This blog is purely a frank speak about people around me, about our systems, about my ideas, my thoughts, my experiences and above all, about my own self
Sunday, February 22, 2009
My Exploits on Stage
Singing was my hobby so I grew up singing in every cultural programme of my school and later college in Shimla. Mohammad Rafi was my idol and ideal. My voice also suited singing his songs. My immediate guru was my class mate Hari Sandhu, a very good singer himself, who used to give me tips on how to maintain 'sur and taal' while singing. He is now working with All India Radio and is a Hindi News Redaer on FM Gold.
Though i never learnt Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, of hindustani music formally, but i could handle any song, light or semi-classical to the full satisfaction of my listeners. Singing became my obsession and as a result I bagged the coveted best singer award in Inter College Music Competition held at Rampur Bushahar (H.P.) in 1972 --73. I also got a chance to sing on All India Radio, Shimla. But the most satisfying moment of my singing spree was when we, the Ex-Services Officers, had organised an RD Burman nite at Birla Mathushri Hall in Bombay in 1992. I expressed my desire to sing with Burman da. He was kind enough to permit me to go on stage with his troupe. And my prize was the repeated calls from the audience for another song and a smile from Pancham da himself. The song was तुम बिन जाऊं कहाँ -- Mohd Rafi version. (come on my audience, any one reading this??)
Though singing was my passion, yet acting was forced down my throat by my school teachers. As a sikh boy i had very long hair and i was always forced to act as mother, wife, bhabi, daughter etc in the cultural programmes of our all boys school at Shimla. Though i never pursued acting but in the bargain i have the distinction of having rubbed shoulders on stage with AnupamKher and VijayKashyap ( TV serial 'Tenali Rama' fame) who were my school and college mates respectively.
The prize winning role that I have to my credit was that of Mumtaj, the mughal Empress in whose memory her husband, Emperor Shajahan built Taj Mahal at Agra (India). It was the depiction of the scene where her soul appears before Shajahan who was put in prison by his son Aurangzeb. I was wearing a pure white silk gown with my long tresses flowing, which had been carefully shampooed for the occasion. I was put on top of a wooden platform which was lowered gradually with lot of incense sticks burning underneath to create the effect of a soul descending from heavens, looking down at the Emperor who was lying on his death bed. I have been able to lay hands on the photograph where i am receiving a prize from the chief guest at the end of the function. Have a look.