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On the musical threshold

With a mellifluous voice and matching good looks, Gorinka Hattangadi is the voice to watch out for.


IN THE WINGS: Gorinka Hattangadi.

GORINKA HATTANGADI has got all that it takes to be a film actress. She is pretty, has trained in classical dance and can do a western jig as well. She has a working knowledge of Telugu, Hindi, English and Bengali respectively. She, however, has different plans and wants to make the most of her melodious voice. Before you label this 24-old Aquarian a wannabe Britney Spears, she says, "I want to be known as a playback singer and a spirited performer." More like her role model, Asha Bhonsle.

Gorinka has already made her mark as a playback singer. She has sung a duet with Hariharan for Nagesh Kukunoor's Bollywood Calling. Talking of the Hariharan experience, she said, "I was excited when I was told that I have a duet with Hariharan. It was a bit of an anticlimax though as I did not get to meet him. He recorded in Chennai while I recorded in Visakhapatnam. The film was released about two years after I recorded the song and the song was used as a background score. So the stint with Hariharan did not bring me as much recognition as I expected," says Gorinka. Nevertheless she has been noticed. Recently, she has recorded a song for the yet to be released Telugu movie, Manasuto. Music director, Ashirvad, who had heard her in a music competition and stage shows in Visakhapatnam, launched her.

Gorinka's brush with the arts began in her childhood when she took up Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi, which she discontinued to concentrate on her academics. When her parents discovered her extraordinary voice, they encouraged her. Gorinka's mother, Archana, who specialises in Rabindra Sangeet, taught her the nuances of music from the basic sa-re-ga-ma to the nitty-gritty's of the ragas. Later, she learnt the Hindustani classical tradition from Sneha Ketkar.

Gorinka's recipe to make it big includes "a good voice, looks (always helps) and contacts." Gorinka has shifted base from Visakhapatnam to Hyderabad. On choosing Hyderabad over happening Mumbai, she said, "I did my masters in International Business from GIFT, Visakhapatnam. I felt, moving to Hyderabad will help me to find a job and pursue my singing. Mumbai is too vast a place and there is too much competition. Nobody has time to listen to you."

It has not been a cakewalk though, at Hyderabad, as far as pursuing her singing is concerned. She observes that it is a new place for her and people are either perennially busy or inaccessible. This apart, she did nearly strike the chord when music director, R.P. Patnaik, auditioned her. "Mr. Patnaik found my voice very trendy and suitable for Telugu films but he suggested that I work on my Telugu accent."

At the moment, she is paying more attention to the riyaz in her pursuit to be the best. Gorinka goes by Asha Bhonsle's advice, (who had heard Gorinka at an awards function), "You need to cross a thousand hurdles before making it big. Practice hard and strive to be the best."

Gorinka's part-time job gives her enough scope to practise and pursue other interests as well. In the morning, she works as a Guest Relations Executive in a star hotel where she gets to meet celebrity guests. She practices ghazals in the afternoon under the guidance of Vittal Rao, the noted ghazal maestro from Hyderabad. And the evenings are for workouts and aerobics. She spends her spare time watching Hollywood flicks, listening to music and well, waiting for that still elusive call from the tinsel world.

S. PAI

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