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- Published 16.10.11
I’ve inherited my love for music from my mother who is a classical singer and my guru. My parents were very ambitious for me and decided to initiate me into singing as early as possible. So, I started singing when I was only four years old. And at six, I sang my first bhajan on Akashvani, All India Radio, Calcutta.
Born and raised in Calcutta, I did my schooling from Modern High School For Girls. During vacations we’d visit Mumbai where our family friends introduced me to composer duos Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. I was nine then. They loved my voice and became my mentors. A large part of my childhood and teens were spent being trained in music by my mother and learning the technicalities of playback singing from these composers.
However, the first turning point in my life came when I sang Mere angne mein in Laawaris (1981). I was a teenager then and the song got me instant recognition. After completing my graduation in Home Science from J.D. Birla College I gradually shifted base to Mumbai.
The second turning point came in 1988 when I sang in Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak and then Ek do teen in Tezaab won me my first Filmfare Award for best female playback singer.
Around the same time my daughter was born and the joy of motherhood became the most significant turning point on the personal front. Right now I’m busy performing at concerts and judging reality shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’ Champs. My very first Rabindrasangeet album, Mone Robe, that released in August, has been well received. I intend to join an academy to groom young talent in playback singing.