Kavita Krishnamurthy with veteran playback singer Manna Dey, during a concert in Dubai
Kavita Krishnamurthy with veteran playback singer Manna Dey, during a concert in Dubai

“At 22, I was touring the world with Manna Dey,” says singer Kavita Krishnamurthy

The singer talks about touring the world with some of the greatest Indian musicians, meeting her husband in her 40s and her simple life in Mumbai with her aunt and dog
Hindustan Times | By Karishma Kuenzang
PUBLISHED ON DEC 13, 2020 07:43 AM IST

Where were you career-wise?

Life had taken a good direction and, at 22, I was performing with Hemant Kumar and Manna Dey across the world, doing jingles in 14 languages, doing Gujarati songs and even bhajans.

Kavita with playback singer Kishore Kumar, at Mehboob Studios for recording the Karma LP
Kavita with playback singer Kishore Kumar, at Mehboob Studios for recording the Karma LP

And the money situation...?

I was making a lot of money. I had a home of my own, where my aunt, a Bengali, raised me as my parents were in Switzerland.

Kavita recording a jingle at a studio
Kavita recording a jingle at a studio

Any romance in the air...?

None at all. My family, my aunt and dog were my world. I was a confirmed bachelorette till I met my husband (L Subramaniam) in my mid-40s!

Kavita with her dog, Bingo, at home in Mumbai
Kavita with her dog, Bingo, at home in Mumbai

Was your family supportive?

Always. Even from a distance. My sister would accompany me to concerts. My two brothers in Switzerland and the one in Calcutta also came for the ones they could. The only huge setback was that I had lost my father at 21.

On a tour in the US with Manna Dey and Mac Mohan (beside him)
On a tour in the US with Manna Dey and Mac Mohan (beside him)

Tell us about your sense of fashion...

None. I’d wear Bengali cotton saris or salwar-kameez. Only when I was abroad, would I wear jeans and shirts. I was a no make-up person. And it helped as I was never expected to dress up so much even when I was a celebrity!

Attending the platinum disc event of the film Pyar Jhukta Nahin, with Lata Mangeshkar
Attending the platinum disc event of the film Pyar Jhukta Nahin, with Lata Mangeshkar

What did you do for fitness?

I was working like a donkey and would go from one studio to another. There were just walks whenever I had time.

Then and now : Kavita at 22 (inset), and now at 67 (above)
Then and now : Kavita at 22 (inset), and now at 67 (above)

And the biggest life lesson you learnt?

If I can remain honest and surrender myself to God, he takes care of everything.

If you could rewind and change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I could have probably learnt how to read and write Western music. My husband does a lot of orchestral work and I remember I had to sing in 2011 with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra and I had to memorise every part as I could not read.

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From HT Brunch, December 13, 2020

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