Indian Idol Prashant Tamang was back where he belongs. HT City caught up with the singer on his first visit to Kolkata, his workplace and almost hometown, after the win.
You are a star now. Has life changed?
It has changed in the last four months and I realise it more now that I am in Kolkata. I can’t imagine the special treatment I am getting from everyone.
Have you met your friends and colleagues from Kolkata Police?
I wish I could but it’s almost impossible. People are surrounding me every time I try and step out of my hotel room. I have so many friends here but I could only manage to speak to them over phone.<b1>
They might feel that you are acting pricey…
The only relief is that they don’t feel that. Even I can’t believe that I have walked these streets so many times with my friends, either while going for a movie or even on duty and nobody even looked at me. Now, I have security. The good thing is that my friends are still with me and they are proud of me.
What about your family?
My sister and mother are in Kolkata. My mother certainly is happy for me. A few days ago my sister had to be admitted to hospital for delivery. Once the doctor came to know that she was my sister, he refused to charge his fees. Instead, he wanted to meet me (laughs).
You must have had a similar reception in Darjeeling?
I am yet to go to Darjeeling after my win. I got a couple of chances but I want to be there and stay for some time, about
Do you plan to settle in Mumbai now?
I plan to but I am still an employee of Kolkata Police and don’t intend to leave the job. I am thankful to my seniors and colleagues who campaigned for me, voted for me and made me what I am today.
So, you are on leave…
At least for a year and I have got permission. I came to Kolkata for a day to meet the then Police Commissioner Prasun Mukherjee who granted my leave. They said that if I plan to stay longer they will extend my leave. I can’t deny their contribution in my life. My album, Dhanyavad (Sony BMG), is a tribute to friends and colleagues.
The song Zindagi pehle kabhi is being played on all channels…
It is like my own story told through a song. I have heard that people in Darjeeling have liked it a lot.
Are you in touch with Indian Idol runner-up Amit Paul?
Indian Idol gave us a number of friends. All four Kolkata contestants, Amit, Chang, Emon and I stay together in a flat in Mumbai. It’s like a family.
What about you playbacking?
Certainly I will. For the next year I have a contract with the channel (Sony) and I will be busy doing live shows, but playbacking is certainly important to me.