of Preeti Kapoor in words would be akin to capturing the sunlight in the smalls of our palms. As you keep trying harder, the beams escape from between the fingers. Until you give up and let the rays be. You shine as the light reflects off you.
Quitting a full time career to take care of home and hearth, there were still many options to explore as Preeti discovered. Take a look:
- After completing her Psychology Honours from Delhi University, she followed up with a course in Computers. Post marriage to an army officer, she pursued B.Ed, that degree which is akin to the elixir of life for all women who want to stay with their fauji spouses and yet enjoy some kind of professional satisfaction..
- Preeti started teaching in schools but quit that when the schools started demanding more than teaching from the staff and she stopped enjoying it.
- Her forays into artistry and event management have been serendipitous, to say the least. Preeti stumbled into sketching figures bereft of any company when she joined her husband in a small station.
- Event management happened as being the wife of an army officer had exposed her to coordinating cultural programs. She volunteered to manage her nephew’s ‘Sangeet’ ceremony. There has been a proverbial no looking back. Her interest piqued as much as that of her friends and relatives and she has managed many functions. However, she refuses to take this up professionally as something better came along.
- Once her children had grown up and needed her lesser, Preeti got active on social media. In spite of killing time, she felt a sense of loss and a cloud of pointlessness began engulfing her. To battle the feeling of redundancy, Preeti armed herself with a Voice Culture course to realize her childhood dream. While diction and language were not a problem for her, she did learn breathing techniques on the microphone, how to think on your feet in case of conducting a ceremony live, putting the right amount of emotions in speech for the result to be perfect in recorded speech. There were also, theory and recording sessions to hone the students’ skills. “It was like getting back to college. My classmates were young people and I felt younger”, Preeti quips.
- She met an enthusiastic entrepreneurial duo of young engineering graduates who wanted to revive the feel of the audio news of the All India Radio at the touch of fingertips. When they launched an android app, Khabri- News on the Go, Preeti was their choice for the voice-overs. “Currently, I read English news twice a day, except on Sundays”, she states with pride.
Adding Value To Khabri
The initial response was slow as is with anything new but then the app started catching on and a Hindi voice was introduced. “I am not very good at marketing myself. I had to record from home itself. They had given me a microphone and I used the software Audacity to edit the news and upload it to their desktop app”, she explains.
A slot can take about forty-five minutes to an hour depending on how many pronunciations are needed to be looked up that day. International names especially the players and politicians can be very difficult to find. “But I made sure I found them and pronounced them correctly. It increased my vocabulary too”, she adds.
To increase the app’s fun quotient, Preeti introduced funny comments after some articles and people appreciated it. Upon her suggestion, the content editors began one positive news story per day in the morning news so that they could start their day with a smile. Without a doubt, subscribers loved those stories amid all the gore and sadness. If the news covered a new song release, she would conclude the article by singing a couple of verses. “I wouldn’t come to know all the time about the audience feedback but I was enjoying it”, Preeti says.
The End Notes
Soon, she began getting more assignments like e-learning recordings and others. She has lent her voice for a couple of advertisements too. “I have now distributed my work to recording studios and production houses and am waiting with my fingers crossed. I dabble in singing as well so am open to singing jingles and rhymes too or narrating stories for children”, she says.
Life has come full circle for Preeti. With sheer perseverance and gut-wrenching hard work, she is on her way to realizing her dreams. It might have taken her longer than most but time is of no consequence here. Maybe, Paulo Coelho understands Universe and fate better than us.