When Sourabhee Debbarma saw her picture on the gigantic screen that was to declare the results of
Season 4, she wasn’t sure whether the photo was of the winner or of the eliminated contestant.
“I was so confused,” the 22-year-old winner of Indian Idol said. “I looked at my parents, but they were as blank as I was. Even they thought I had been eliminated.”
The confusion soon turned to joy as the Agartala resident was declared the first woman winner of the show, pipping Dehradun’s Kapil Thapa. Sourabhee confessed that she wasn’t expecting it. “I had told Kapil that I’d be really happy if he wins… because I was sure I wouldn’t,” she laughed. “I’m still surprised I won... it’s usually the guys who win.”
Sourabhee made “many sacrifices” to change the male-biased voting. The toughest part was convincing her parents to let her pursue singing with her cultural group, Chong Preng.
She recalled: “My parents would lock me in a room when I’d ask them for permission to perform. My sister would open the door secretly and I’d jump over the walls of our house to sing with my group. It was such fun!”
Sourabhee’s passion eventually won over her parents and her father Sunil registered her for Indian Idol. Soon, she became the darling of the North-East. “I used to think people in Agartala wouldn’t have time for the show,” she giggled. “But I heard that yesterday that they celebrated like India had won a cricket match!”
She feels a sense of responsibility towards the region and plans to “do as much as possible” for her culture.
Sourabhee, who was linked to Thapa, plans to “still be together” with him. She admitted it would be difficult because Thapa, who is in the army, will join his unit soon.
“We’ll go with the flow... but if we get shows together, why not?” she said.