Today his concerts from India to America are all sold out, but there was a time when singer Kailash Kher was told that his voice wasn’t “good enough” for singing. Growing up in a small town, he had a tough time telling people he could make a career out of singing. So, what did he do? Ran away at the age of 13!
“I grew up admiring my father’s musical talent. But in a small town in North India, in a middle-class family, no one would take my passion for music seriously. All the guests, relatives, and neighbours, would ask all the kids, ‘kya banogey’,. And I’d tell them I wanted to make a career in music. They’d make fun of me. I would be terribly embarrassed about myself... unsure of myself. You know, in our society, especially in a small town, how an adolescent girl feels under those glares.. that’s how I felt. I ran from home at 13. SO, it was a very lonely journey from there till I got a break in Bollywood. This society is cruel and it crushes your spirit. People used me, abused me,humiliated me. At one point, someone even told me that I had no talent for singing, mai bhi kya karta. I started learning the tabla. Par dil toh gayki mei hi tha. All thhose days taught me a lot,” says the 42-year-old singer, who is revelling in the success of his latest album Ishq Anokha.
Things did change after his brush with fame, but his mother would still ask him the same questions. “Of course, everyone and everything changed after I became thoda famous. But my mother would ask me, till she died, ‘gana wana toh tu thik gaa leta hai, par naukri kab karenga’. And then she’d see me on TV and say, ‘aisa muh karke kyun bola, baal aise kyunkiye’. She loved me so much. I am happy that my parents saw my success before they passed away... it’s a relief,” says Kailash.