Down Memory lane

Strangely this morning Kaveri asked me if i was really a pop star because one of her friends mums had mentioned it. I told her yes i was…many years ago before she was even born. She looked sceptical. I had to show her one of my videos on you tube to convince her. She looked at it and told me a bit apologetically that though she thought it it was nice  she likes Hannah Montana better!

And then I just watched rock on…the film starring Farhan Akhtar, Purab Kohli, Luke Kenny (oh i remember him very well from the Channel V days) and am spinning in a nostalgic tizzy. That was exactly my life a decade ago….it bought back so many memories of  glory days in the music world. My friends in the music business. Channel V and MTV roadshows, jamming with musicians, the frenzy of the crowds, the competiveness amongst the artists, the chaos the and sheer thrill of waiting backstage waiting for your name to be announced and the adrelanine rush as you walked on to stage flooded in light. And then the magic of losing yourself in your performance, the applause, the madness the euphoria… One was on the road constantly. Touring, performing , jamming, recording…singing singing singing. It was all such fun…except for that one time…

I remember  during my first  performance in Dubai, carried away by the applause that greeted the announcement of my name, I went and said something ridiculous that Dubai was wrongly perceived as a haven for gangsters (this was late 90’s -a decade ago-so i was not way off the mark-Dubai has turned into an international business hub just recently)  and that i was so happy to see the family audience that had showed up proving that impressions and rumours can be so misleading. You see I have had the ‘foot in the mouth’ ailment since i was a child :-))))

No sooner had I got off the stage that i started being followed by men in dark green suits telling me that NooraBhai wanted to meet me. I told them that i knew no Noora and to get lost -they stood outside my make up room and refused to let me leave till i personally went and met Noora and aplogized to him for using the gangster word publically. My organizers and company executives and the hotel staff and everybody vanished-because Noora happened to be the brother of Dawood Ibrahim as i later found out. Shaan who was also performing at that show was the only one who stayed back-stayed with me in my make up room even as the men in the green suits barricaded the door,knocking threateningly every few minutes. Shaan held my hand and told me that he would see to it that no harm came my way. Anu Mallik who was also at that show slurred ” Dont be scared. Hum sab hain na. You are shekhar Kapurs wife-nobody can touch you” The next minute he had dissapeared too-nobody wanted to take panga with Noora bhai.It was just me with shaan by my side, the goons banging on my door. Even the hotel staff had vamoosed.

I finally managed to make a collect call to Shekhar from the hotel phone. He was in Los Angeles then. He spoke to a cousin of his-a businessman in Dubai and explained the situation. A few minutes later the cousin pushed through the goons mouthing filmy dialogues  “She is my bhabhi. If you touch her you are in trouble…” There was shouting and threatening voices. The cousin whisked me off…i had to check out of the hotel where the organizers had put me up and move in with shekhar’s cousin. The cousins wife held me and fed me warm soup as i trembled and sputtered through the night. I cancelled all my other performances in Dubai on that tour out of sheer fright.

I read recently that Noora had died. So has  Shekhars cousin…So much time has passed

I miss those days on days like this when i watch a film like rock on and am reminded of everything that was. Its a pity that pop music does not exist in our country anymore. I wonder what has happened to my colleagues… there was some great talent back then …Shaan has ofcourse gone on to become one of India’s leading playback singers but the rest…?I wonder what Daler Mehdi is doing today… or Sagarika…every time i see Nicole from the pussycat dolls singing Jai Ho I think of Shweta Shetty… they look so alike…

Those were the days my friend
We thought they’s never end
We’d sing and dance for ever and a day
We’d life the life we choose
We’d fight and never loose
Those were the days oh yes those were the days

16 thoughts on “Down Memory lane”

  1. Humm…. can imagin all that goes through ur mind when i read wat u hv written …. Come wat may the show must go on ….. Cauveri will sure get to know u a lot better as she grows !! have a gr8 weeknd … by the way how do u spend time with cauveri ? do u read her stories tonite let us know more abt it through ur writings !!

  2. sjnce i do not know hunna montana i can’t make any comment.
    can u tell us more about hunna?

  3. I’ve seen Rock On recently and boy what a movie..from then on there’s not a day I’ve not carried my MP4 loaded with their music, Shankar Ehsaan and Loy did a gr8 job as usual and yes I wonder many times too what ever happened to all those pop artists, when I was young pop was the in-thing and there was no kid in school who did’nt know Alisha, Shaan&Sagarika, Sunita Rao, Shweta Shetty, and many others who were so popular back then, and ofcourse you too, you did make some really sweet pop songs. Kids these days do prefer the Hannah Montana kind but since I’m from the ol school I’ll prefer your kind of music any time. I still have a collection of all those ol tracks. And yes those were the days for music enthusiasts like me too, music now-a-days is more noisy than melodious.

  4. Vasishta

    Hannah Montana is a popular show on TV -where the teenage girl is a pop star. Kids of todays generation are crazy about her

    Suchitra -nice post. It took me down memory lane too. I remember all your songs and would love to hear you sing again

  5. Your experience with Noora Bhai sounds terrible.The nexus between Bollywood and show biz is well known and you are lucky you had Shekhar Kapur to rescue you from the goons. God knows what would have happened to any other girl in that situation

  6. At first I read only the first para of your message.
    It is shocking to know that you faced the goon threat
    in Dubai.Thank god that you survived.
    Your dole dole was the most popular tune that we could
    hear in buses or suburban trains.a few youngsters
    would gather together and sing the tune till they reached the
    destination,in the trains!
    Voice and talent stay long,
    You should revive pop music again!

  7. Suchitra

    We miss the glorious indi pop days too.

    Your experience with Noora sounds awful. Shaan sounds like a sweetie -as for Anu Malik he has always come across as a slime ball. Its no surpise he slipped away.

    I loved the pop sonds of the 90’s- dole dole, zindagi, bolo tara ra ra and Johny Joker. Baba Sehgals songs were good fun too, as were Alisha’s

  8. Suchitra

    your fans miss your sweet angelic voice. You should do somthing to restore indian pop music to its former glory

  9. Oh i loved dole dole! i was 10 yrs old then.. I still watch the pop videos by you and the others and LOVE THEM!

  10. Really where did all those pop stars go. We all bought their music and then would compile various songs on tapes and cds for our various parties. So many times we had mock ramp shows at home where we walked the ramp to their music. Each pop artist had a distinct voice and a distinct style. The videos were so nice. We’d all wait for them to come on tv so that we could pass comments. Watch them sing and even if we criticized at times, basically we appreciated. Our Indian pop stars had a unique charm because of their looks which are so different and even the singing and videos had a nice freshness to it. Ya Suchitra you made me also remember those times. Now you hardly see them any more. Ya artists have to always be careful. Once when Parveen Sultana was singing in the middle of her performance they announced that the Mayor wanted to give a speech. She’d to cut down her bandish. Soon thereafter the programme continued but of course she’d lost her mood, though she smiled inspite of her irritation and wound up before the time was up. What happened in Dubai ya very scary. Life can be like that sometimes. Gosh…..

  11. Hi Suchitra,

    You are right, those were the golden days when you, Shweta Shetty, Alisha, Baba, etc ruled and still rule in our hearts even today. The kids of this generation and also our parents still remember all your names and the good work you´ll have done and it´s a pity that pop is gone and I don´t see that era of Alisha/Shweta ever being created again…since they( new wannabes) are anyway clones of you guys. Hope to hear from you singers soon….WE MISS YOU`LL TERRIBLY!!!

  12. I have all my pop music CD’s.. Those surely were the days!
    In school we would exchange pop music CD’s as very few kids had all the cd’s. The rest of us had a few each and we would barter… you give me shaan and I give you Suchitra! It was the thrill of smuggling in stuff to school and exchanging discreetly without getting caught!

    Totally off the track here…But do kids still barter and exchange books, cd’s, pics etc in school nowdays?

    We have the culture of “Plenty” now. Every kid had has his gaming console with the complete set of game dvd’s. More books than he cares to read and possibly everything under the sun they want.

  13. why dont you post the song you recorded as an mp3 download? your fans would love to hear your voice after so many years

  14. suchitra am a fan of urs frm age 10 i used to study in 5th std at tat time ur song dole dole was launched n i used to sing only 2 words dole dole nw i understand the full mean of song

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