Sunny Hindustani, the shoeshine boy from Bathinda in Punjab, bagged Bollywood projects even before he was announced the winner of “Indian Idol 11”. During the course of the singing reality show, his choice of songs were mostly the ones sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The “bhakt” (devotee) of the late legendary Sufi vocalist-musician would like to take a step forward, if he gets the chance, and give a fresh twist to Khan’s songs in films, too.
Many drew comparisons between him and the late singer when he participated in the recently concluded show. Sunny modestly underplays such talk and insists he is “nothing” in his comparison.
“One thing makes me happy that my name is associated with a legendary singer like him. I don’t deserve it though. I can’t be like him but I would like to earn a name like him. I am not his fan but a ‘bhakt’,” Sunny told IANS here after his victory.
With recreations being the current flavour of Bollywood, would he like to come up with his own version of Khan’s songs for a film?
“His famous ones are already out like ‘Mere rashke qamar’ and ‘Sanu ek pal chain naa aave’. I will have to look for the song if an opportunity comes like this. I will see the film’s situation and select the song accordingly,” said the young singer. As of now, he is letting his victory sink in.
“When I was announced as the winner… the happiness, I can’t express. I am speechless,” he said. His mother had lifted the trophy with him on the stage. “When my name was announced, I saw a huge smile on her face. It felt really good,” he said.
Looking back at his journey from Punjab to Mumbai, he recalled: “I had fought with my mother. A friend had told me about the audition. My friends used to say that I sing very well and asked me to try my hand at it. I gave it a shot.”
“Our conditions at home were not good. Dad had passed away when I was just 12 years old. My mother said that there was no money and that nothing would happen. I told her that I would borrow money from someone. Then I left for the audition,” he added.
With just Rs 3000 in his bag, he reached Mumbai — often called as the city of dreams — and won hearts of everyone through his flawless voice. He was also awarded with a cheque of Rs 25 lakh from Sony Entertainment Television, a car and one song contract with T-Series in their next movie. Rs 25 lakh is a huge amount. “I have a sister. I will save some money for her marriage. Mother had a tough life. I will help her lead a leisure life. I will also spend some amount on my music career,” said the singer, who has already relocated to Mumbai.
He has already sung songs for to his songs in films like “Panga” and “The Body”. Was playback singing always on his mind? “I used to think that there would be a day when my songs would feature in films but it’s not like I put in effort to be a singer. I hadn’t done any preparation for this. I just came with a limited number of songs and God heard me out,” said Sunny.