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Unputdownable!


HE SAYS a beautiful woman's face is like chocolate that activates a man's brain. It is another matter he is off both now.

Arguably India's highest paid, unquestionably the tallest, veejay, Gaurav Kapur is a diabetic who stays off candies but is himself like a box of chocolate — once gooey, once crunchy and then, nutty.

He is also witty. A blend of inane wickedness and blamelessness all at once — whatever he is, the 26-year-old veejay is quite hatke se from other veejays.

Gaurav is an informed veejay, who is up to date with the rise in oil prices to the U.S. elections, to Venkaiah Naidu stepping down and Veerappan's end. "A 20-year-old headache's gone," he sighs wiping his forehead, carefully lifting his locks that seem to cover his temples. As he does, he adds, "It's not a bad hair day as you might be wondering. It's just that I don't have enough wealth to see a barber. Besides, they act as a sunscreen."

In the city as part of the Channel [V] crew to conduct `Super Singers' show, the Punjab da puttar from a business family in New Delhi says, "It has been a backbreaking schedule, going on whirlwind tour around the country for `Super Singers', but it was great fun."

Diabetes has taken him off cigarettes and alcohol — an activity that, he claims, has given him more voltage and electricity. In spite of two shots of insulin a day, Gaurav hasn't stopped being a livewire.

A product of Venketashwara College, he studied Economics and started working as a Radio Jockey even before he walked out of college. "Veejaying was a natural progression furthering that. In between, there was amateur theatre, even management, voiceovers and anchoring assignments."

About what's new on his front, Gaurav says, "I am reading Godfather. And I will be doing a movie by Nishant Goyal soon. As of now, nothing, not even co-stars have been finalised; I just hope he has a few."

A voracious reader, the lean and lanky veejay says, "I love reading back to front. My mother says I used to read newspapers since I was four." Old habits die hard, they say.

The other day, one found Gaurav reading the newspaper backwards. "It's a great way to warm up." Didn't we say the guy's something else?

* * *

DIET AND Adnan Sami is like chalk and cheese. "He loves his food," guffaws VJ Gaurav Kapur. "Size does not matter, bring me anything and I will eat," deadpans Adnan, giving his friend Gaurav a bit of grief for being so politically correct. Well, the bulbous Adnan can actually have listeners eat out of his hands if he wants. Only a piano need be there.

Acclaimed as the world's fastest pianist - an observation made by the Swedish Radio and Television Broadcasting some time ago, Adnan can break the instrument to get the sound he wants.

An accomplished music composer and singer, a lawyer and an academically qualified journalist too, Adnan says, "Right from my childhood I knew music was where my heart lay."

Having grown up on a diet of Beethoven, The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington and S.D. Burman, Adnan was not always like how he is today. "I have been in this shape only for a few years now. There wasn't much choice," he winks with childlike innocence. "Only now I have to get my clothes from Mars. An ET does that for me."

With a voice that can melt hearts, Adnan's musical career began with Jazz and Western classical and ranged to Blues and Modern pop rock and then, Indian classical - the formal training having been given by Santoor maestro, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma.

On stage, his energy is utterly infectious. "If you want audiences to enjoy, you have to be charged up," says the singer whose skill to provoke involuntary gyrations in others is something else. What is also distinct are the lyrics of his songs - there is profundity in every song, even fun songs, like Lift Kara de are pregnant with meaning.

"That song is inspired by a human tendency - greed." How else does he get inspired? "Sometimes a dream, at times a person, an incident or the audience. Another bigtime source is food." But naturally.

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