Playback singer, Hema Sardesai, who has sung for 60 Bollywood films, is down in Goa to guide her fellow Goans on the right path to vote and will be here till the elections. Over a cup of coffee she shared her views on Goa, the forthcoming assembly election while sharing a bit about herself.
By PURVI RADIA | NT BUZZ
What brings you to Goa?
I am here to guide my beloved Goans to vote for the right people, persons who will ensure their rights to peaceful and prosperous existence; of course, only to those willing to accept my guidance. I am here till the elections.
With the immense western influence, do you think Goans have gradually stopped talking in their mother tongue?
I respect all languages of India. I consider Hindi the grandmother, Konkani the mother and the rest of the languages of India as our mothers and sisters. Now, the question is, my mother Konkani’s sisters are well taken care of and safe in their respective states, whereas my mother, Konkani is in grave danger of her very existence as a language.
Why do Goans call non-Goans ‘bhailé’?
There is a lot of unawareness on how we treat our brethren in Goa. It is like this: When you have a house of your own that has got just enough food, space and infrastructure to sustain you and your immediate family, then you cannot invite or expect to accommodate your cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, very easily. When we call our Indian brothers across the border of Goa ‘bhailé,’ it could be very hurting as they too are our own; but since the house of Goa does not have enough water, electricity, space, infrastructure, etc, it is very difficult to accommodate our cousins, aunts, uncles, etc, across the border of Goa and unfortunately and sadly we call them ‘bhailé’ for our own survival.
You were the only female singer other than Lata Mangueshkar to perform at the celebration of fifty years of India’s Independence. Comment.
For me what mattered and what matters is the fact that I performed on such a very special day; for the glory of my country - India.
Why do people call you happy go lucky?
As far as I know, I have been called happy go lucky since childhood, right up to my career taking off and flourishing, but honestly, after seeing the pain my Goans are going through, the lack of human values and the sad governance in my country - India, one can hardly continue being a happy-go-lucky person.
How did your first milestone achievement, winning the Grand Prix at the sixteenth International Pop song festival 1989 held in Germany, help you to develop yourself?
I always thought I was a star, but my parents and sister made sure that right since my childhood I was kept grounded. Nevertheless, Grand Prix endorsed my star megalopia, but every achievement has honestly humbled me further and further, and I pride myself today more for the plenty of social activity that I have done rather than anything else.
Do you have any fond memories of Chris Perry, since he composed songs for your Konkani album?
He used to say ‘Hema you are my little angel’. He used to live in Dubai and when I went to visit my sister there, he came especially to meet me with loving gifts. He was and will always be the loving gentleman of great Goan music.
Besides, the Konkani album, ‘Goa Zaai’ released in 2005 are you planning to release any more albums?
Over the last five years I have written many songs for women empowerment for international women’s conferences, which will be compiled and released as an album. I have two albums coming up in the next few months, which I will talk about after they are released. However, they are dedicated to my beloved guru, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar.
You rendered a song live at Azad Maidan, Mumbai for Annaji before his historical fast in 2011. Do you support his cause?
Of course, I support it with all my heart. That’s why I was among the first from the Indian film industry to perform for his cause, which is our cause. He should completely go forward, but with guru Shri Shri Ravi Shankar’s blessings, who could be an ideal for all of us. After all, guru is the one who directs us to the right path. A guru is a guru.
Your recent bestselling song titled, ‘She is the Winner,’ released on Mother’s Day, 2011. Can you give us an insight?
‘She is the Winner’ says that a lady needs to be given her true respect. And how do you do it? By giving her that pat on her back that she so deserves. This song is dedicated to all those women who have achieved so much and yet have not been recognised.