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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

“Compared to Deepali and me, Ankita is nothing!” - PUJA

“Compared to Deepali and me, Ankita is nothing!”
- Puja Chatterjee

Puja’s elimination came as a shock to everyone, including Puja and her parents who refused to believe the news. She was so shaken and hurt that we found the sweet and demure Puja transformed into a volcano of anger after the elimination. She spoke out against those who don’t value trained singers and, instead, choose to vote for the stage performers. Excerpts from the interview:

Did you expect the elimination?

No, not at all. I was shell-shocked. My last performance was outstanding. I am really confused about how the public is voting. I hope they are voting for singing and not just because someone shakes a leg. I am scared for my friends now—Emon and Amit are the only two singers left in the contest. Hope the public does justice with them.

Do you agree with Ankita’s statement that stage performance is as important as singing?

I want to talk straight now, I am not scared of anyone. I seriously wonder now, what is the value of the rigorous training I’ve undergone. The public is throwing out trained singers, who have knowledge of the grammar and punctuation of singing, and is retaining those who don't know the A, B, C of singing. It seems our hard work has no value.

I still think Ankita is wrong. Stage shows are important, but finally we have to do playback singing. We have to sing for albums. If your singing is not up to the mark no one will let you stay even for a minute. And for me performance is the expression of a song while singing. I have just one thing to say: if any music director calls her today, he will see if she can sing perfectly, not whether she can dance. And Anu Maliik himself said that if he had to choose someone for playback singing, he’ll choose either Deepali or me. And for stage shows it would be Ankita.

What is your opinion about public voting?

I totally lost faith in audience voting after Deepali was voted out. Ok, I don’t mind that I am out, but how can Deepali be voted out? She is a fantastic singer. Everybody called me Sunidhi Chauhan and Deepali Shreya Ghoshal. Compared to us Ankita is nothing. Honestly, Ankita is nothing as a singer. For singing even a single harkat she asks us if it is right. She doesn’t have a clue about singing.

Any message for the public?

I want to request them to vote sensibly. They should listen minutely before voting because someone’s career is at stake. I want to ask the audience if a person is not able to sing in sur after a week’s practice, how will they perform after two hours of practice in a studio? People should vote for those who are singing well… not those who can dance or is well dressed is good looking. These things shouldn’t matter. Nothing should matter other than singing.

Who has been your favourite judge and why?

My favourite judge is Anu Maliik. That is because he always supports trained singers like Deepali, Emon, Amit and me. He has also declared on camera that he will give Deepali and me a chance to sing in his next film. I am really grateful to him and look forward to working with him.

What are you future plans?

I plan to come back to Mumbai this month along with Deepali. We both will stay together and struggle to make it. We want to challenge everyone. We want to show them what we are capable of. Today, we have been eliminated, but tomorrow we will be back. If we have to knock on the door of every music director, we are ready to do it.

How did your parents react?

They still can’t believe that I have been eliminated. They just told me to always believe in myself. We have to lose some to gain some. If singers like Lataji and Kishoreda can struggle, why can’t we struggle? My parents are with me.

Among the remaining singers, who do you think are the strongest?

I think Emon and Amit are the only singers left now. The rest are just competing for the title. They’re bent on winning. They don’t sing from the heart. A true singer sings because he loves singing. You’ve to fall in love with a song to sing it from your heart.

Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?

I want to become the next Asha Bhosle. She is such a versatile singer, but does she dance on stage? Look at Lataji, does she dress up to sing on stage? No, they don’t. I want to follow their footsteps and sing like them.

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