Effervescent and friendly, Aditi Paul chats away. The pretty and diminutive singer has had a week filled with performances, travelling and not much sleep but she shows no signs of exhaustion. Her excitement is perceptible as she talks about her playback singing debut in the soon to be released Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann and her days as a contestant on Indian Idol.

Much before reality shows took over Indian television, Aditi Paul took part in one the first reality shows in India, Indian Idol during its premiere season in 2004-2005. “We didn’t know anything about reality shows then,” she says talking about her experience on the show. “Everything seemed more genuine, from the emotions to the interaction between the contestants.”

A student of Santiniketan and holding an M.A in English Literature, Aditi Paul was always interested in classical music but never imagined that she would end up singing as a profession. When she took part in Indian Idol she had no idea about Bollywood film music. She says, “Indian Idol was the perfect platform and taught me a lot about film music.”

Her participation on the reality show caused her to receive opportunities to perform live as well as helped her break into the world of playback singing. She says that breaking into the world of Bollywood music is hard. “There are so many talented performers and so many opportunities for youngsters to showcase their talent through reality shows and singing competitions.” But she adds that what she had found most important to get ahead and compete with the best in the field is preparation.

It is preparation and hard work in mastering the Hindi pronunciations that she got the chance to playback sing the theme song for the Amitabh Bachchan starrer Rann. Aditi enjoys both playback singing as well as live performances and says that she cannot compare both. She laughingly says that even now she gets the jitters before a live performance. But once she starts singing and makes that initial connection with the audience the nervousness disappears.

Aditi still considers herself as a struggling artist in the Bollywood music industry, but says that she loves her life. She looks forward to, “Good singing, good entertainment and love from the people around me.” Aditi was in Hyderabad to perform at a concert organised by Batayan as part of their Saraswati Pooja celebrations.

The clean shaven, small town boy has been replaced by a long locked, beard sporting rock star look alike. Though external appearances might have changed, Amit Sana still seems like a nice, friendly young man, with no hang-ups and no airs.

A native of Vishakhapatnam and brought up in Chhattisgarh, Amit was the first runner-up of the 2004-2005 Indian Idol show. He was in the city to perform at a concert organised by Batayan as part of their Saraswati Pooja celebrations.

Amit always dreamed of being part of the Bolllywood music industry and Indian Idol gave him the opportunity to do so. The right platform thrust him into the limelight and he received offers for playback singing as well as live performances.

However Amit is not very impressed by the slew of reality shows on Indian television nowadays. “Excess of anything is not a good thing, there should be restrictions and checks in place,” says Amit. “By letting everyone take part, a lot of real talent can get lost.”

When it comes to working in Bollywood Amit says that it is unlike anything he could have imagined. “It cannot be compared to working in any other industry or company,” he says. His small town upbringing did not prepare him for the way people interact and function in Bollywood. But despite the stumbling Amit says that he is slowly finding his feet in the music industry.

As of now Amit’s heart is set on music direction and composing music though that does not mean he will give up singing. “There is something special about singing ones own songs,” he says. “Music is like breathing for me, it is something divine.”