The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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On the road to fame

The city auditions for the next big reality show on television had seen an angry mob damage property, police lathicharge and more mayhem at the Science City venue. But that did not stop Sony Entertainment Television from choosing two winners for Fame Gurukul from Calcutta.

Ruprekha Bannerjee and Arijit Singh are two of the 14 proud disciples of the academy and would be under the tutelage of Ila Arun, Padma Wadekar, Prashanth Samadhar and Bosco Caesar.

Ruprekha is a 21-year-old from the city, who has always thought of making playback singing her career. 'I've done playback for a Bengali film called Shudhu Bhalobasha,' says the B.Sc student of Vidyasagar College. 'But it wasn't something big' just something in the background,' she admits. Arijit is from Murshidabad and is a BA second-year student. 'I've been training for the past 13 years,' says the 18-year-old.

Selection was a dream come true, but the path to success was a long one. Both did not get a chance to display their talents on the first day of the auditions, which was cancelled after a few hours. Arijit then travelled to Delhi to try his luck there. He chose a classical song but it didn't click with the judges. He changed strategy when the auditions were held again in Calcutta and beat the competition with his rendition of Chhaiya chhaiya.

Ruprekha, who couldn't attend Indian Idol auditions because of illness, reached the venue late on the first day of the Fame Gurukul auditions. When the selection was held later, she sang Jadoo hai nasha hai. 'The response to the song was very encouraging then itself,' recalls Ruprekha.

The duo has already made friends with the rest of the Gurukul gang and is still a little starry eyed at being coached by musicians they'd 'never dreamed of meeting'. But that's not forgetting those who have helped them get here. Both request if the names of their gurujis ' Rajendra Prasad Hazari for Arijit and Anju Chakraborty for Ruprekha ' can be mentioned.

Next up: training at the Fame Gurukul sets in Mumbai and, of course, lots of spotlight.

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