`We have a mutual admiration club here'

ROCKING TOGETHER Rabbi and Shibani strike a pose

ROCKING TOGETHER Rabbi and Shibani strike a pose  

Pop singers Rabbi and Shibani Kashyap trade verbal punches

It takes Rabbi and Shibani to tango. Even as the cameras whirred away at a press conference ahead of their evening concert, Rabbi and Shibani seemed oblivious to the journos milling around them at Hotel Viceroy. Coincidentally, both the singers were down with minor ailments - he suffering from a stomach upset and she with a sore throat. As the flashbulbs popped, Rabbi promptly played the good doc, telling the `Ho Gayi Hai Mohabbat' singer how to modulate her voice for the upcoming show. Watching them sort it out, you get the feeling that chalk `n' cheese pairs don't come any better than that of the seemingly sombre `sardar' and the vivacious Shibani. But when the duo sit down for a chat, the conversation rocks, and how! Metro Plus sets the ball rolling with the question: When did they first bump into each other? K. Sachidanand Menon gets the sound bytes from the no-holds-barred verbal joust that follows.

Rabbi: The first time we met was when I took Shibani out to a disco along with a friend of mine. This was in Delhi about 10 years ago, when I was moving around in a Premier Padmini 118 NE.

Shibani: Oh God! The car broke down. It was 10 in the night and this guy actually asked us girls to push the car to the nearest petrol bunk while he plonked himself behind the wheel.

Rabbi: Fortunately, the car started before we reached the bunk... After that, she wouldn't get into any car with me.

Shibani: And I thought to myself, `What a loser.' I actually told a friend later about this weird rocker with long hair who made us push his rickety car in the dead of the night. We didn't meet much for 7-8 years after that and, yes, I decided not to get into any car driven by this guy. Not if I could help it (winks).

Rabbi: During this period, I was just a mere speck on her socialising radar, a pesky little intruder into her circuit. She was the rock star with all the cars while I was a wannabe singer sitting in my room, staring at the ceiling and twiddling my thumbs.

Shibani (laughs): I am sure he has a lot of cars too now. Anyways, after a long time without knowing what the other was up to, we were again in touch with each other. That was because we used to go to the same guru in Mumbai. By that time, he had grown up and become more mature (smiles). But honestly, I think Rabbi is himself. He does not believe in emulating anybody, does his own thing. There is also a spiritual side to him. And he can be quite funny.

Rabbi: Well, I think behind all that glamour and gloss, there is a very real singer in Shibani. The first time I heard her singing at a studio, I remember telling one of my friends, `This girl is good. She has got it in her.' Shibani is also a good planner, very meticulous. And, of course, she's beautiful.

Shibani: Looks like we have a Mutual Admiration Club here. But I don't think I am a good planner. I don't plan on the lines of five-years-from-now. He's flattering me only because a reporter is around to record this conversation.

Rabbi: I think she's Wonder Woman meets Eva Peron (sings Don't cry for me Argentina... )

Shibani: Don't be sarcastic.

Rabbi: (with a deadpan look) I'm not being sarcastic. In fact, sometimes I visualise beautiful pole dancers and feel you come quite close (gazes into space with a dreamy look).

Shibani: Didn't I tell you he is funny? Hey, but he can also be quite rigid... (looks at him and trails off)

Rabbi: Bol dey yaar, kya farak padtha hain. Meri mummy bhi yahi bolti hai. (Go on. Even my mom says the same thing)

Shibani (laughs): I mean he's got such a wonderful voice. I'm sure there are a lot of producers and directors queuing up outside his door, waiting to sign him up for Bollywood. But this guy hangs a `No Entry' sign for them. I think he can be stubborn at times.

Rabbi: I am not stubborn. I just do my own thing.

Shibani: Tomorrow, if some producer wants me to team up with him for a Hindi song, he might refuse. And that will surely put me off.

Rabbi: So don't ask me to team up with you.

Shibani: See, I told you he is stubborn.

Rabbi: And I don't like it when you pick your nose.

Shibani (looks startled and then guffaws): I have never ever picked my nose.

Rabbi: Oh yes you have. I have seen you doing it on the sly when the cameras aren't focussed on you.

Shibani: You're such a liar...

(And the argument continues)

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