'Kooke' girl Antara graduates from Genelia to Katrina


Antara Mitra: Does the name ring a bell? Not really. And no one -- whether the singer or the audience -- can be blamed for that. After all, she is one of those newbie singers who has just stepped into the world of playback singing and sung two numbers that are out and out different from each other. As a Bollywood follower, it is impossible to miss the track 'Bheegi Si' from Raajneeti which is playing on music channels 24x7. The voices behind this song (picturised on Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif) are Mohit Chauhan and, as you would have guessed by now, Antara Mitra.

However, what is difficult to guess is that she is the same girl who also sang 'Kooke Kooke' [Life Partner] last year. Yes, the same song (picturised on Genelia D'Souza) where the brief given to Antara was -- 'Sing it so bad that people would love it'.

"That was the most unconventional start that any playback singer could have ever vouched for," laughs Antara, when reminded of the incident that paved the way for her career in Bollywood. "Dada (as she fondly calls Pritam) gave me those two lines of 'Kooke' and asked me to go 'besura'. I asked that 'Dada, are you really serious?' Even when he said yes, I couldn't believe him. He explained the situation to me but it required quite a few takes before I could really go completely off key. I was scared and asked 'dada' if this was actually the right start for a newcomer. He assured me that I won't regret singing the song. The way 'Kooke' turned so popular; I had no reasons not to believe in 'dada' thereafter."

However, the situation was entirely different once Pritam offered Antara a chance to sing 'Bheegi Si'.

"The moment I heard that song, I told 'dada' that this is one of his best compositions ever created," says the 21 year old singer who hails from Kolkota and has been stationed in Mumbai for past 5 years, "He is always overcritical about his compositions and was still not too sure about 'Bheegi Si'. However, even as the song still remained to be mixed, I promised 'dada' that it would be one of his most acclaimed numbers."

As things stand today, Antara's promise has turned true as 'Bheegi Si' has seen instant acclaim coming its way. Not just has the song turned out to be quite popular in quick time, it has also enhanced the graph of Raajneeti, which till a fortnight ago was looking like an out and out political drama sans any song and dance relief. However, the presence of 'Bheegi Si' coupled with Antara's wonderful job behind the mike has made many stand up and notice the fresh appeal that the music album has brought to fore now.

"For someone who has been mentored exceedingly well by 'dada', 'thanks' would be too small in comparison," says Antara, who was one of the Top 5 finalists in the reality show Indian Idol. "Singers don't quite get a second chance in the industry but Hindi music industry seems to be embracing me well. Pritam da has been extremely patient with me and his 'Bheegi Si' is something that I would cherish forever."

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