Saturday midnight resembled Diwali at Shibpur Bazaar with fireworks going off all around. The residents of the area were celebrating local girl Sanchita Bhattacharya's name being announced as the winner of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li'L Champs in Mumbai by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan at the Andheri Sports Complex in Mumbai.
"I thought I was the first runner-up and started crying when Alkaji and Shah Rukh Khan made me realise that I had actually won," chirped the 14-year-old from Mumbai.
Sanchita had impressed singer Alka Yagnik, who, along with singer Abhijeet and music director Bappi Lahiri, judged the contest that had begun in June. A class IX student of Howrah Chatterjee Haat Girls High School, Sanchita, the daughter of singers Dhruba and Rupa Bhattacharya, wanted to step into her parents' shoes.
"My parents are professional musicians. That definitely contributed to what I achieved," she said. Sanchita has received training from her mother since childhood. "I had often asked her to pursue the profession under the guidance of professionals but she refused. I have no words to describe how happy I am for her achievement today," said Rupa.
Sa Re Ga Ma Pa… has singed a three-year contract with the finalists and offered them a chance to cut an album. "I have received calls from Bengali producers since last night and Bappida has also promised to give me a break in his forthcoming musical project," said Sanchita, who received a cheque of Rs 15 lakh, which she will get when she turns 18. "In the days to come, I want to sing like Alka Yagnik and Sunidhi Chauhan," she said.