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News |  02 May 2022 13:45 |  By RnMTeam

It was never about fame but about purpose and passion, even when the odds are against you.

MUMBAI: It was in 2012, at the Miss India Finale party. He was standing next to the dance floor,leaning on the bar, with Mark, his long-timemanager. Decked in dazzle from head to toe, he looked like a prince.My partner and I Were Strugglers desperate to make contacts in showbiz. Who didn’t know Taz? We grew up listening to his superhits in every bar and nightclub!

"Thoda daru vich yaar, Pyaar Ho gaya, oh carol!" The list is long.

Even through his Fendi glasses, I could see he had the kindest of gaze. After we broke the ice, it was Taz all the way. He introduced us in superlative terms to everyone there, never mind that he hadn’t heardour music.At some point, Mark signals that they had to go.They gave us their number.

The following day, I found three missed calls from Mark and a text“Taz wants to meet.”The address was an apartment in Lokhandwala, close to where I stayed. We rarely value things when they come to us. We believe we are the best, that stardom is only an interview away.That such an invitation was a recognition of our talent!

Mark welcomed us. Taz was sitting on the sofa with his designer friend, wearing a black Ganji and shorts, whiskey in hand, and a tandoori chicken dish before him. Oh, what a man! He left all his work and went to chat. We had some demos we made in Kolkata; helistenedto all of them. He was not stopping in between, not taking calls, not suggesting, like a pure soul sitting. Smoking like a chimney. He fell in love with one song. In particular,“Ore Piya Tu Jaane Na,”beautifully written by Arko.

Taz praised my singing and listened to the song many times over. We jammed together on G major.He revealed something inside me that would have taken me years to discover.That’s when I realized what a great songwriter he was.After that day, meeting Taz became an everyday affair.

He was always carrying loads of cash in his Gucci sling bag for no particular reason. “You never know; I might need it!”He was fighting his own battles. I would often hear him crying over labels stealing his music and not giving him credits. His family was the temple, and his daughters it's deities.Something very pure emanated from him, and I felt deep gratitude towards him.

Soon he offered to manage us and asked Mark to conceive a road map for us. A day later, he said,“You must go to Delhi and work with a producer to record Ore Piya.That will be your first single.”His management booked the air tickets.He apologized for not flying using business class.That was pure Taz. He was an authenticglobal desi.

The producer in Delhi was a young lad who had some piano skills, but Ore Piya is a challenging song to produce. We were not satisfied with the result but didn’t dare to speak up. We returned to Mumbai on late evening in July; the monsoon was in full force. Taz was sitting in the room with Mark. We reluctantly gave him the demo. He placed the CD in the stereo system and closed his eyes. Piano starts, he gets the vibe, my voice meets the cigarette smoke in the room. As the song ends, he stubs the cigarette. Doesn’t say a word.He takesthe CD, puts it back in the jewel case, and smashesit against the door.

“That mofo has spoilt the song. This is not the arrangement !” Silence in the room.I never saw this side of him.I met Taz again some dayslater. He was leaving for the UK the following day.That was the last time we met.

We remember Taz as a role model for Indian performers. A creator of hooks and pure lyrics that will be heard for a long time. He was a kind heart who had an eye for talent and put his money on them. He instilled in me a confidence that I carry to this day.He was a natural performer who made me aware of that “switch” deep inside that separates good from great performers. His Demeanor Was so humble. I never saw him using his star status to berate others or misbehave with a woman at a party.

He was pure music - a hit machine.