From singing on Mumbai’s local trains for a living to a Bollywood debut, Durga’s life strikes a high note
She’s all of 16 and has sung a not-so-Bollywoodish song in Gangs Of Wasseypur 2. But that’s not the only unusual aspect of Durga’s Bollywood debut. Durga sings in Mumbai’s local trains, mainly popular Hindi numbers that commuters like to hear to pass time. Her earnings are a few priceless coins that see her through the day.
And it was in one such local that Anand Surapur, of the Phatfish label, spotted her two years ago. This girl from the interiors of Andhra Pradesh, who has been living in Mumbai for the last 15 years with her parents and two elder brothers, has come a long way since. Besides her song ‘Che-Cha-Ledar’ in Gangs of Wasseypur 2 that has found fans as soon as it went viral on the Net, Durga has a soon-to-be-released album to her name.
Compliment her on the film song, and she is all excited, “You’ve heard it, madam? You like it?” she asks, still retaining that innocence, difficult to come by in Bollywood. The madam is soon replaced by didi and Durga chats happily about how Anand bhai realised she sings well and recorded an album with her. “My two siblings and I used to sing in the Sion-bound trains (on the Central Railway route in Mumbai) and when Anand bhai heard us, he asked us to come over and recorded songs for an album. That was two years ago. The album will release soon,” she says.
Sneha Khanwalkar, the music composer for Anurag Kashyap’s Gangs Of Wasseypur 2, met Durga at Anand’s house and realised that this girl’s voice had the rustic flavour and the power to carry off ‘Che-Cha-Ledar’, the strange lyrics of which go ‘Mera Jutta Fake Leather, Mera Dil Che-Cha-Ledar…’
Durga says that she was nervous before recording the song but her oldest brother and “Sneha madam” calmed her down. The song was recorded in four to five days.
The young girl says she is very happy with all the praise coming her way. “My friends, brothers and parents are happy with this turn in my life and that makes me happy!” she concludes. Durga hopes this song and the album will open new doors of opportunity for her.