Renowned playback singer P. Susheela Mohan, who has won many awards and earned accolades in a career spanning five decades, has added two more to her awards cabinet.
She has now been recognised by both the Guinness Book of World Records and Asia Book of Records for singing most number of songs in Indian languages. The usually reticent singer met journalists in Chennai on Tuesday to celebrate her new award.
While Guinness Book of Records has officially credited her for singing 17, 695 songs (solo, duet and chorus backed songs) in twelve Indian languages, Asia Book of Records has recognised her for singing close to 17, 330 songs.
Speaking about the awards, P. Susheela reminded everyone present that the adjudicators had only considered songs she had song from 1960s. “Please remember that I started singing from 1951,” she said.
None of this would have been possible without the work of her fans, who, by setting up psusheela.org, painstakingly catalogued the songs that she has sung over the last few decades and sent it to the adjudicators of the award.
Reflecting on the recognition, the singer said that she views it as an acknowledgement of her hard work. “There is a lot of hard work that has gone behind this achievement. Today, with so many television channels and newspapers, a talented singer can shine through quickly. But when I was singing, it was very slow and I had work my way up , step by step,” she said.
Crediting her husband for her success, she said that her husband, a doctor, was a corner stone in her life. “He fell in love with my voice and sacrificed his life so that I have a great career in playback singing,” she said.
She was candid in her response when asked why she had never considered a career in acting. “I was offered a chance to act by several directors, but I refused saying that I wouldn’t want to act even if I was paid a crore,” she said, adding, “My heart was in music.”
When asked why she is not singing anymore, the singer said that she would love to sing in movies if someone offered a good song. When she was nudged by journalists to sing her favourite song, she ended the press conference by singing Ennai pada sonnal, enna paada thondrum from Pudhiya Paravai, a hit song of 1964.