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Q n A with Padma Shri Awardee Kavita Krishnamurthi


Autograph from the collection of Mr. Sudarshan Thakur



"I still get a postcard greeting on my birthday"

Can you imagine the chartbusting Sridevi dance number 'Hawa Hawai' in any other voice but Kavita Krishnamurti's? If not, here's a piece of trivia. Krishnamurti was not the first choice for this Laxmikant-Pyarelal number. Singer Asha Bhonsle was to sing it but when music composer Pyarelal heard the rough cut in Krishnamurti's velvety voice, he loved it so much that he decided to keep it. 

The Padma Shri awardee, who began performing jingles in 14 languages, Gujarati songs and even bhajans while touring with singers Hemant Kumar and Manna Dey across the world at age 22, is known as much for versatility as soulfulness. With a four-decade-long career-- whose highlight reel includes hits such as 'Tu Hi Re' and 'Kuch Na kaho'--behind her, the legendary singer looks back at some of her most memorable fan moments and tells us why autographs feel more personal to her

Do you remember the first autograph you ever sought? 

Attended a concert of Ustad Amir Khan in Delhi as a child. That was the first autograph I sought.

What's the most prized autograph or piece of signed memorabilia that you own? 

I have autographs from my predeccessor greats from Bollywood like Hemantda, Mannada, SD Burman. Also, Pandit Bhimsen Joshi. They are all priceless for me. 

What is your earliest memory or giving an autograph? 

After i sang for 'Pyar Jhukta Nahin', I started signing autographs regularly in my life.

Do you regularly answer fan mail, even now? 

Post concerts, postcards from all over india and occassionally from abroad. Initially, I managed it on my own and then my manager would take care of it. Some people would ask for a photo with signatures. I would have them ready.

Has the number of people writing letters to you dwindled over time? 

It's now dwindled. Sometimes, I still get a postcard greeting me on my birthday. It's rather rare now. 

Do you think an autograph can convey much more about a personality than even a photograph? 

I think when I look back at the autographs of great people (my husband has a splendid book of great people), I feel a sense of thrill and nostalgia. Along with the signature , I remember with what grace and kindness the artist signed it for us, despite being tired and having so many people gathered around. An autograph seems more personal and poignant for me.

How do you generally sign autographs? 

Since autographs are mainly for strangers and music lovers, it's mainly a signature with a short phrase added. I would always write the date under my signature as i feel that holds a significance.

Are you particular about what pen you use while giving autographs? 

I wasnt particular about pens. I would use the pen given to me with the paper or book. 

Are you particular about what to say in an autograph? 

I would always write the date under my signature as I feel that holds significance.

Do you recall any strange or quirky requests from fans seeking autographs? 

I never liked to sign on a note/money.

Do you miss giving autographs in these times of social distancing? 

I do miss the postcards that used to come from small town or villages. Some of them very sweet, some crazy but mostly simple Indians. .

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