EXCLUSIVE: Singer-politician Babul Supriyo hopes to write, direct movies soon
Babul Supriyo is a minister with a difference. A playback singer, who turned a high profile MP four years ago and shoulders the burden of Union minister of state for heavy industries, Supriyo does not miss an opportunity to steal a ride on his motorbike with his wife riding pillion. He told Indulge that he is also writing stories that he hopes to render into celluloid some day.
“I shall direct them myself,” he said. Excerpts from a free-wheeling conversation.
You have been a part of the two most-talked-about movies, Haami and Uma, with Haami being the biggest hit of the year so far. Your song in Haami has also registered more than half a million views on YouTube. Are we going to see more of you despite your engagements as a minister and MP in a busy political season?
Just as a mobile phone that switches off if you don’t charge it periodically, I shall run out of steam if I do not nurture the artiste in me. So, despite all preoccupations, I try to squeeze some time to pursue my instincts by occasionally recording a song or acting in a small role. I am not a hypocrite to say that I am serving people 24X7. I discharge my responsibilities with integrity and honesty. This honesty percolates my songs and acting too and touches the heart of people. I also ensure that I keep myself happy, otherwise I cannot keep others happy.
How do you pursue happiness?
I am trying to shed another four-five kilos to reach my desired weight. I have lost 10-12 kilos, but another five in the last lap is very difficult. If I can get rid of this mass, I shall reach my ideal weight of 80-82 kilos. I have switched to gluten free diet and I have stopped taking salt since May 2017. I avoid sugar like plague, and I am very happy seeing the transformation in me.
What about your family?
I find time for my family always. My elder daughter Sharmilee is learning guitar. Every night we face time when I play the piano and she plays the guitar. Actually, I am housewife material and can multitask effortlessly (grins).
I also write a lot. Long ago I penned two stories while in Mumbai. I plan to turn both into scripts for films. But I cannot do that right now.
Directing a film is a dormant ambition for any film artiste. I am toying with the idea in my head, almost marinating them you can say.
What are these stories on?
I have seen a lot of struggle. Romance is just a part of the plots. If and when I finally manage to render them into films, I shall share the details with you.
You are playback singing for Kaushik Ganguly’s film Kishore Kumar Junior. Being a Kishore fan and often called a mimic of Kishore Kumar, how does it feel?
Oh, it’s great to be a part of such a project. Indraadip Dasgupta has done a brilliant job as a composer, and the tracks are very good. Ganguly always makes good films. I hosted K for Kishore in 2008-09 in Hindi. Singing for any movie on my idol is a fantastic feeling.
What else is there on your plate?
As they say, a lot of things are in the pipeline. And now that I am a minister (for heavy industries), I have to work on pipelines below the ground quite literally.
Has the film fraternity been more receptive to Babul, the minister?
I have always been a smiling jovial fellow. Being a minister has not stopped me from riding bikes, getting on the streets to sip tea, or go to market to buy fish. I haven’t given up the small pleasures of life.
Recently, I was in Kolkata to watch IPL matches and I went to a shop in Maniktala market to buy mutton. People were looking at me and a crowd gathered in minutes, but that’s the fondness what an artiste wants.
Your Haami song is trending at the number one spot.
It feels great to create music amidst all the political noise. Anindya Chatterjee (the music composer) is a long time friend.
Your small role of a Bihari don in Uma has also been noticed.
I am thankful to Srijit Mukherji for finding a don from Bihar in me. I have wanted to perform in front of the camera. Five years ago I had entered into a contract with Arindam Sil’s company for acting assignments, but nothing happened then.
You have worked with both the Mukherjees, Srijit and Shiboprosad. How were they different?
Both are very intense directors, who know what they want. Srijit will teach you casually, while Shibu (Shiboprosad Mukherjee) will sit with the script and show you meticulously what he wants. Shibu goes into such details and rehearses so rigorously that often the first shot becomes the final shot. Do you want a politician to say more and risk being politically incorrect?