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Himesh's voice "has divinity"
Syed Firdaus Ashraf | May 23, 2006 19:37 IST
Himesh Reshammiya. Either you love him or hate him. Switch on your TV set and he is staring at you. Change the channel and there he is again. Many of those who hate him can't stand his beard and that cap, which is a permanent fixture on his head. Why does he need to wear a cap all the time? Ask Prashant Chadha, video director.
Chadha, Himesh's childhood friend, is the man responsible for giving him this look. he says it happened accidentally, on July 26, 2005, when rains brought Mumbai to a halt. Caught in the downpour were Prashant and Himesh in the latter's flat in Versova. "We had nothing to do but sit quietly, as everything had come to a standstill," recalls Chadha. And suddenly, he looked at Himesh and asked 'Why don't you start singing your own songs in my videos?'
Himesh agreed to Chadha's request. Aashiq Banay Aap Ne was the song filmed, because it was the only song available for the duo at the time. Luckily, even the video's director Aditya Dutt wanted to retain Himesh's unique voice. Chadha asked him to grow his beard, then offered him the cap to give him a rock star look. Now, it's part of his personality.
The two were good at studies and always scored more than 80 per cent. They used to complete their homework in the afternoons so they could spend time together in the evenings. Then, Himesh shifted to the suburbs. He joined Mumbai's Mithibai College, while Prashant went to St. Xavier's. Despite the distance, they still kept in touch though.
After graduating in science, Chadha started his own event management company with friends, called Midnight Madness. Himesh was not part of it though. Chadha launched a promotional campaign for Jet Airways but, after two years, decided he didn't want to organise shows all his life. He came out of it and joined director Mukul Anand to get into films.
"I was confused and didn't know what to do with my life," he says. "I was a science graduate, but my heart wasn't in it. My family had no connection with the film world but the idea somehow appealed to me," says Chadha. He started working on the film Dus, which was never released on account of the unfortunate demise of Mukul Anand in 1997.
Chadha shot his first video as a promotional film for Mukul Anand, for Dus. "The video became a big hit but my mentor was no longer around, so I decided to learn direction in a school in Canada," says Chadha. He returned in 1998 after completing his course. "When I came back, Himesh had made a foray into music. His score for films like Bandhan had become a hit and he had made a mark." The two met again and formed the company Sarvebhyo Devebhyo Namah Movies (In praise of all gods and goddesses).
"We are like brothers. I trust him completely and vice versa. He will think of my interests first and I will think of his. We have never disagreed with each other," says Chadha.
Will Himesh's music last, I ask. Pat comes the reply. "Of course." What about that nasal tone though � isn't it getting a bit repetitive? "I don't think so," says Chadha. "He has a bank of music and he is versatile. Moreover, did anyone say these things to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan? Himesh has given us 27 hit songs in the last 6 months. Look at his track record. He will not disappear overnight because his voice has divinity."