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Attuned to the lines of destiny

P.K. AJITH KUMAR

Shaan has made his mark as a playback singer and television anchor.

Photo: S. Ramesh Kurup

DESTINY'S CHILD: Shaan says he is happy with the way his career has shaped up.

There were times when Shaan used to wonder if all it needed for a film to flop was for him to sing a hit song in it. Right from his first complete song for a film, `Musu musu... ' (`Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi'), he often got the best song in a movie, but those films didn't exactly set the box office on fire, even as his songs topped the charts.

Then came `Woh ladki hai kahan... ,' a duet with Kavita Krishnamurthy for `Dil Chahta Hai.' The film, directed by debutant Farhan Akhtar, became a hit. So did the song.

"I was relieved when the film succeeded commercially," recalls Shaan, who has more reasons to flash that disarming smile of his these days, after picking up the Filmfare award for singing "Chand sifarish... " (`Fanaa').

`Fanaa,' the comeback movie of Kajol, too did well at the box office, as did `Don,' in which he sang the title track, `Main hoon Don... .'

"I am happy the films I have sung for have begun to do well and I am content with the kind of songs I am getting these days," says Shaan, who was in Kozhikode to perform at `Ragam,' the annual cultural festival of NIT-C.

Early debut

For the son of the late composer Manas Mukherjee and younger brother of singer Sagarika, music has been his life all along. He began recording music when he was four years old.

"I did a lot of jingles with Sagarika and can even recall some of them now, like the Bournvita ad, for instance. It was great fun, recording the jingles, though I was too young to know what music was all about. I didn't know the greatness of Mohammed Rafi either, when I first met him as a kid, though I do remember that Sagarika had got her make-up all wrong for that special occasion." From jingles, Shaan graduated to Indian pop music.

`Tanha Dil' an album he cut in 2000, established himself as a singer to reckon with. Besides singing, he had written all the songs and composed some of them. He is a bit disappointed that pop music hasn't thrived in India. "Unfortunately, our people call just about every non-film album a pop album," he rues.

Music game show

About five years ago, Shaan discovered he had another talent when he decided to host the hugely popular `Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' on Zee Television.

"I enjoy being an anchor, though I would always prefer to be known primarily as a singer. I am impressed with the huge pool of young talents in music in the country; they are so good that even I have improved as a singer after I began to host the show, as I constantly on my toes."

Shaan feels he is lucky that he always got a hit number whenever his career needed one. "I am pretty happy with the way my career has gone. I have got more than I have wished for for. I am glad that I have been able to make music my career. You know I was a salesman and had also my luck in business - desk top publishing."

Destiny, of course, had more melodious ideas for him.

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