Kavita Krishnamurthy remembers Hawa Hawai as the 'gift of God'
There can be just one Hawa Hawai girl. Even though a sari-clad Vidya Balan, will be shaking a leg to this 1987 superhit, in her upcoming film Tumhari Sulu, who can forget Sridevi. But the girl, or rather, the woman in question is not even the yesteryear's actress. It is playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy, whose voice has immortalised this peppy number from Mr India.
Since the last four decades, the playback singer has been enthralling audiences with her melodious voice, and is also remembered for the song Kyun Naye Lag Rahe from 1942 A Love Story (RD Burman's last film as a composer before his demise). But though she hasn't been active in films off late, Kavita hasn't really taken a break. This year has been quite busy with the release of her new album Jai Maa Durge and her international concerts of Bharath Symphony - a special orchestral piece that has been written for her voice, performed at Chicago and Latvia.
Bharath Symphony was written and composed by her husband, the renowned violinist, L Surbamaniam, to commemorate the 70 years of Indian independence. "We have been very excited about Bharath Symphony. The city of Chicago had commissioned him. We performed in Chicago at the Millennium Park with a symphony orchestra and a choir, the total number of artistes on stage was 100. It was quite challenging considering the voice parts were specifically written for me," explains the singer whose last Bollywood song was Kahin Hai Mera Pyar from Nach Baliye (2014).
But the veteran singer has no qualms about not having been active in the commercial business. "After 45 years in Bollywood, there's a point when particular kind of songs will stop. How many Ismail Darbars are going to give me Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or Devdas songs? The whole trend has changed. It's very westernised and Sufi, the actual geet kind of songs are not in existence now. So for me, it would have been, not very challenging to sing phrases and be auto corrected. Working on Bharath Symphony with international artistes presents a lot of new challenges and my husband has been of huge support to help me continue my path of music without letting it die," she says.
God's own Hawa Hawai
Though her hit song from Mr India is from the '80s, it still gets people grooving. As a validation, the song is being rejigged for the upcoming Tumhari Sulu. Ask the singer about her personal opinion and she says, "Hawa Hawai has been a gift from God. This is the 30th year of the song and honestly, there hasn't been a single Bollywood concert that I have done without this song. It's the same with Kyun Lag Rahe Hain from 1942 A Love Story. I can sing these two songs every day and not get bored because the compositions are such and the lyrical content is just amazing."
Another '90s hit from her Tu Cheez Badi Hai from Mohra was rearranged and re-recorded for the film Machine, which ironically, the singer hasn't heard. Not many of her fans are aware that Kavita suffered from chronic bronchitis during her active years in Bollywood. "Those days I had to sing every day. I would go for rehearsal and get an attack after that, and next day would be the recording. I would be really tensed particularly with Laxmikant Pyarelalji songs because those were really high pitched. I was really not well when I was recording Kisi Ke Haath Na for ChaalBaaz. There used to be a lot of tension during those days, now I sing for pleasure along with my family and children and this is a very good feeling," she signs off.