Singer Shweta Pandit, whose hit single Hall re from Neal N Nikki topped music charts for months, is thrilled to have recorded a song with composer Ilayaraja after a gap of 15 years.
The first song of her career was also composed by Ilayaraja.
She has now teamed up with the music maestro for Ram Gopal Varma's Shiva, a stylised crime drama, which is a remake of his directorial debut of the same name.
"When I recorded a song for Anjali I was a kid. I was extremely excited when I got an opportunity to work with Ilayaraja sir as a professional after so many years," Shweta told IANS.
"I got a call from Ram Gopal Varma's office and they told me, 'we are recording for Ilayaraja in Krishna Studio in Mumbai'. They asked me to come over. I felt so wonderful and excited because I was going to meet Ilayaraja sir almost after 15 years.
"This time I was singing for the heroine. It was a touching moment for me. I was really looking forward to recording with him."
Shweta still remembers her first song Anjali.
"I was just four when I sang the Hindi version of the song. But even today if you wake me up at 4 a.m. and ask me to sing the song I will remember it.
"It shows how finely we rehearsed that song, that it is etched in my memory permanently. It was an amazing way to begin my career. I worked for one of the greatest musical geniuses, Ilayaraja sir."
Varma himself suggested that Shweta should sing Chor police for Shiva.
"Ramu sir thought I should sing the Hindi and Telugu versions of the song Chor police, which is different from the evergreen college campus song Jagda ja in the original with Nagarjuna and Amla.
"It is a fun song. Not really too much of singing but more expressions and interactions. It is a duet with actor-singer Ninaad Kamat, who was wonderful to work with. We were both nervous when we stepped into the studio but Ilayaraja sir made us feel very comfortable.
Remembering her first meeting with Varma, Shweta said: "I remember when I was recording the songs for Naach in 2004 with Amar Mohile, Ramu sir asked me which was the first song of my career and I had mentioned Anjali to him."
However, she says Shiva would always be special for her.
"Ilayaraja sir taught me so much. He even sang a few Carnatic classical raags that I have not heard earlier. It was special and I'm really looking forward to listening to the audio that has just been released."
"I'll be great if we record more songs after Shiva," said Shweta who crooned for Karan Johar's Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna.
Shiva is slated for a September release.