April 25, 2009, Y. Sunita Chowdhary
Puja Prasad is just 16 and three of her albums are already out in the market. Her voice is yet to get sharp but it resonates and continues to cast a spell like it did three years back. Her parents, grand father, uncle, guests looked on disbelievingly as she packed lilt, passion and intensity into each word as she sang at the Film Nagar temple recently.Studying in the eleventh standard in Geetanjali School, the budding singer says studies is secondary and music occupies the primary place in her life.
It all began when Puja was really young and music director Sandeep Chowtha,a close friend of her father suggested that she learn music as she had a nice voice. She happened to see some live shows of Lata Mageshkar and Puja who was just ten resolved to learn music."My interest levels kept multiplying since then but it is only now I know for sure what I want to do. I'didn't take science in school as I don't want pressure," she says.
Spirituality runs in her family and with encouraging parents and grand parents, regular music lessons provided the gifted and pretty child an enriched atmosphere. "My third CD is in the memory of my grand mother and it was released by Sushmita Sen. She is a an old family friend and she taught me my first song actually. The last time she came it was nine years back, and she taught me a Spanish song. She promised she would come for the third CD release and she kept her word. She is a wonderful person, she herself is into music. She believes in Durga Ma and wrote a song…ma durge shakti de. She had written the lyrics and it had no tunes. When dad went to mumbai, he took the lyrics and returned and my music teacher composed music for it and I recorded it with my voice, and sent it on her birthday. She was surprised to listen to it with a tune, I sang for her on the release day," quips Puja.
Pooja finds music very soothing, very pleasant to the mind. She feels the more she listens to it, the better she can sing. She enjoys film music too. She adds, "I likes the tunes of songs, they are really nice but lyrics are a problem." She had lent her voice to the title song of the tv serial Shiridi Jai Sairam for all the 20 episodes but dosen't want to rush into many programmes, she wants to enjoy music and go by the flow.
Has she plans to sing for movies? My uncle Jagapati Babu says it's just one life and we have to give it our best and enjoy it. Music is like an ocean, I'm still towards the end of varnams in carnatic and I want to do well and make my parents happy. No movies for me, but I enjoy Shreya Goshal and Unnikrishnan singing.".