One of the questions in the questionnaire handed to participants of ‘Ningalkum Aakaam Kodeeshwaran’, the Malayalam version of ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, was what would they like to ask show host Suresh Gopi. School teacher Sangeetha NC’s answer: “I want to ask him for a chance for my husband, Santhosh AS, to sing in films. Entering the contest was never about getting to the ‘hot seat’. It was to get a chance for my husband to sing in a film,” she says.
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Her wish did come true finally. Her husband has sung the ‘ Karmekham moodunu… ’ track for Malayalam film Kaaval, which was recently released on YouTube.
“It has been my husband’s long time dream to sing in a film but he has never got a chance despite trying hard and meeting music directors. With ‘Ningalkum…’ I thought we would be able to meet Suresh chettan and ask him if he could help us,” says Sangeetha, over the phone from Thiruvananthapuram.
Another question that she was asked was which song by Santhosh she liked. “‘ Sree Ragamo… ’ from the film Pavithram . Turns out it is one of Sureshettan’s favourites too.”
On hearing Sangeetha’s story Suresh Gopi asked to meet the couple. After he heard Santhosh sing, the actor told her that he wanted Santhosh’s voice to be heard by audiences. The actor assured the couple that he would do his best to get Santhosh a chance, and requested Nithin Renji Panicker, the director of Kaaval , the film Gopi was working in at the time, to explore options.
“This is unexpected. It came at a time when I was not expecting anything. Even my friends were surprised,” the 39 year-old says. A person with polio in both legs, the IT professional trained briefly in Carnatic-based light music.
“The entire team was very supportive. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to, as I did not want to anybody especially Sureshettan,” he says. Although he has been singing for more than 17 years, recording for a film was a different but he pulled it off with composer Rajin Raj’s support.
The song is getting praise but he refuses to get carried away. “I am not sure if this song would lead to others or if I would make this my career...but I am happy that people got to know me as a singer!”