Bollywood singer Neha Bhasin on how she reconnected with books again

Bollywood singer Neha Bhasin tells Manasi Y Mastakar how she reconnected with books again

Starting early

I was always a very easy reader, I used to prefer reading stuff which was easy on the mind, I started reading maybe when I was a teenager.

Seeking help from books

Actually I don’t have a favourite book, there are books that had an impact on me, so I started reading self-help books. My dad used to read them to me and give me quotations from those books, so a few of the books had an impact on me. Some of them I purchased again recently, but haven’t started reading. I also loved this book called Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse.

Authors I like

I don’t have a favourite author, to be honest, but I love books by Sidney Sheldon and Sophie Schiller. I also like a book on nutrition by Rujuta Diwekar. Every time I have read her books, I feel like I have lost a few kgs; she makes so much sense in her book! I also used to love and enjoy reading Deepak Chopra’s 7 Spiritual Laws of Success. Ayn Rand’s Fountainhead is also one of my favourite books, and took me almost six months to complete, but again had quite an impact on me.

Favourite genres

My favourite genres are fiction and biographies. I really enjoyed reading Pandit Shivkumar Sharma’s biography.

An hour a day

For the past few years, I haven’t been reading a lot, but then when I went to Greece recently, my husband and I decided to indulge in some digital detox and carried three books with us, out of which two books I have completed reading. I have just bought a new Sidney Sheldon book, The Silent Widow. After coming back from the vacation, I started this regimen: I set aside an hour before going to bed at night and, rather than being on the phone like I used to earlier, I read.

Returning to reading

There was a time when I used to read a lot, and now I am trying to induce the habit again. If I read something heavy then I’ll just keep leaving it midway, which I don’t want to do. So right now, I am just reading some light stuff like suspense and thrillers.

E-book or physical book?

Physical book, any day. I have a Kindle which my husband and I share, but I don’t enjoy it. I definitely prefer reading books which will give me the feel and smell of the paper.

Bookish memories

Papa used to read, and I remember one of the quotes that he read out to me; I even have a tattoo of that (which reads ‘I Believe’) on my hand. Then there’s a copy of Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, which was given to me by my dad and has little notes in it. My mum used to read Mills and Boon; dad was the more serious reader.

Busy year ahead

There are many films that I have already sung for and I will be singing for. But currently there is this new song ‘Main Jaandiyaan’, which a single that’s come out with Meet brothers featuring Sanaya Irani and Arjit Taneja. We are also doing an unplugged version of the same song, which will be released in a week or two. So, there is loads happening, not just film front, but non-film as well. I feel like India is progressing and there are people who are doing great work so I feel like a good come back and a sense of unity between the industry and the artistes you know, which I am very excited about. I have also collaborated with Badshah for ‘The Lockdown’ for Zee5. Then there are two songs with Harrdy Sandhu and one of which was ‘Akhiyaan’ that released just a few days back. I will also be judging a new show, so yes September is a good month.

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