Posted: 02 April 2006 at 8:32pm | IP Logged
Some are not meant to be superstars, but are benchmarks of their
generation because of their talent. Suresh Wadkar is one of them. One
of the few singers whose vocals respect its genes, one can identify his
songs without any confusion.
Suresh Wadkar hails from a humble family from Kolhapur in Maharashtra.
His father named him 'Sur – esh' (God of Sur) because he wanted him to
become a singer. At the age of ten, the boy went to the gurukul of
Pandit Jialal Vasant to take formal training in music, from where comes
his grounding in classical music, a must for any singer.
Thoroughly groomed in Indian Classical music, Suresh entered the Sur –
Shringar Samsad at the behest of his guru. This proved to be his
entrance ticket films. The young Wadkar,who had stunned his guru within
a year of joining him, won the competition, which was judged by
illustrious composers from Hindi cinema including Jaidev and Jaidev. In
1974, Jaidev gave him a break with 'Seene Mein Jalan' in Gaman.
But though connoisseurs admire the song to this day, the art film
failed to give him general exposure. This explains the erroneous
assumption that Wadkar's first film was Rajshri's Paheli in which Ravindra Jain composed the hit Wadkar – Hemlata duet 'Bishti Kare Tipur Tipar'.
Suresh Wadkar also went to Lata Mangeshkar's house and requested her to
hear him. So impressed was she that she immediately rang up composers
like Laxmikant, Kalyanji and Khayyam in his presence and strongly
recommended the young boy's voice. Laxmikant – Pyarelal too were
impressed and soon recorded a duet with Lata 'Chal Chameli Bagh Mein'
for Krodhi (1981), and soon after gave him hit songs in Hum Paanch, Pyasa Sawan ('Megha re Megha Re') and above all, his turning point in films, Raj Kapoor's Prem Rog, in which he sang all the four songs for hero Rishi Kapoor.
Among Kalyanji – Kalyanji's songs, the Vidhaata
number 'Hathon Ki Chand Lakeeron Ka' proved a big hit. Suresh Wadkar
has always had Hindi films as just one outlet for his creative energy.
He sings non – filmi albums in Hindi and Marathi and sings in Marathi
Suresh Wadkar prides himself on being an original, as his guru too
advised not to be a clone of the leading singers. A 'taiyyyar
(thoroughly trained) voice, he was unluckily branded as a semi –
classical singer despite singing so many light songs in Hindi. "but
that was in Hindi films. I was never branded outside this ambit", says
In Hindi films these include Laxmikant – Pyarelal's Krodhi, Hum Paanch (title song), Pyasa Sawan, Prem Rog, Coolie ( 'Hum Ko Ishq Hai Logon' ), Hero ('Mohabbat Yeh Mohabbat'), Utsav, Sindoor, Eeshwar, Saudagar and Prem Granth, Kalyanji – Anandji's 'Aur Is Dil Mein' from Imaandaar, Rajesh Roshan's 'Kaale Kaale Badal' (Anjaane), Anand Milind's Dil, Vansh and Bol Radha Bol, Hridaynath Mangeshkar's Dhanwaan and Lekin, Ravindra Jain's Paheli, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and Henna, Shiv – Hari's
Chaandni, Usha Khanna's Saajan Bina Suhagan, R. D. Burman's Parinda, A. R. Rahman's Rangeela, Vishal's Maachis, Dilip Sen – Sameer Sen's Aaina and others.
He also sang for veterans Shankar, Ravi, Naushad (in a television
series), Khaiyyam, Chitragupt and others. In Hindi films, he has sung a
lot of songs for Anil Kapoor and Jeetendra and his list spans from
Shammi Kapoor in Vidhaata to Shah Rukh Khan in Dil Aashna Hai.
Though no longer one of the top names in Hindi
playback, Wadkar is immensely respected by colleagues and peers. Kumar
Sanu refused to dub songs sung Wadkar in Ghatak
as he felt that Wadkar was the ultimate singer of his generation.
Suresh Wadkar has now turned composer with two Marathi films and the
Hindi film Dil Churaya Aapne. But singing
continues to be his first love and he feels that he has miles to go
before he can reach anywhere near the great singers.