Kashmir Village Boy's Bollywood Dreams Come True

28 March 2009
The Hindu

New Delhi: From a village in Jammu and Kashmir to the recording studio of Bollywood, 13-year-old singer Mehrajuddin Rassar has made a journey that few boys his age manage to do. The little prodigy is now dreaming of 'making a career in music'. Mehrajuddin, who hails from Aru village in the Kashmir valley, was picked by director Piyush Jha to sing the song 'Arzoo' in 'Sikandar'. 'Piyush sir had come to Aru to select a location for his film, that's when he heard my voice while I was singing in my school assembly. He liked my voice and offered me 'Arzoo',' Mehrajuddin told IANS over phone from Srinagar. Mehrajuddin, a Class 9 student, loves singing and dreamt of lending his voice in films one day. Little did he know that opportunity will knock on his doors so soon. 'I can't explain how I am feeling that I got this opportunity to sing a song in a film. It's just great,' said an elated Mehrajuddin. The seven-track album of the film is composed by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Justin-Uday and Sandesh Shandilya. 'Arzoo' is inspired from traditional devotional hymns called Naat and has virtually no musical arrangements. Mehrajuddin, who loves Bollywood songs, now wants to go to Mumbai to learn music and make a career in the same. He says his parents are supporting his decision. 'My parents never stopped me from dreaming about being in Mumbai. They have been very supportive. Even they are elated that their son got selected and has sung for a movie. Now they motivate me to make a career in music,' said Mehrajuddin, one of six siblings. Completely elated with his discovery, Jha said: 'When I heard this boy singing, I was really moved. He was magical and I decided to make the boy sing for my film. I brought him from Aru to Pahalgam and recorded the song.' Mehrajuddin, who helps his father run his pony riding business, will also feature in the film singing the same song. 'My film 'Sikandar' is set in a school. So I decided to keep a scene in the film where Mehrajuddin would sing the song exactly in the same way I had seen him singing in real life,' Jha said. Jha hopes best for the little prodigy and wants him to scale great heights in the music industry. 'This boy is very talented and I hope I can bring his talent and capability on the national level. With this song, I have tried to give him the recognition that he deserves. I hope he scales greater heights and reaches the top; I'll be happiest to see him as a famous singer one day,' he said. Scheduled for April release, the film is set in Kashmir and revolves around a 14-year-old schoolboy who one day finds a gun that changes his life forever. Produced by Sudhir Mishra, the film also stars Sanjay Suri, Parzan Dastur, Ayesha Kapoor and R. Madhavan.