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Popularly known as the 'shakalaka baby' of Chennai, Vasundhara Das has done almost everything from singing to acting to sizzling!! The young girl is talent personified and has many a thing to be proud of....read on to learn more about her...
Name - Vasundhara Das
Popularly called -'Shakalaka baby'
Sex Appeal - Spectacular grey eyes, brown hair and a flawless complexion
Age - 22
Mother - Nirmala Das, Scientist with the Indian Institute of Science
Dad - CEO of a MNC in Bangalore
Born as - Hebbar Iyengar
Place - Bangalore
Education - BA Economics, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore
Hobbies - Travelling, Nature Sports, Adventure Sports like White water rafting, camping.
Passionate about - Music.
Guru - Pandit Parameshwara Hegde of Keherwana Gharana
Fave type of music - Western, Jazz, Pop, Hindustani Classical
Acting was - By chance
First Movie - Hey Ram
First Song - 'Shakalaka baby' in Mudhalvan
First Album - Meri Jaan
Fave actor - Kamal Hassan
Fave singer - Aziza Mustafa Zadeh who sings in Arabic
Languages Known - English, Tamil, Telugu, Spanish, Kannada
Wants to be known as a - Versatile artist, a multilingual Person
Movies so far - 15 Tamil films, 3 Telugu films, acting in a Malayalam film and more offers are pouring in.
Intimate scene in Hey Ram - Quite comfortable and because the script needed it.
Body - Plump from the beginning
Her looks- That happened affter college when she went on diets and exercises to reduce weight and look good.
Most challenging scene - The hospital scene in Hey Ram
With fame came - Recognition, people recognising Vasundhara on the roads and wished her good luck.
Recent wish - To sing in for all her songs in her films
Current movies - Mira Nair's 'Monsoon wedding', 'Acham Thavir' with Madhavan
(Source : www.zatang.com)
Vasundhra Das: "Music is what I live for!"
(Source : www.sify.com)
Vasundhara Dass first brush with the Indian film industry --- and stardom --- was when she met composer A. R. Rahman in Bangalore. This was 1997.
All she ever wanted to do was sing in films. Little did Vasundhra realise that she will be acting, instead of just singing. Rehman was so impressed by her looks that he convinced Kamal Hassan to do her screen test. Kamal offered Vasundhara Hey Ram, where she plays an educated, almost unorthodox Brahmin wife to Kamal.
But Vasundhara was adamant that she is not here to act, but to sing, because music is a passion.
On her insistence, Rehman gave her Shakalaka baby, a song that hit big time down South and established her credentials as a singer.
Vasundhara has just released an album, Meri Jaan, and is waiting for peoples verdict. She talks to Radhika Singh about her album, and her hopes, which are tied to it.
You have got several offers to act in films. Yet, you are insistent on a music career?
Music is what I live for. My interest in music started at an early age. My grandmother was a singer who could not achieve much in terms of a musical career due to her family commitments. She wanted to see her dream being realised by her children. None of her children had an inclination for music. So she tried her luck with her grandchildren. I was the last of her grandchildren and it fell on me.
Are you a trained musician?
Yes, I began learning Hindustani classical music at the age of six. My grandmother was my first teacher. After that, I went through three teachers and finally settled down with my present teacher, Parameshwar Hegde, who was a disciple of Basavaraj Rajguru. When I was a college student, studies took priority. I also began singing in my college choir -- which helped me broaden my music horizon vastly. But I must concede that its my dream to move up in the music industry.
How did Hey Ram happen?
Kamal asked me to do a screen test because Rehman had told him about me. My mother told Kamal that I was not interested in acting. He asked me to take the test anyway. So I went and faced the camera. But he saw my reluctance and didnt pursue the matter further.
By the time he offered me Hey! Ram, my perception of the whole thing had changed, even though the basic interest remained the same. I accepted the offer with an ulterior motive. I thought acting would help my singing career.
Were you surprised to see yourself in the film? You almost seem like a pro?
Yes I was surprised that I could act so well in certain scenes. But I also feel that I could have done a lot better in some scenes. Kamal was giving me constant feedback so my confidence was always high.
Who are your favourite singers, the people who have inspired you?
Classical music has always been there around me, and I love listening to Pundit Jasraj and Bhimsen Joshi. Whitney Houstons soul music and alternative music artists like Alanis Morisette interest me a lot. I have developed a special liking for Spanish music, which I find enthralling.
You are also sang the famous Tamil song, Shak-a-laka baby. How did that happen?
I desperately wanted A R Rahman to call me to do a song, but I knew that I had to be patient and wait for things to happen. He called me for a trial, and said that if it didn't work out the way he wanted, I would just have to turn back and go home. I was a little scared myself, because I did not know whether I would be able to handle Tamil lyrics, since I am a Telegu.
There were so many people to help me out with all that. It turned out to be a great beginning in playback singing.
So the next step was Meri Jaan?
This album was always on the cards, since it was what I really wanted to do. Magnasound approached me and signed me for the album. Thank God its out and I am looking forward to my musical journey.
There is a mix of musical influences in Meri Jaan. Like Bheegi Dastaan is almost a rockish number, Ghar Mera is influenced by Whitney Houstons soul music, Mera Nishaan has Arabic influences, Aao Yaar is almost like Shakalakha.
What is that one thing which you dream of doing musically?
I would like to travel the entire world and collect whatever folk and indigenous music forms exists in various parts of the world and record it for posterity.
Will you ever act in films again?
Hey, this is just the beginning. Ive treated it as a learning experience. Let me see how things shape up. Maybe, I can pursue a good career both in singing and acting.