India’s first female Indian Idol, 22-year-old Sourabhee Debbarma, would sneak out of her home to sing because her parents were too strict. We spoke with Sourabhee hours after she defeated Kapil Thapa and Torsha Sarka, and she seemed too elated to speak. “It will take time for me to realise that I am already a winner,” she said.
“It’s a win-win situation; it seems that I captured two titles in one go,” said Sourabhee about being the first woman to win the title. Apart from the title she has also been awarded a Rs 1-crore music contract with Sony TV, and a Tata ‘Winger’ Car.
Sourabhee pursued her dreams of being a musician despite her parents’ disapproval. “When I was in my eleventh I joined a music band and though the band members really liked me they were afraid of my parents who never allowed me to go and practice or even hang out because they thought it would affect my studies.” Her parents would lock her in her room and ban her friends if they suspected there was a band performance coming up. “I used to feel horrible. My sister would come and open the door for me or sometimes I would jump down the window or scale down the wall to perform,” she added.
As for Indian Idol, she says, “My first thought was that even if I get beaten I still would have that satisfaction that my show went well.” But that’s all in the past now, she said: “Today I am very happy for myself and I have made my parents very proud.”
Sourabhee explains that she was so sure she wasn’t going to win that when her name was announced and her face was shown on the screen, she got confused.
While Idol fans have taken umbrage at Torsha’s reaction when she was announced the winner. “She was happy for me but could not show it because she was more upset for herself,” Sourabhee explains.
On her alleged relationship with fellow contestant Kapil, she said: “Yes we were projected as a couple, but ...we are really good friends. We will be together even after this.”
Where are they now?
— Damini Purkayastha
* Abhijeet Sawant, India's first Indian Idol: His second album Junoon failed to make waves, and he is currently considering a third album. His movie Lottery is slated to be out soon. "At the moment he is focusing on playback singing, but he is happy with whatever he has achieved,” says his manager.
* Aneek Dhar, winner of the SaReGaMaPa challenge 2007 with 3.65 crore votes is virtually off the map today. He released one album, Khwahishein, and is now doing playback singing for Bengali movies.
* Harshit Saxena, the runner up of Star Voice of India I: Now doing music compositions but has had no contracts or albums.
* Ravi, winner, Star Voice of India II 2008, says he was performing live this week. “I have anchoring offers with some channels and am also talking to some music directors.” When asked about the limited success of his predecessors, he says "We wouldn't even be talking about an Abhijeet Sawant if not for reality shows. But, in this industry, that is not enough. The rest is up to your talent, your attitude, your perseverance and PR skills.”