‘I aspire to me a woman Jagjit Singh’ Janiva Roy

Prembabu Sharma

People in the music circuit in Kolkata are aware of Janiva Roy, who like all not-so-well-known artistes and singers, wants to reach a high like the ones she treats as her idol.

Janiva, who started singing from the tender age of 8 and was attracted towards Ghazal singing, treats the late Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh as a role model and wants to become the country’s first female Jagjit Singh.

Come, let’s get into a conversation with the petal eyed Janiva and ask her about her career and dreams.

Janiva you aspire to become the first woman Jagjit Singh of the country.

(smiles) To tell you frankly I aspire to be the first woman Jagjit Singh as like him, I too feel that I have similar qualities. Look, eventually it is the persistence that counts in life. Along with a wish to be like your role model one has to be of the persistent type and should not give up hope. Jagjitji was a very talented person and was a legend by himself. As far as I am concerned used to admire him from my childhood and always aspired to follow his footsteps with Kolkatans Naushad Ali and Arshad Ali training me.

In a way you say that you were into ghazal singing from a long time. Could you elaborate?
Well, after completion of my high school and college education, I got involved seriously in the world of singing and got slowly attracted towards Ghazal singing. Day in and day out I kept listening to emotional and meaningful ghazals of Rajendra Neena Mehta, Bhupinder Mitalee Singh etc.Later after getting a bumper response in ghazal rendering, I also performed some successful ghazal shows both on the national and International level. This bedcuase my sole intention was to establish myself as the female Jagjit Singh in the gallery of ghazal singing. I fell proud to tell you that I have performed several shows in Russia, Singapore, Bangkok, Dhaka, Mauritius, Dubai, Hong Kong and several other countries.

My fans say that my passion for singing is purely expressive of romanticism of life, a venture that has created a parallel path which along with my professional inclination. 
You are a big fan of Jagjit ji. Could you tell us about his finer qualities?
(pauses) Besides being a good husband to Chitra di (Singh), Jagjit ji was a great ghazal singer. Not only was he a great singer, he was very choosy about the words (kalaam) he used in his ghazals. He did so because he wanted to pronounce them well. That shows how deep he was into ghazals (both written and rendering form).

Janiva, you happen to be third Bengali singer actress after Kanan Devi and Geeta Dutt. Don’t you want to capitalize this quality in Hindi films?
(pauses) To tell you very frankly, I don’t take acting as my profession and sincerely speaking I didn’t come here to become an actress. Acting happened to me by chance. When I went to a production house (Raj Productions for an audition, Rasj Mukherjee asked me to act in his film too besides singing. He was of the view that I had depth and expressive guts equally as a singer as well as an actress. So much he was in awe of my beautiful eyes that he approached me to play a dual role in his Mala Bodol (Bengali). He also said that I could emote very well with my beautiful eyes and stood all chance to be a good, sensitive actress. These words floored me so much that I could not say ‘No’ to him. I starred in the film opposite Prosenjit. The film also had the likes of Ruma Guha Thakurta, Sumitra Mukhopadhyay, Joy Badlani, Arun Bandyopadhyay, Sanjib Dasgupta, Parthasarathi Deb, Sonali Chowdhury and Sumona Ghosh. As for songs are concerned, I sang two duets with Kumar Sanu and two solos. After that I did a couple of films more.

Could you list the films that you have sung for in Bengali?
Yes they areBhoomiputra (released this year) Raat Bhor, Adalat and Pathey Prantey, which are yet to be released. Among my music albums are Jayatu Baba Loknath, Prem, Mere Swapney, Priya and on the top lies “Arsh” my ghazal album. Adding to the feathers in my cap this year, I sang for a Bhojpuri album Piya aa Jou ho and a Bhojpuri feature film in which I did playback for.

You should have taken up a Hindi film.
I did do one Hindi film and that is Khushboo¸an emotional love story (soon to release). I treat this film to be my last film as an actress. My main aim is to wholly concentrate on singing.

You have done many international shows.
Yes, I have performed at several national and International shows and shared stage with Shah Rukh Khan, Mithun Chakraborty, Shabbir Kumar, Kumar Sanu, Abhijeet, Sudesh Bhosle, Babul Supriyo, Roop Kumar Rathod and other well-known singers and celebrities. Here I want to tell one thing and that is that thoughI admire Lata Mangeshkar, I also has a very soft corner for her sister the legendary singer Asha Bhosle. So much so I sing memorable songs of hers in some of her stage shows, especially the ghazal numbers from her films.

And what about music directors?
I have great respect for Naushad, Madan Mohan, Khayyam, Shankar Jaikishen, R D Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal. I am also very keen to sing forA R Rahman.