Posted: 29 June 2005 at 6:48am | IP Logged
Idol In The Family
KIRAN UCHIL | Monday, March 14, 2005 13:52:26 IST
Abhijeet Sawant has not returned home after he was declared
winner in the Indian Idol contest. Though his family members,
friends and fans are eager to meet him, it will take some time
when the star singer will be free of his immediate commitments.
"Yes. This is the residence of Abhijeet Sawant," says a gentle
voice over the phone. "Abhijeet has not come home yet," adds
Manisha Sawant, mother of Abhijeet Sawant, winner of the
Indian Idol contest. The phones have not stopped ringing at the
Mahim residence of the newest singing sensation. "We get
calls from as far as Dhule in Maharashtra to Belgaum in
Karnataka," says his mother, unable to conceal her excitement.
Her voice is filled with emotions when she says, "It is the fans
and well-wishers who have made Abhijeet the winner."
What irks Sawant's family members is that people are not ready
to believe that Abhijeet has still not returned home since the
time he was announced the winner. "There are fans who go
into all the rooms to inspect whether Abhijeet has come back or
not. Others keep on enquiring endlessly about Abhijeet's
whereabouts," says the Sawant home-maker. Just then a group
of school-going children visit Abhijeet's home. The students of
Lion's Pioneer High School have come all the way from Antop
Prayanand Watere (14), a student, says he had visited
Sawant's home four days ago. But Abhijeet wasn't there. "I want
to become a singer some day like him," says the boy who has
come to catch a glimpse of his 'idol'. Disappoint-ment was
clearly writ on his face, but he will not give in. Watere says, "I
will come again another day."
Endless number of visitors have come to Abhijeet's house to
extend their warm wishes and give congratulatory messages
since the time he was announced the winner. When Abhijeet
was in the final three contestants, he had come home for a brief
period of only three days. "The crowd went berserk. The Shahu
Nagar playground was filled to its capacity," says his mother.
"The number of girls swooning and screaming for Abhijeet was
a sight to see," gushes Sonali Sawant (16), Abhijeet's kid sister.
An indication of the new found fame and adulation is evident in
her college itself. A Class XI student of Patkar College, Sonali
says, "Students who never spoke to me earlier, want to make
friends with me after they came to know that I was Abhijeet's
sister," she says excitedly. Abhijeet who is elder by eight years
shares a special bond with his sister. "He is more of a friend
and a guide to me," says Sonali. Abhijeet was a good singer
always and used to participate in local programmes and
orchestras but it was his paternal uncle, Sanjay Sawant who
identified Abhijeet's potential and suggested that he should
take up playback singing. Abhijeet therefore took training in
Hindustani classical music under Bhaudeep Jaipurwale for
"We always knew that Abhijeet was a good singer but never
expected he would win," echo the family members. "The
competition was nail-biting," says his father Shridhar Sawant.
His sister confesses that she did find Rahul Saxena a tough
contender for the contest. "When he was voted out, both I and
my mother cried," says a cherubic Sonali adding, "As it was
destined to be, Abhijeet won and we were very happy for him."
Not many people know that Abhijeet is a good mimic. "He
mimics his friends jocularly when he is with his group of close
buddies," says Mahendra Pai, friend of Abhijeet Sawant since
the past ten years. "Abhijeet is even good at cricket and we call
him 'toofan' for his fast bowling."
The family is longing to see Abhijeet now. Sonali says, "I miss
'dada' (brother) a lot and want him to return home at the
earliest." His mother adds, "We are aware of his strenuous work
but it would be nice if he came home soon." Ask them about the
trip to Switzerland, they say in unison, "It will be dream come
true." But for now, everyone is eagerly awaiting Sawant's solo
album which will be released by Sony Music .