May 10, 2000
Right up there in the charts, but on the Indian horizon, is Ms. Suneeta Rao. She is better known in India as Paree, or Fairy, from one of her hits and the title is well-deserved. A light and magical glow seemed to follow her, dancing in her eyes, especially when she's talking about music! And to see this woman perform is to be held captive by her fiery energy, glamorous style, and beautiful voice.
"Always, Jasmine, ever since I was a little child,I knew I would perform. If I did not become a singer, I would've become an actress because I am a performer, I am a performance person," she smiled.
Our first encounter with the living conditions of India's poor was a harsh reality to face. For many children, age eight or nine was about the time you began helping bring money into the house by peddling cigarettes or shining shoes, while your younger siblings ran barefoot playing in the streets, begging from the occasional tourist if the opportunity presented itself.
Suneeta came into stardom in 1989 and remembers well the first pictures she took for her first record cover. Over delicious mangoes she told us about family, music, and loving what you do. Sad that she wasn't able to see Kavitha, who is up in North India, I whipped out a picture of us all from Thanksgiving in Egypt. The cousins look a lot alike, tall and slender, attractive eyes and bright smiles, "perfect for the industry" as one magazine article about Ms. Rao stated. She has it all!
"As long as it's not one of those batting-your-eyelash roles [which are ever so popular in melodramatic Hindi films], I'd gladly consider an offer," Suneeta shared.
Suneeta explained that in comparison to the internationally proclaimed mega-stars of Bollywood's Hindi film industry, Hindi pop artists aren't so well known. But when she was in the company of some of those very superstars, they explained that they have a great deal of respect for the musical talent behind their leading roles. See, the famous Hindi music soundtracks that top the charts as the country's best-selling music is only lip-synced by the movie stars on the big screen. Suneeta and her vocally skilled counterparts do the work.
Thank you Suneeta and the Rao family for their gracious invitation and insider's peek into the world of Hindi pop! We had a great time!
Stay tuned, our tour of the great Hindustan is just beginning. There's lots more to see, visit and learn!
p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...firstname.lastname@example.org
Monica - Development That Works
Andrew - I Don't Care if that Croc is Vegetarian - I'm Still Not Swimming with Him! And Other Forms of Refreshment in Udaipur
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