From a phone-booth employee, earning a measly Rs 600 a month in Lucknow to a potential playback singer, Poonam Yadav has seen it all in the last two years. In between, also a controversy that she’d aborted composer Ismail Darbar’s illegitimate child.
A TV magazine last year carried an interview with the SaReGaMaPa Challenge 2007 contestant’s mother, who was threatening to sue Darbar for ruining her daughter’s life. She had reportedly said that she was waiting for the doctor’s report to file a case against the composer, who was also her daughter’s guru on the show.
However, the singer, who now returns to TV with Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Mega Challenge, retorts, “I was never pregnant.” She explains “After two journalists from leading publications wrote the story, I came to Mumbai to clarify the issue with Darbarji’s wife. She treats me well and even called a press conference for the same. But no one clarified it then. The truth had no buyers.”
According to Yadav, she had been hospitalised after consuming an overdose of sleeping pills. “Rumour about my pregnancy surfaced soon after I was discharged. But I wasn’t hospitalised for abortion. God forbid but if it ever happens that if I conceive while in a relationship, I wouldn’t abort it even if it meant paying a heavy price for it. Badnaami ka dar nahin hai mujhe,” Yadav states.
So did her relationship with her ‘guru’ change after the incident? She maintains that her ‘guruji’ and she are still in touch: “As a teacher, he has always been there to support me. The rumour was in such bad taste that I couldn’t have blamed him for disowning me after that. Thankfully, we are still working together and I respect him a great deal.”
Yadav also says that none of the promises made to help her during Sa Re Ga Ma Pa in 2007, came through. “The channel (Zee TV), Lalooji (Laloo Prasad Yadav, the railway minister then) and several other guests said flattering things to me and I had my hopes pinned high. Some promises were fulfilled, the rest were forgotten with time.” She admits that Laloo Prasad Yadav did helped her get a job with the railways. “But it’s not a permanent placement. After six months, I’ll have to look for something else.”