| 30 May 2024
Archana's Diary: Day-II with Sukhi ji

This had to be my most memorable experience of escorting the Musical-e-Azam (MeA) guest at 6:30 in the morning! Sukhwinder Singh is a huge fitness freak! He had once told me that his 6 bedroom apartment in Juhu is a gym and a doghouse, as every room has some gym equipment or the other, and his five dogs walk all over!

So, we were in for his fitness freak streak  Sukhi ji was at Silver Beach at the Centaur Beach from 5.45 am, in a small exercising enclosure that looked like an akhaada, where he was doing bench presses. As soon as he saw us approaching him, he rushed to Balaji Juicewala on the beach, has his concoction of bitter gourd (karela), wheatgrass, drumstick, aamlaa, bottle gourd (lauki), with pieces of corn sprinkled with masala!

He then rushed his pet dog, Toby, into an autorickshaw and rushed home for a shower before he could come with us. He refused to come into the car because of the sand all over his feet and the oil he had ghisoed all over his body!

Anyways, on the way to the studio, he bowed down to every passing shrine, morgue, Mandir and everything that looked like a holy spot.

Finally the musical journey began,  and he came in with a bang singing Chhaiya Chhaiya, dedicated to the millions of Mumbaikars who are in a train right now!...

Amongst his upcoming movies, he told us he's looking forward to Saat Khoon  Maaf the most, because he believes that Vishal Bhardwaj has given of his best, and is truly international after A. R. Rahman! Wow!

What Salil couldn't get over was what Sukhi ji said about all musicians having two things in common – they are foodies, or/and body-obsessed! (Now Salil is dreaming of his singing future, because he too loves both! Hahahaha!)

A song that changed Sukhi ji's style of flirting was Fashion Ka Jalwa! It made him a naughtier flirt, he says. He always said that he loved Salim Suleiman's composition, but this song took Sukhwinder Singh's style to another level.

What stunned me was that he is such a fine lyricist! He informed me that the song Chinamma Chilakka (one of my favourites) was a song he wrote and composed, after the whole Meenaxi album was completed, and insisted that Rahman include it in the album as a gift to MF Hussain (whom he called FM Hussain, because he was at a radio station?) He said he decided to give MF Husain this gift, as Husain had given him a beautiful painting.

What's heart warming about Sukhi ji is that he said that he prefers the simplicity with which one can live, whether that means sleeping off or bathing in the Mumbai beaches, or simply chatting with beautiful girls who come to the beach at 5.30 in the morning! This is the reason that he connects with the music of the world, he says. He loves the way the musicians in London come out on the streets with their instruments and perform for the fun of it! He would to see street musical culture like that in Mumbai too. Wouldn't we all!

The man lives for the love of music, and he loves living it up! The voice matched the grandeur of his personality; one of the few voices in our industry that shine beyond belief even without music!

To catch the entire masti, mazaak and fun, you can tune into Fun Ka Antenna on this evening,  5 pm onwards!

Tommorow we have the fantastic singer -- Richa Sharma's coming… Zor Ka Jhatkaa dene! So, from 7 to 11 am, hook up with Richa, Salil and me on Kasa Kai Mumbai! MeA has just about started!