The trio has sung the 'Kannula Thimir' song in the album.

Flix Entertainment Wednesday, December 11, 2019 - 12:48

Rachana Mudraboyina, a performer in the Spicy Girls Band in Hyderabad, is on cloud nine. Within a week, her band has received several offers from the Tamil film industry to perform. 

“We were asked to fly down to Chennai. We reached the recording studio and recorded the song in three different languages in 2-3 hours. Then, during the same week, the audio launch happened and we performed in front of Thalaivar. We returned to Hyderabad the next day, and the next thing we know is that we are flooded with offers from the Tamil industry!” exclaims Rachana.

Rachana, Chandramukhi and Priya - three trans women from Hyderabad - are in the limelight after having sung the 'Kannula Thimir' song for Rajinikanth in his upcoming film Darbar. The trio is part of the Spicy Girls Band which has been performing at collectives and events organised by NGOs in Hyderabad for over a decade.

Speaking to TNM, the three singers are visibly excited. Chandramukhi, also a character artiste in Tollywood, says that she was always a Rajinikanth fan and that her legs shook when she was onstage last Saturday during the audio launch.

“I consider it a very big honour. So huge that I even considered running away from the stage while we were just about to perform,” Chandramukhi laughs. “I was scared seeing the auditorium brimming with people. So all along while singing, I simply looked at Thalaivar’s face. He was clearly enjoying the show,” she chuckles.

Spicy Girls started in 2006 and has 6-7 members who regularly perform in the city. Though the trio sang a full sequence for Darbar, the music for which is composed by Anirudh, the performances by the band are usually never focussed just on the music or songs.

“We pick a tune and we dance and act to it. Our performances revolve around the rights of transgender people, women's empowerment and gender equality. Though we started performing way back in 2006, we had to take a break in 2014 as most of us were involved in activism. We resumed in 2017 and many people over the years have asked us why we do not perform something that is mainstream. But what could be more mainstream for us than fighting and spreading awareness about our own rights?” Rachana asks.

Talking about how Spicy Girls grabbed the offer to sing in Darbar, Chandramukhi says it all happened through Rahul Sipligunj, singer and winner of the third season of Bigg Boss Telugu.

“The portion we sang for Rajini sir is a sequence where he's described. In the movie, the song is shown to be sung by a group of transgender people and director Murugadoss wanted transgender people to sing it behind the screen as well. That’s when Rahul suggested our names to Anirudh who took our auditions through WhatsApp. It all happened so quickly that the reality has not yet sunk in for me,” Chandramukhi says.

Rachana, Chandramukhi and Priya have sung the song in three different languages - Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. Rachana and Priya don't know any Tamil and they call Anirudh a patient composer.

“I have very little understanding of Tamil. But Anirudh let us take our own time in understanding the lyrics, and also taught us the slang in which we were supposed to sing. Despite all difficulties, surprisingly, we finished recording in all three languages in just two hours!” Rachana narrates.

Spicy Girls in 2006

Unfortunately, Priya wasn’t able to make it for the audio launch and it was Meera Jasmine, another trans woman from the band, who replaced her. Speaking to TNM, she says opportunities such as these are rare for transgender people in the society.

“The Telugu film industry seldom takes notice of us. There is discrimination at all levels, and it is in Chennai that we got a real chance to perform live in front of such a large gathering. The filmmakers could have chosen anyone to sing the song, but they chose us and I consider that as a positive step that can get us better visibility,” Jasmine says.

As for Rachana and Chandramukhi, there are more offers coming their way since the night of the audio launch.

“We would definitely like to work in the Tamil industry because it is one space that has recognised our talent. None of us is professionally trained. We took up singing because we had passion for music. Going ahead, we would like to perform more as part of the Spicy Girls band and also produce more content on Transvision (a YouTube channel run by the transgender community in Hyderabad) because there are many more among us who are awaiting similar opportunities,” Rachana says.

Chandramukhi is determined to meet Thalaivar the next time she is in Chennai. “I couldn’t do it this time because of the crowd. I have been a die-hard fan of Rajini sir since childhood. My next big dream is to meet him since his film has given us our first big break. People climb ladders to reach the pinnacle but honestly, I feel God has just air-dropped us at the top of the highest peaks of success,” Chandramukhi says proudly.