She’s been travelling across the country for recordings and live gigs. Right now, she’s at her swish home on the top floor of a skyscraper. And no... it’s been a wild goose chase to get her in the right mood at the right time.
I’ve heard you are turning into a music teacher.
What! Who told you that? I’m trained in music. I’ve learnt everything by listening to Lataji and Ashaji right from the time I was knee high. Obviously then, I can’t be imparting music education to anyone.
Tell me about your latest projects.
There are more than ten projects that I’m singing for.. including Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Shootout At Lokhandwala and Aap Ka Suroor.
Could you tell me a little more about the Delhiwala boy?
(Laughs loudly) Hello, I just told you there’s no man in my life right now. I’d been to Delhi for a recording. Frankly, one really gets bored reading sugary things written about oneself. Sometimes, crappy tittle-tattle can become a good source of jokes in the family.
How does your family react to the gossip about you in the media?
They’ve become used to it. They give it a deaf ear. They know the truth. Whether it is the so called link-ups with Sonu Nigam and Annu Mallik or my making frequent visits to Delhi because I’ve a business man in my life, my family knows the truth.
Thought of marrying again?
Not me! But certainly, like any girl’s parents, my parents have thought of getting me married. In fact they’ve been trying their best to convince me. I want to give it three years at least.
Is your ex-husband Bobby Khan trying to come back in your life?
Listen, my marriage is over... now legally as well. There’s no way that he can come back in my life. He can be happy in his own world and I’m happy in mine. I can only wish him good luck.
What do you look for in a relationship now?
Those days are gone for me when I could sit and dream about a Prince Charming. I’ve gone through a terrible period. If a good relationship comes my way and if I like it, I’ll accept it. I was strong enough to not let my broken relationship affect my work. I never sulked at work or sat teary eyed.
I believe you were offered Eklavya.
No yaar. Some other film makers did approach me for films which I politely turned down.
Your closest competitors today.
I don’t think there’s competition for me. There are some fantastic voices in the industry today. I’m proud to say that I’m the most versatile singer today.
Whom would you attribute your success to?
To my parents and Sonu Nigam. My parents have gone that extra mile to help me reach this far. My father was doing theatre in Delhi and was quite well off. He left his thriving career there and came to Mumbai with me. He took me to composers to get me work. I just had to go with him, sing and shut up. He maaroed more chakkars of composers’ studios than I did. Sonuji acted like a catalyst to my career. He introduced me to Sandeep Chowta for Mast. He’d always tell me about my plus points. I had the talent but he helped me groom it.
You were planning a private album.
It’s on. The songs will be in Hindi with English words as well. I’m making a comeback on the private album scene after six years.
You’re known to be punctual and hate composers who’re late.. some even say you have a bad temper.
Who told you that? I think I’m the only singer who doesn’t have a temper. The only time I got angry was at a music studio when I was made to wait for three hours without being informed about the delay in the recording.
Has the film industry’s attitude changed towards you?
Yes, it has. My success has made them behave really well with me. No one even thinks of rubbing me the wrong way now. Chadte suraj ko sab salaam karte hain. Today, I’m popular.. tomorrow I may not be. I’m prepared for that phase..when they will just look at me and move away. Believe me, its important to be prepared.
Have you ever come across singers bitching about you?
Several times. Initially, it would hurt me a little because they were colleagues who would do it. Now, I give it a deaf ear. I know that inevitable. It's the price of popularity.