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The Cinderella Story

From a modest life to the centrestage of music, Sourabhee Debbarma's life has taken a leap into the future. Her journey reads like a fairy tale says Nalini Uchil.

Not so long ago there lived a pretty little girl in faraway Guwahati, India. She dreamt of ruling the music kingdom someday and rock the world. But the master of her home, her father, would not hear of it.

“Studies first” was the order. So she would wait for the opportune moment to jump over the wall of her home and escape to freedom – her world of music. And then one day she came to Mumbai the city of dreams…

March 1, 2009. At the stroke of the midnight hour, as if by magic, the princess was transformed into a queen of music. She was crowned. Sourabhee Debbarma became the first girl to be bestowed with the title of Indian Idol. Her life was about to change forever. Sourabhee Debbarma's dream had come true.

She had always dreamt of releasing her own solo album someday. Financial restraints made that a distant dream. Now she is all set to rock the world with her first music album With winning the Indian Idol title, that dream has been made a reality thanks to Sony BMG with whom she is under contract.

“I have always dreamt of having my own music album someday. Driving in the car, listening to music I would imagine listening to my own song playing someday. But never had the money to do that” she often said wistfully. Back home from Guwahati and on her way to Kuwait for a show Sourabhee said excitedly, “My music album is about to release! I have been working hard on this album for a while. It has 8 songs-- six remixednumbers and 2 original songs. One song – Goonji si hai … has Rajdeep Chatterjee singing the male version.”

Story Retold

Taking part in Indian Idol was the turning point of her life. She came, she sang and she conquered; but not without a lot of hard work. For one who has not professionally trained in music it was no mean task. Back home she was part of a music band but that was not the same.

Here she was judged by stalwarts like award winning lyricist Javed Akhtar, ace music director Annu Malik and a singer par excellence Kailash Kher. The judges and the janta both decided that she was the best! But it is to the people back home in her home state that she owes her success to. “It is very humbling for me to know that the people of Agartala, Tripura, Guwahati and as far as Nepal voted for me. It touches me to think that a man earning even 100 rupees was putting aside 40 rupees to vote for me!” That very thought is enough to keep this young girl grounded despite the overwhelming response she has been getting wherever she goes.

“There have been felicitations and concerts. The reception I got in Agartala was simply unbelievable. The crowd was so huge that all I could see were heads in that huge ground. For my people back home, my success is a personal achievement for them. It feels great to be recognized everywhere I go. At airports people come and ask if I am the Indian Idol,” she says happily. “Yet, I can move around withoutbeing harassed but for the people back home I have become very precious. They worry about me roaming around with my friends without any security.”

Has success changed her? “No, I am the same Sourabhee. My friends treat me the same way they used to. They don't care if I have won the Indian Idol or not. But yes, when we go out they are very protective about me and whisk me away if they sense people gathering around me. Butit is my dad who is turning into a Hitler!” and adds, “he refuses to let me go out very often even if it is with friends. He sets deadline for me to be back home and mostly insists that my friends come over.

He is worried about my security,” she says softly. She lights up as she recalls the visit to her school. “It was a very emotional moment for my Principal who said that I had made the school – St. Paul's – very proud. Can you believe it my teachers wanted my autograph? So I did-- addressing them by the subject they had taught me. They were so touched. Sourabhee is a busy girl these days. It is not for long that she can be her free spirit back home. She has been busy with her recordings for the album that releases in April. Work and a two-year contract binds her to Sony BMG and Mumbai. Zipping in and out of Mumbai for shows keeps her still living out of suitcases. “Since winning the title I have been performing at various places,” But the most special ones seem to be the ones in Bangladesh and Nepal immediately after winning the title.

“In Nepal we had shows in Kathmandu and Pokhra. They were the only shows I did with Kapil.” So is she still in touch with the man who wooed her in Indian Idol? Kapil Thapa is back with his unit in the Army. “Yes I am,” she says and goes on to add, “But he is upset these days. His unit gives him special treatment and does not give him any duties that he was doing earlier. He is now only asked to practice with the Army band and that makes him very unhappy!”

There's one more thing that makes Sourabhee unhappy. That the guy who supported her during her campaign trail – Prashant Tamang – has simply vanished without keeping in touch with her. Few know that Prashant Tamang, the winner of Indian Idol Season 3 was roped in to woo her supporters in the North East region. Little did anyone think that it would create a near riot that Prashant Tamang a Nepali should seek votes for anyone who is a rival competitor of a Nepali – Kapil Thapa! It did not help matters that Kapil himself tried to make the people see sense. All the fun and excitement of sharing space with her predecessor whom she admired and who inspired her own journey on Indian Idol was replaced by anxiety and apprehension. Things reached a head when Prashant's family was threatened.

Prashant is a busy guy too traveling for his own concerts. But Sourabhee misses the fun it is to be around Prashant. So has Kapil taken a back seat? Sourabhee is busy enjoying her own time in the spotlight. Love and romance can wait a while. Prince charming too. Until then the little diva called Sourabhee Debbarma wants to live life – happily single.

Article by: TeleLife

Posted: May Issue 2009


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