It was Reshma’s untrained, raw voice that captivated the people of the subcontinent. Her voice was neither shrill nor piercing. Those who have heard the desert music of Arabia sung by the Bedouin, Arabic-speaking nomadic people of the Middle Eastern deserts, will relate to the free-flowing voice of Reshma, whose ancestors also belonged to the Thar desert of western Rajasthan. Reshma struck an instant rapport with listeners. Main toh bas gaa leti hoon (I manage to sing) was her standard refrain. When Subhash Ghai approached her to sing the folk song Lambi Judai for Hero, he asked her about her remuneration. The singer is said to have replied that she got her remuneration by being asked to sing in a Hindi movie (Mujhe mera mehantana mil gaya). The rusticity of her voice was the key to her success.

Sumit Paul,

Pune

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