You must hear this girl sing. Her name is Himani Kapoor, a 17-year-old from Faridabad, Haryana. One of the finalists in Zee TV’s famous Sa re ga ma pa Challenge 2005. Many thought she’d be the one to win it, but she was ousted a couple of weeks ago in a controversial upset. Anyway, that’s beside the point – her mentor on the show, Aadesh Srivastava, gets her to sing in Kalpana Lajmi’s latest, Chingaari.
Srivastava, as those of you that follow the show will know, dotes on his disciple. Given Bollywood’s music climate, not to mention the fierce competition the show generated among the four gharanas, you’d think he’d have given Himani one of those racy numbers sure to climb the charts. Instead he showcases her voice lovingly in this thumri, Jab jab saiyyan.
It’s a surprisingly mellow song, slow, deliberate, old fashioned. No gimmickry, no ‘look-at-me-I’m-so-good’, just over six minutes of contained, soul-grasping song. Listening to it has me convinced this is one of those all-in-one-take deals, because Himani has only a sarangi and tabla accompanying her, and it’s a free flowing, fluidly-rendered piece. Almost like listening to someone do their morning riyaaz.
I’ve heard Himani sing before, so although she impresses, that’s no surprise. But I am rather struck with Srivastava’s maturity; with his choice of song for his ward’s debut and the way he composes it.
The link is here.