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Verve People
July 07, 2016

Power Moment: Monali Thakur

Text by Simone Louis. Photograph by Prateek Patel

For crooning her way to a National Film Award

She may regret losing Deewani Mastani to our other Power List singer, Shreya Ghoshal, but Kolkata-born Monali Thakur has had her fair share of success, from Sawaar Loon (Lootera) to Zara Zara Touch Me (Race) and the now-National-Award-winning Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha). From having placed ninth on Indian Idol 2 to being a judge on Bengali Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs, she is part of the small percentage of reality show success stories.

Head start: “I have been in the Bollywood music industry for the last eight years, but I have been singing since I was very young. My first single was recorded when I was six years old.”

Early musical influences: “My mother, father, sister and my guruji, the late Pandit Jagdish Prasad.”

Making noise: “When I heard about the award, I was in an aircraft and we had just landed in Mumbai. I just screamed with joy and made sure everyone in the plane knew that I had won a National Award!”

Obstacle course: “I used to be meticulous about the kind of performance that I gave and, due to that, I would get very nervous, which led to stage fear. I had to work towards overcoming apprehension; towards putting my soul and life experiences into the songs, and making them my own. This I learnt with age and I’m still learning.”

Contentment quotient: “I love people who are enthusiastic about the small things in life. Another thing which brings me great joy is completing a project — the feeling of knowing that you have given your 120 per cent to it.”

Power is…. “Self-control.”

What we don’t know: “Dance is a big passion in my life, on par with singing. People would be surprised to know that I’m a health fanatic too.”

Mood-enhancing tune:Happy by Pharrell Williams.”

Quotable quote: “‘When you pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too,’ said Denzel Washington in The Equalizer.”

Read about our next power woman, Shreya Ghoshal.

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