Saturday, September 05, 2009

Sunidhi Chauhan in Nepal

Sunidhi Chauhan, a popular Indian singer, is set to rock the Kathmandu Valley on Saturday. Thousands of Nepali music lovers are expected to throng Jawalakhel in Lalitpur when the 26-year-old singer will be performing her fast numbers in an open stage.

Her counter-question whether we could talk after 20 minutes reflected how busy she remains, when I made an international call from Kathmandu to interview her at Mumbai this Sunday.

Chauhan has recorded more than 2500 songs in several Indian languages. She started singing at the tender age of five, thanks to her father Dushyant Chauhan, who noticed her talent and shifted to Mumbai from Delhi to groom her.

Chauhan’s voice was first aired through India's state-owned Doordarshan  Television when she took part in a singing competition. After winning it, she got an opportunity to record her first album titled "Aera Gaira Natthu Khaira" from the HMV records. Though she debuted from Shrastha, a 1996 movie, she became popular after the release of song 'Ruki Ruki Si Zindagi' in Ram Gopal Verma directed Mast. Since then, she has not looked back. After Mast, she lent her voice in many hit films including Jang, Veergati, Dahek, Bade Dilwala, and Raja Ki Aayegi Barat. At the age of 19, she had recorded 350 songs.

"Singing just happened in my life,” she said, “It was my hobby and I always loved to hymn." A versatile singer, Sunidhi has sung rock, pop, classical and semi-classical songs.

She first visited Nepal five years ago. However, this time she has an opportunity to perform here and entertain her fans in a neighboring country. She is the cynosure of the free live concert to be held in Kathmandu under MTV Europe's campaign MTV Exit against human trafficking.

She will be accompanied by fellow Nepali singers Nimba Rumbha, Kranti Ale, Nalina Chitrakar and others.

She said it will be her first participation on the MTV Exit, though she has already performed at MTV’s other programmes .

When asked how she is feeling about the concert, she said, "I'm feeling great." She has lent her voice in recently released Bollywood movies including Love Ajkal, Dil Bole Haddipa and Kaminey.

The MTV live concert sponsored by the Kantipur Publications and USAID Nepal will try to raise awareness through music on youths about the human trafficking. "I exactly don't how human trafficking is curbed, but I feel really proud that I am one of the members of this awareness campaign," she said.

She is aware that many Nepali women are trafficked to Indian cities and are forced into sex trade in the brothels there. "I feel really sad about this," she said, adding, "I am also a woman and I feel that their ordeal should be ended ." According to her personal website, this good-looking singer believes that God is her guiding force and angel that protects her.

Her love life seems straight out of a movie script. At 18, she secretly married to choreographer Bobby Khan. As it was more of an infatuation and that her family too was against the marriage, she divorced the next year. "Both Bobby and me were looking for different things in life."

Nominated for as many as 12 times for India’s prestigious Film Fair Award, she succeeded bringing home the bacon three times. She has also bagged awards at Star Screen Award, IIFA Award and Zee Cinema Award.

When asked if she ever thought about any career other than singing, she said," I didn't, but I wanted to be a dancer." Recently demised pop icon Michael Jackson and Maria Carey are amongst her favorites. Going by her beauty, some believe that she can do well in Bollywood as well. But she said, "Right now I am concentrating on singing and I want to keep working hard on it."

This singing sensation thinks that her voice suits with all the actresses. She says, “I am what I am because of my fast numbers." Be ready for her fast numbers!

This profile appeared as a cover story of Hello Shukrabar, the weekend supplement I edit. Kantipur daily's Hello Shukrabar is one of the partners of MTV Exit Live in Nepal.

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