Posted: 13 March 2006 at 11:33am | IP Logged
She captivated everyone with her dark expressive eyes and stole the
hearts of millions with her mellifluous voice. She charmed
co-contestants with her cheerful amicable ways. Meet Monali Thakur ~
Indian Idol's loss. Excerpts from a rendezvous with the
'voice of tomorrow'
How important is 'dreaming' in one's life?
Yes, dreaming is very essential in life, without dreams life would have been hopeless.
On a philosophical note, life is not all about dreaming but an
imaginary shell bound by tough realities, and in the course of pursuing
that dream we miss out on a lot of things. What are you missing out now?
For my passion (music) I may miss college for sometime, otherwise it is
definitely the good old times in school, the fun, the mischief.
You gave up Physics to pursue a musical career, but there are people
who give up their passion for a secure career. What do you have to say
I have always listened to my heart and touch-wood, my parents have
always been very supportive. They have always let me take my own
decisions, even taking part in Indian Idol. Those who have to give up
their passions for parental pressure its unfortunate for them, but if
it is out of personal choice then it's personal priority, I can't say
anything about it.
From what age have you been taking classical training and from whom?
From the age of five. I took training from Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty and
later on from Pandit Jagdish Prasad, who prepared my voice for playback.
Is it true that you were spotted for 'Alokito Ek Indu' during a
function at St. Paul's Cathedral? Did they know you were Shakti
Shubhashishda, the ex-scriptwriter of 'Alokito Ek Indu' spotted me at a
function at St. Paul's Cathedral on Christmas eve. No, he didn't know
about my father, he came to know that later.
Did the character of Indu that you played give anything back to you in
return, in terms of opportunities, a certain way of thinking, fans, etc?
Yes, it definitely did. I became very popular with elderly viewers, and
yes, everyone appreciated my performance. It made me more sincere,
hardworking and also I got to know the industry. I would often
unconsciously imbibe acting skills from people I worked with.
Do you think the process of Indian Idol and such other reality shows
are right, because they have the risk of voting out a better contestant?
Well, it is an international format and before we join we are already
aware and prepared with its method. And obviously luck is also a very
If you are a given a chance to conceptualise a show named Indian Idol (it may or may not be a musical show) what would it be?
Let me think, that's a tough one. My show will have 'n' number of
episodes and 'n' number of rounds. In one round one will have to show
how much one can sing. In another round one will showcase his or her
dancing skills. In another one will have to do anchoring, again
different ways of asking for votes, makeover magic, publicise the
sponsors, so on and so forth.
Your father's contribution to your career and interests?
My father contributed mainly to my academics. He was a student of
chemistry. Now a certain reaction can be done in a number of ways and
if I didn't use his technique it would result into a 'kurukshetra'!
Career wise definitely it is both his and my mother's support that has
worked wonders. It is their dream for me that gives me the drive to
work hard. My father lives for me. I know how much he suffers if he
sees me hurt.
How did you console yourself when you came to know that you had been voted out of Indian Idol?
I started smiling after a while. I knew people had a lot of
expectations from me. Now I have to work more hard and I'll go to
Mumbai for my own struggle.
Do you think you are a versatile singer or is there a certain genre of songs that suits your voice?
Obviously I am versatile.
Five years hence: Monali as a singer, Monali as an actor, or Monali as a singer-actor?
Monali is a singer first and an actor later. Music is and always will be my first priority.
We have heard or rather we have seen that celebrity-hood goes directly to the head. What do you have to say to this?
Rubbish! Celebrity life to me is spending 16 hours in the recording
studio, doing some shows here and there, and the rest of the time with
family and friends. A person who is a top order celebrity and a very
busy artist has several appointments, a lot of work occupies their
time. Due to some reason if a certain appointment is delayed the entire
schedule gets delayed and that person can't give the time expected, but
one can't call it a tantrum.
How will you use your celebrity status?
I have a soft corner for old people and animals. I love when old people
hug me. I don't know about the future, but these are certain areas that
definitely concern me.
We have heard you were a tomboy in school, tell us about some of your heroic feats. What happened in class XI?
I used to go cycling everyday. I didn't like my cycle because it was a
'Ladybird'. I used to beg for gear cycles from my friends. I was good
at basketball and was a champion in badminton. In class XI my best
friend Ganges (Gangotri) was playing with a girl's key chain when the
girl became hysterical and pulled her hair. I got furious and pulled
her hair too and there was a huge fiasco.
Did you ever participate in any of the other reality shows like Fame Gurukul, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa?
I came first in the Kolkata audition of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa.
How was the experience of shooting your first video ever, the "Indian Idol" series 2 album?
It was a wonderful experience, we had loads of fun shooting it. I was there in a major part of the video.
Exams are round the corner. Your mantra?
After one paper simply forget about it. Sleep well, and yes study hard the day before the exam.
Your major projects ahead?
I have some shows in Kolkata, and some recording work ahead.
Now a quick session of rapid fire questions: Monali is?
A simple girl, with normal dreams, and a huge responsibility on her head.
First crush: (No answer)
Never leave home without?
Kajal and a smile
Monali Thakur - past, present and future?
Monali Thakur always the same
Your message to Voices?
Lovely questions! Voices of youngsters, fresh minds, fresh piece of work. All the very best!
AMRITA PANJA, ex-coordinator, M.P Birla School
DIPANKER DUTTA, Julien Day School
A few of her
Time of the day: Night.
Outfit: 'Kurta and jeans', or 'patiala kurta'.
Colour: White and red.
Food: Chicken and fruits.
Author: Paulo Coelho, Shakespeare, Austen, Browning.
Sports, player: Soccer. Sachin, Raul, Owen
Film: Titanic, My Best Friend's Wedding, America's Sweetheart
Singer: Lataji, Ashaji, Celine Dion, Pandit Jagdish Prasad, Sonu Nigam
One-liner: I love you
Closest to: Mom and Dad, both
Indian Idol 1 contestant: Rahul Vaidya
Indian Idol 2 contestant: Karunya
Indian Idol judge: All three