Vidya’s story: My second time meeting David (and why there might be a third)


Meeting David at TOFW was very different from seeing him at a concert. He was completely relaxed at the meet and greet. He was sharp, attentive, and welcoming.

More often than not, I noticed that fans were trying not to take up too much of his time and were being careful about hurrying along after he signed their CD, but he would hold them back, engaging them in active conversation.

He was sincerely trying to establish a genuine connection with every person he talked to. He looked happy. (Maybe it was because his table was right by the food stall?)

As I waited in line (while SOS DM’ing Deb that I had no clue what to say to him), I formulated a plan. I wasn’t going to make the same mistake as the last time I met him where I forgot how to speak. This time, I’d planned what I was going to say to him. My two key messages were:

  1. Leo helps with my driving anxiety, and
  2. We would love to see you back here in new england. Anytime you come back, we’re going to be here to support.

I had practiced this in my head and it was what I was going to say.

Suddenly, it was my turn and I was standing before him. I handed him my CD, and waited for him to sign it.

Me: Thanks for sharing your music and your message with us today, it was meaningful and I got a lot out of it.

David: Aww thanks!

Me: Your album Leo helps a lot with my driving anxiety. The number of minutes of Leo exactly matches the length of my drive home from work. It’s been taking the edge off and I’ve been panicking less.


David: (something along the lines of “I’m so glad to hear that. Thank you for sharing”).

Me: (about to say the next thing)

David (interrupts me, how rude): So where are you from?

Me (feeling uncomfortable because I’ve been moving a lot these past couple of years, and don’t know how to answer that question anymore): Er, Portsmouth New Hampshire (only I said it really fast, like portsmouthnewhampshire)

David: (looks up at me closely): It’s just… your accent. Do you speak another language?

Me: Yes, I grew up in India. I speak Tamil. (wondering if I should say “Tamil” more clearly to him and COMPLETELY unprepared for the next thing that happened).

It was like the world stopped for a second. I looked at David, and he looked back at me. It was like he was thinking very deeply.

And then…

David: Vannakkam

(meaning, “welcome/hello”)

He had this WINNING charming smile on his face, which grew wider when he saw my stunned expression.

Me (aloud): !!!!!!! Good for youuu! (laughing at this point). Well, thanks, David (I took the CD back and about to walk away).

David: Wait.

Me: ??

David: I didn’t learn how to say bye in Tamil.

Me: Um, there is no real word for bye. Well, we say “Poyt varen”.

At this point, David was staring at me, his face an expression of careful concentration. He watched my lips form the words very closely.

I didn’t think he’d caught what I said, bec

ause it is a hard word to pronounce for those who are not familiar with the language. I didn’t expect him to have even heard and processed anything beyond the first syllable. I was waving at him, walking away, when I heard the words being said back to me loud and clear.

“Poyt Varen” he said, waving at me, looking delighted at having learned this new word. His accent was perfect, as if he’d grown up speaking Tamil. He enunciated every syllable in the exact same way that I had, even though I’d said it so briefly and quickly.

I gaped back at him. I had nothing to say. I was completely floored by this dude.

What I didn’t have enough time to tell David was that we don’t actually say “bye” in Tamil. We never say bye. We say, “I’m leaving now, but I’ll come back”. That’s what “Poyt Varen” actually means.

Did I just trick David into promising he’d come back to New England?

I am going to hold you to that, Mr. I-like-randomly-impressing-my-fans-with-my-multilingual-talents.

While we wait for him to come back, here are some videos from that day.




~ Vidya.


Top photo: The lovely & amazing Muldur

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18 Responses to Vidya’s story: My second time meeting David (and why there might be a third)

  1. TOfan says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Vidya! I could picture it all, you’re a great storyteller! Hope you get a third chance. 😊

  2. refnaf says:

    Awesome story Vidya! Thanks so much! How special to hear David sing AND then speak in your language! He def seems to have an incredible knack for hearing and pronouncing new languages!!!

  3. Pepper says:

    Aw Vidya, what a wonderful recap. So glad you got to see David, speak to him and enjoy those special moments. Yes, David does seem to have a real knack for picking up languages quickly.
    I think it is quite lovely that you don’t say ‘bye’ in Tamil. “Poyt Varen” is wonderful, love that.
    So nice that David said those words to you too!
    Thanks for sharing with us, loved reading all about your experience. 🙂

  4. Abrra says:

    Loved this story. I hung on every word 🙂 I could picture his and your every expression.


  5. TaterZen says:

    Loved your story, Vidya, written just like we were there with you. Congratulations for coming up with coherent sentences (one of my goals).

  6. janey79 says:

    Awwwww ❤

  7. TOfan says:

    “We can be the helping hands and the light in even the darkest times of another’s life.”
    So true. ♥♥♥ … big love & {{{{{hugs}}}} to all you lovely folks!

    View this post on Instagram

    Every 6 months I take a little weekend break, wherever I might be, to listen to my church's world conference. Yesterday I was able to attend in person. My heart hurts hearing about another shooting in Vegas. In a world where so much is going on, with natural disasters, shootings, hate, wars, depression and anxiety, fears, and so many other things going on we ask ourselves "Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace?" That's what speaker Jean B Bingham talked about in the conference yesterday morning. Sometimes it's hard to trust. But there is a source of healing, and that is from Christ. Jean Bingham also mentioned there is a way to become free from the constraints of our own misunderstanding. Well, how? One way I've gained it is watching and listening to men and women of God in these conferences. I loved how a big emphasis was on trust and to "lean not unto [our] own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5-6) my love is with the victims of the recent Vegas shooting, and also with the many still recovering from the natural disasters. I'm left asking however (as powerful as prayer is) what more can I do than just thinking about them and praying. Let's allow sad things to bring us together, become united and do something to help others. May our prayers turn us to action. We can be the helping hands and the light in even the darkest times of another's life. If you'd like to watch a talk from the conference, I'm putting the link in my bio today. #trust #thoughts #ldsconf #jeanbbingham #prayforlasvegas

    A post shared by David Archuleta (@davidarchie) on

  8. Pepper says:

    Thanks TOfan, a lovely message from David. ❤ So saddened with the horrific event in Vegas. I am planning to be there next week, such a shocking and sad time. My heart and thoughts go out to all affected. ❤
    Yes, as David said, let's do something to help others, there is always action we can take along with our thoughts and prayers. Both are important.
    {{{{hugs}}}} to all.

  9. Pepper says:

    Yes there was, very sad….for all affected. ❤ ❤

  10. missbianca says:

    Coming here today has been the most heart-warming thing I’ve done in many days. News stories have overwhelmed me. David’s response to the Las Vegas tragedy was well-written and a comfort to many.

    Vidya, I loved loved loved your story! You made me feel the intensity of David’s concentration and your joy at his perfect pronunciation. I hope David plans a concert in lovely New England, soon.

    Poyt Varen!

  11. TOfan says:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. Pepper says:

    Thanks for the lovely video and updates. Just found out you can now pre-order Postcards In The Sky from ITunes and you automatically receive the download of ‘Seasons’. What a beautiful song.
    it is so, so pretty. Loving it on headphones. ❤

  13. jackryan4da says:

    That was a lovely lovely story Vidya. Am just wondering how you survived David’s intent stares! 🙂 Poyt varen!

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