Her trademark gajra,rich maroon Kanjivaram sari and her arms jingling with glass and gold bangles singer Usha Uthup wears her personality on her sleeve. In the city to attend the 16th Umed Awards along with veteran actors Waheeda Rehman and Dilip Prabhawalkar,Uthup was brimming with enthusiasm as she spoke about her connection with the city.
I was born and brought up in Mumbai but my mother was born here. She even went to a school here, she said addressing the audience at the award ceremony held at Yashwantrao Chavan Natyagruha on Monday .
Uthup,who sang a Marathi number for filmmaker Kedar Shindes upcoming film Kho Kho,calls herself a proud nightclub singer.
I dont know why musicians shy away from the fact that they are creating and performing for audience. I am essentially a live performer who seeks love and admiration from audience, she said.
Talking about her journey in the Indian film industry,Uthup said she had to face a lot of challenges but she was a content person. Sharing her experiences about the Dev Anand-directed film Hare Rama Hare Krishna,she said,It was at a club in Delhis The Oberoi where Pancham da (musician RD Burman) first heard me sing. He thought my voice will be be perfect for Dum maaro dum. When we came to Mumbai,we even rehearsed the song for a week but later it was given to Asha Bhosale. Pancham da asked me to sing another English song instead, she said.
I bear no grudges with anyone. A lot of people are still under the impression that I sang Dum maaro dum, she said.
As part of the awards,organised by Marathi producer-director Mahesh Tilekar,Marathi actors Bhargavi Chirmule,Ashok Samarth and Abhijit Khandekar were felicitated.
The previous recipients of the award are actors Nadira,Nilu Phule,Boman Irani,Rohini Hattangadi,Zeenat Aman,Bindu,Prateik Babbar,Subha khote,Tom Alter and Asrani,and singers Aarti Anklikar,Sadhana Sargam and Kailash Kher among others.