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No doctored success

Palash Sen talks about being both a doctor and a musician

PHOTO: S. Subramanium

His own tune Palash Sen

Palash Sen can amaze you. Such is his humility that he can strike a chord with just about everyone, without the airs of a celebrity. Given a choice, he would have never let the limelight fall on him if it was not for his band, Euphoria.

A decade on and still going strong, Palash’s music may have changed people’s perception towards non-film music in India but the man hasn’t changed over these years. Maybe it is this unique trait that manifests itself in his songs and gives it an earthly soul. Think ‘Maeri’ or ‘Dhoom Pichuk Dhoom’.

“Frankly, I will not like to take credit for anything I have achieved. It’s just God’s grace and my good luck. And to think of it, I don’t even have formal training in music,” says a humble Palash.

But yes, there’s one thing he would like to take credit for and that’s his doctor education. “I got myself educated first, then followed my dream, which I feel is very important. Education helps you make the right choice. It keeps you rooted to your base. I always cite the example of Shah Rukh Khan (who is also from the same school as Palash — St. Columba’s School). He is an Economics graduate with a master’s degree in Mass Communication and see how successful he is today,” points out Palash, an M.B.B.S degree holder from University College of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

No child’s play

However simple it may sound but a doctor’s degree is no child’s play. And the singer makes no bones about it. “ It wasn’t easy to become a doctor. While working in hospitals, there have been days when I have spent 36 continuous hours on duty. It can be stressful but there are no excuses. That’s why I get angry when M.S. Dhoni says the Indian team cannot play back-to-back games as it drains them out. Let him visit a hospital once and I am sure he will change his mind.”

If this is how strongly he feels about his education, why did he decide to leave all his hard work behind to pursue his musical dreams? “Music was always a part of life but I never thought of taking it up as a full-fledged career. But when opportunity knocked, I decided to open my doors. The Archies head came up to me and said he would like to launch their record label with our album and that’s how Dhoom happened,” explains Palash. He adds in the same breath, “I still run a clinic in my house, though I haven’t done justice to it. Anyway what you have been trained for will never get wasted. I will always remain a doctor. My dream in life is to open a charitable hospital and ensure quality treatment reaches the poor. I feel I have achieved what I intended to as a musician. Now I want to fulfil my ambition as a doctor.”

He calls himself a normal middle class man, and leads his life on the same lines. While his wife Shalini is a lecturer at Venkateswara College, his two kids (Kingshuk and Kyna) study at Mother’s International School. “My principle in life is to keep everything simple — be it my music or family. For my kids, I am just a normal musician father.”

It is this simplicity that has helped him sustain his band as well. Euphoria has already completed ten years. And its popularity remains untouched.

First shot

Megha Gulzar’s Filhaal was his first shot at acting and after a gap of six years Palash will be seen in Mumbai Cutting, a film consisting 11 different stories by 11 directors that revolve around Mumbai city. Euphoria has also composed a nine-and-a-half minute song for the film. A first for the band.

MANGALA RAMAMOORTHY

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