Paushali Sahu in Mumbai and Farrukh Javed in Lahore are winning the hearts of the netizens with their melodious rendition of Bollywood songs. Ever since the strangers connected accidentally during the pandemic, their musical journey has been stirring emotions across borders.
Sitting in his home during the pandemic, Farrukh heard one of her songs and sent Paushali an appreciation message on Twitter, and she reciprocated. The bonding was instant and a friendship was forged based on a common interest and love for Hind film songs. Soon, they were posting duets, which drew rave praise from music lovers in India and Pakistan.
Thanks to Twitter Space, the two singers attracted a decent audience from across the world in no time. Paushali recalls when the pandemic nights were depressing and sleepless, she thought of posting a song. She randomly sang a few lines of an old song and posted on twitter and next morning woke up to an entire new world of fans who had sent her “beautiful messages.” It was, says Paushali, the most beautiful gift.
“We have been friends since the pandemic, says Farrukh . “Our singing journey began with the Smule App, popular with the music community. We both like singing old Hindi songs . “ Rim Jhim Giray Sawan” was the first song I sang with Paushali and she was kind enough to listen to the collaboration and shared good feedback. After that, we have been singing together on and off,” he adds.
Paushali was born in a family where singing devotional songs in the neighbourhood temple was a tradition. “I used to sing bhajans in Hindi, Sanskrit and Bengali in Dhrupad, folk and semi-classical. I have not received any training in classical music; I picked it up listening to my mother and grandmother,” says Paushali.
While travelling with her father on merchant ships across the world, Paushali got exposed to various forms of music such as Latin, Philipino, Pakistani and more. “Sailing across miles of open sea from a small coast of Japan to a port of Chile would take 32 days. It felt endless and sometimes unbearable; music kept us sane,” she recalls. .
Farrukh is convinced that music can bind people across the border. “Music is one of the most beautiful things in life and for me, singing with someone is like having a cup of coffee with a friend. In times of distress, such connections matter more. Music dissolves all barriers and man-made boundaries. Since the time I started making music covers, I have received love and support from people beyond my expectation,” he says. “
Music has been close to Farrukh’s heart since childhood. “My early years were spent listening to melodies sung by legendary singers of the sub-continent. The compositions of R. D. Burman, S. D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Shankar – Jaikishan, O. P. Nayyar and Khayyam are timeless and they have been sung so beautifully by legendary singers like Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi. I also love ghazals by Jagjit Singh, Mehdi Hassan, Ghulam Ali, Nayyara Noor, Farida Khanum and Strings. I am a huge fan of Pakistani Coke studio as well,” he says.
Paushali, who is also part of a band called Moksh in Mumbai, credits Smule, for bringing her singing into limelight. “My 24/7 humming became my energy. I met Farrukh, a fantastic singer and a gem of a human being. As we sang duets of Jagjit-Chitra, Lata-Mukesh, Lata-Rafi, the cross-border love showered on us was overwhelming,” she says.
Among Paushali’s star admirers are chef Vikas Khanna, film directors Srijit Mukherji and Pooja Bhatt. As for Farrukh, he is happy reaching across to Indian fans with his singing.