The dhol, the lezhim, the gulaal has flooded the street as devotees of Lord Ganesha seek his blessings, but looks like blessed because his single Atharva is already winning hearts...
What does religion mean to you, in today’s day and age?
As a human being; I believe in all religions because I believe there is only one energy, we can call that energy as Allah, Bhagwan or Jesus. Being blessed as I am to be born and brought up in a secular country like India, where there are a number of festivals and culture too, I follow every religion. Now, as Ganesh Chaturthi is going on, I have come up with a Ganpati song called Atharva, which is for all the devotees of Lord Ganesha. For me, all religion is equality.
Are you ritualistic? What are some religious practises that you like and some that you don’t like?
Yes, I am a ritualistic person. Since childhood I have been taught by my parents to start my day by worshipping God. So, I pray twice a day; once in the morning as well as at night. At home also everyday one performs aartis and bhajans. I have been taught to thank God for every meal that I receive. I don’t think I dislike any ritual as such as I follow rituals a lot and I realise there is a greater meaning to them.
Aartis, praise and worship songs often have a very moving quality to them... What are your favourite songs?
There is this old song featuring Amitabh Bachchan sir and Rekha ma’am, called Maa Sherawali… I love that song very much and I still listen to that song. Initially Bollywood had a lot of praise and worship songs, in recent times I like the song which I made - Atharva as it’s a very energetic song. Actually, there are many songs that I love and like to hear again and again, but right now these are the only ones that are coming to mind.
What has been your most memorable religious moment?
My most recent and memorable moment happened when I was shooting for my latest song Atharva. I fainted on the set while shooting the song and I was not able to get up and complete the song. I don’t know from where I got the energy and power to get up. I guess it was a Bappa song so Bappa gave me so much of energy and told me to complete the song
Who do you fall back on in times of despair?
Most of the time I look up to Ganesha. Being a big Bappa devotee, I feel he is the one who gives me ways and solution to all my problems. So, whenever I feel like I’m confused and I want to talk to someone I go and talk to Bappa.
Music is most therapeutic; how do you use your music?
Yes, music is very therapeutic and it is the only source that makes me feel calm when I am stressed because nothing is better than music. Whenever I feel low, I listen to songs of Lata ji, Pancham Da (R D Burman) and sometimes I also listen to Bappa’s songs and they give me positive vibes.