How Sonu Nigam’s Musical Genius Grew On Me


Ranked as the No. 1 artist in the US Billboard Uncharted charts twice in 2013, Sonu Nigam turns 42 today. Beginning his singing career at the age of 4 while singing to Rafi’s “kya hua tera wada” along with his father, his dedication towards his vocation has grown in leaps and bounds. A man who taught you to express your love better, a man who mesmerized you with his voice for over two decades, Sonu Nigam has been no less than a legend.

As a child, I was smitten by him and his amazing voice. Coming from a family that is heavily into music, radio was something which played in my house all day long. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that in a way, Sonu Nigam gave me an array of memories during my childhood, those that I still find myself holding on to. One of those memories came from his music album, Deewana. From saving money to buy a cassette (there weren’t many CDs available back then) to rewinding every song in order to jot down the lyrics, these are moments that I have stored in the cache of my growing years.

Better still, these memories that I talk of here, are like a pat on my back to myself. Sonu Nigam’s songs take me back to my younger days, of the times I stared at the tape recorder as it played out “deewana tera”. Little did I know that I could listen to my favorite singer and go about my daily schedule at the same time! I have been spellbound by his voice, and unabashedly so.

Such has been Sonu Nigam’s charm that every time I heard him sing, “main wapas aaunga” (Border), I believed that those soldiers fighting the war at the frontier will, indeed, come back. Secretly nodding away whenever he sang “haan mujhe raat din, bas mujhe chahti ho” (Sangharsh), I smiled, blushed, laughed, cried and slept off with moisture-laden cheeks at night.  With earphones plugged in, I trotted about my home with my new walkman stuffed in the pocket of my jeans, drowning out every call that my mother made in order to get me at my desk.

For the longest time I thought that Shahrukh Khan and Sonu Nigam’s voice was one and the same, a single entity. From Pardes to Yes Boss, Kal Ho Naa Ho to Veer Zaara, it was Sonu Nigam and only him that got me buying album after album and knitting more and more moments to a childhood that I refuse to let away.

As I think about my craze for this singer today, I realize it wasn’t just a silly infatuation. It was his musical genius that grew on me, and lingered on.


Sangeeta Purkayastha

Image Source: The Viewspaper