Saturday night will remain extra special for Anamika Choudhary for a long time to come, as the 13-year-old Bengali girl from Assam emerged winner of Zee TV’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L’il Champs 2008.
The young singer, a student of Class VII at Edith Douglas School, Mariani, in Assam, has been staying in Mumbai for the past six months. She was on top of the world when we spoke to her after her triumph. “I was at a loss for words as Zee declared its winner during the grand finale. <b1>
"Since Sunday morning I have been giving interviews. I am enjoying every moment of this,” she gushes. The mega final was held at Mumbai’s Andheri Sports Complex where the three finalists, Choudhary, Tanmay Chaturdevi and Rohanpreet Singh performed live in front of judges, Sonu Nigaam and Suresh Wadkar. Finally, celebrity couple Kajol and Ajay Devgan gave away the trophy to Choudhary.
The prize comprises Rs 20 lakh from Kidzee, an i10 Hyundai car and a laptop. As her father Dilip Choudhary, who works in a tea garden in Assam, describes, “Anamika used to flawlessly mimic Asha Bhosle’s popular songs like Piya tu when she was just two and a half years old. We then decided to groom her as a singer.”
Trained under her mother Subrataa, a classical singer, Anamika had always showed keen interest in singing. “I would like to complete my studies now. However, my aim is to be a professional playback singer,” adds the girl.
Her favourite female singers are Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghoshal (who was also a talent hunt winner). “I wish I can sing as perfectly as they do,” she says.
Among the songs that she crooned during the finale includes Race sanson ki from the forthcoming film Race. Choudhary succeeds another Bengali singer Sanchita Bhattacharya from Howrah who won the title last year.
Ask Choudhary where she sees herself a few years down the line given that Sanchita is no more in news nowadays, and she replies, “I have heard that Sanchita is travelling abroad to perform in live shows.”
Choudhary says that she is lucky to have got this platform provided by Zee. The winner already has her dreams set. “In the coming days I plan to start a music academy in my hometown,” she signs off.