After Sufi music, Bollywood seems to occupy the next spot in Abida Parveen’s heart. Like any other fan, even the Pakistani singing legend blushed as she talked about her favourite actors from the Hindi film industry. "I like Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan," said Parveen, who visited the HT City office recently.
Not a regular at cinema halls, the singer enjoys watching Hindi films on television. So, which was the last film she saw? "Salman Khan ki Dabangg bahut zabardast film thi," said an excited Parveen, adding that she enjoys Indian TV soaps as much.
But the fun-filled environment turned emotional at the mention of late Indian ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh. "I was at the Delhi airport when I heard the news of his demise. Not just in India, people everywhere were deeply upset with this news. Humne ek bahut bada fankaar khoya hai jinki jagah koi nahi le sakta... unki ghazlon mein ek message hota tha jisne logon ke dilon ko chua," said the 57-year-old, who began training at the age of three.
Parveen also checks her fans’ feedback via YouTube and other social networking media. "Kabhi fans ki baatein padhkar hasi aati hai to kabi rona aa jata hai," she said. "A lady once told me that she was severely unwell, but listening to my cassette gave her the strength to come for my concert," added Parveen. "Aapki awaaz sunkar log ji uth the hain" is one of the best compliments she has ever received.
The singer was in Delhi for an event organised by Ekta Mission, a worldwide organisation working in social, educational, cultural and spiritual fields. "Abidaji always supports us," says Sanjay Malik of the organisation.