Some enterprising Nagpur neighbourhoods had introduced the concept of ‘musical feasts’ during Diwali, starting with ‘pahat wara’ (early morning sangeet maifil since pre dawn puja is an important part of Diwali prayers). Learnt yesterday that it was the ‘Ramdaspeth Nagarik Mandal’ that brought this concept to Nagpur in the first place but now the Music fest takes place on the Diwali eve to ensure a good audience and maximum enjoyment.
This year they had famous songstress of Vidarbha, the immensely talented Vaishali Madhe singing with local talents like Sagar Madhumatke and Niranjan Bobde. The show was orchestrated by famous tabla player Bhanudas Kulkarni and his troupe with Sandeep Baraskar.
They regaled the huge audience with ever green numbers like “Hothon me aisi bat mai chupake chali aayi” composed by S.D. Burman for Dev Anand movie ‘Jewel theif’ and “Ek chatur naar karke sringar” from Padosan. It was to the credit of the orchestra that a music-heavy number like ‘hotho me’ was executed to perfection by a just a handful musicians. The culmination of the program was with Veer Savarkar’s immortal, patriotic paean “Sagara pran talmal la sagara…”
Speaking exclusively with Nagpur Today Associate Editor later, Vaishali said that the theme of Diwali with music has caught on so much in Maharashtra that she has been out of Mumbai singing in various cities since November 1st and will return home only on November 15th. While she is still waiting for her big break in Bollywood this talented singer from a small village in Amraoti District, winner of multiple Zee Sa re ga ma awards, ekes her living from such stage shows and singing for the odd Marathi serial. She also runs her own music academy in Mumbai which has about 15 students.
“Watch out for an important announcement in two months. My big break through in Bollywood is coming” she shares excitedly.
Vaishali Mhade made it to the top 3 in Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009 and because of her huge fan following across India she won the Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009, along with a Rs 50-lakh music contract with Zee TV, and other lavish gifts like a Hyundai car and a plasma TV. Before that in 2008, she had won the Marathi version of Sa Re ga. Immediately after the national victory she had won another music contest held among many previous winners, thus completing a hat trick. So this Vidarbha girl from a very poor scheduled tribe background, who began her singing career singing bhajans with her father in the village temple, proved that when it came to singing competitions of any level, she was invincible.
How was the experience of participating in the very popular Zee prgram and how real are such reality shows? NT asked.
“ The competition is genuine and there is no hanky panky in choosing winners – but yes, the drama that happens during the many weeks of the competition is stage managed!” admitted Vaishali. Like she was asked to make a big deal of her poor background, her big struggle to come to Mumbai and her horrendous road accident where her husband was critically injured.
There was a big difference between the Marathi and the Hindi shows too, said Vaishali. While the Marathi show had a more rigid format ( and where Vaishali faced almost bitter casteist treatment from upper caste judges, though she does not admit it being magnanimous in her victory) the Hindi show was almost world-wide in its appeal and big learning experience. The contestants were not only from all over India but this show attracts amateur singers from across the globe from the Indian diaspora.
How has her experience been post Sa Re ga ma…does the Hindi music industry really give them the ‘breaks’ they promise during the show? We asked.
No, much of what happens is to create the drama, admits Vaishali, but yes, every big- name patron is helpful and encouraging during the show. “Afterwards, there isn’t much contact since all these people are very busy and hardly have any time” said Vaishali.
“But” she says with a touching confidence “a true Artist never sleeps hungry! If you are truly talented and dedicated nothing and no one can put you down. Even God is with you…” she says simply.
What helps more in success – talent or luck?
“Yes, people with less talent and more money do manage to ‘engineer more breaks’ for themselves. They can produce, finance and make videos/ films where they can act and sing and dance…” discloses Vaishali, but ultimately it is talent that endures.
Along with destiny and luck, your habits, your behaviour, your demeanour, your character….all these things matter a great deal too, says Vaishali.
“You not only have to be talented, you have to be a good and disciplined human being, otherwise the cut throat competition will do you in”,
Before coming to Nagpur Vaishali was in Pune singing with Suresh Wadkar – her guru. This evening she will be singing in Nasik. That is the hard life of an Artist. Even Diwali is spent in new places and strange hotels.
“But hopefully, my husband and my daughter will join me there” says Vaishali.
Here is wishing long, successful and happy innings for this singer, blessed with a divine voice.
Pics By – Kedar Mogarkar