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Voices from the region

There seem to be an ever increasing swarm of youngsters from the city and Punjab, who are born with exceptional talents. This fact becomes more apparent when you tune in to the numerous talent hunt reality shows on TV.

chandigarh Updated: Jul 12, 2012 14:32 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times

There seem to be an ever increasing swarm of youngsters from the city and Punjab, who are born with exceptional talents. This fact becomes more apparent when you tune in to the numerous talent hunt reality shows on TV. However, having four out a total of 10 finalists in a singing show as credible and prestigious as the Indian Idol, is perhaps an unprecedented event.

While Poorvi Kautish is from city beautiful, Amit Kumar and Vipul Mehta belong to the holy city of Amritsar and Devendra Pal Singh is from Ludhiana. As they await the finale, and the country waits for the declaration of who they would idolise this year, HT City talks to the contestants about their aspirations and how they feel about their achieved feat.

Poorvi Kautish, 18, Chandigarh
A girl who gave her first performance at the age of three, it seems Poorvi had anticipated she would grace the famous platform some day. "Three-year-old Poorvi performed first at Terrace Garden at the flower festival," informs her proud mother, Veenu Kautish, a professional singer herself who was in the top 16 finalists of another reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, in 1998. Her daughter, Poorvi, is well trained in western as well as Indian classical music, and has been performing as a professional singer since she was 14. Chips in the mom, "Poorvi has been an income tax payee since she was in Class 9, since she's been earning pretty well by performing at army officers' cultural events, corporate house parties and at local clubs."

Poorvi's inspiration, reveals the young singer, is American Idol. "I have grown up watching American Idol, but the entire credit goes to my mother who has been my guru. She trained me at her music academy that was opened keeping in mind my inclination and dedication towards music," adds she.

"Help me win by voting for me on 52525. My code is POO," is Poorvi's final appeal.

Amit Kumar, 20, Amritsar
Amit is clearly revelling in all the adulation coming his way. As this young singer - one of the top 10 contestants of Indian Idol Season 6 - gears up for the oncoming challenge, his excitement overshadows any nervousness. Son of a barber, Amit's singing talent is god gifted. Before earning recognition on this platform, Amit learnt singing at some music academies in Amritsar. Talking to HT City over the phone from Mumbai, Amit says that perseverance helped him secure a spot in the top 10, "My family was always happy with my love for singing, but my father used to encourage me to keep working hard to hone my talent."

On his first stint at a reality show, he says the response is getting bigger. "Judges are appreciating my voice and showering wonderful comments, especially after I sang the song, Aiven Aiven, from the film, Band Baaja Baaraat. But for me, the biggest compliment came from Abhishek Bachchan, who said he would like me to do playback for him," Amit can be heard smiling as he recalls.

The singer, who views his stint on the show as a learning experience, wishes to make a career in music in the future. In fact, he points out, he would very much like to be a playback singer and then cut his own album. "I am sure that all my dreams will come true. Please vote for me, my code is AMT," he remembers to add.

Vipul Mehta, 22, Amritsar
Vipul Mehta isn't new to having been selected for a reality show, since he previously participated in Voice of India Season 2 in 2008. But that hasn't taken the joy and excitement of being a part of one out of Vipul, who has to his credit some stage shows and the title track of a TV serial.

This Amritsar boy comes from a business family and has graduated in journalism and mass communication from DAV College. The go-ahead in his family, he tells us, came from the 22-year-old's father, Mukesh Mehta, also a good singer who couldn't pursue his passion but encouraged his son nevertheless. Vipul has been learning classical music since he was all of eight, and idolises legendary singer Mohammad Rafi.

Ask him about his plans for the coming times, and pat comes the reply, "I want to lend my voice to actors such as Akshay Kumar and Abhishek Bachchan, and would also eventually want to compose and arrange music."

His favourite judge on the show is Salim, says Vipul, adding that he loves the music director's compositions and voice quality. "Do vote for me. VIP is my code," he signs off.

Devendra Pal Singh, 17, Ludhiana
He is seen as one of the most promising contenders on the latest season of the singing talent show. Devendra Pal Singh is a humble boy with simple ways who can sing Indian classical, Sufi, Bollywood and western compositions with the same ease. He has previously won the Voice of Bihar title, and idolises singer Sonu Nigam.

Born in Patna, Bihar, Devendra moved with his family to Ludhiana five years ago. He is a senior secondary student at Guru Nanak Public School, where he studies commerce and his father, Gurjeet Singh, is a businessman. His mother, Satnam Kaur, shares with pride that she always knew their son was gifted with a brilliant voice. The 17-year-old resident of Punjab Mata Nagar has been training at Jawaddi Taksal shrine under the guidance of his guru, Sukhwant Singh, ever since he moved to Ludhiana. His code is DEV, if you want to vote for him.

Text by Usmeet Kaur, Archna Matharu and Swati Goel Sharma

First Published: Jul 12, 2012 11:14 IST