Have you seen Secret Superstar by Aamir Khan? It is a story of a young kid from a conventional family who is fighting her battle at home to pursue her passion for singing. When I saw the movie I could not help recalling my favourite singer. Somebody who went through a similar struggle in her childhood but she was able to come out of that in flying colours to become one of the most respected singers in our industry. Somebody whose songs are timeless and whose voice is as crisp as fresh morning air. A voice which can transform any emotion to happiness and joy.
She was Shamshad Begum. She came from a very conventional family and her father did not want her to become a singer in Bollywood. But she was determined to pursue her passion and she got a lot of support from her maternal uncle. Finally, the condition put forward by her father was that she will not get herself photographed. She agreed to that and pursued her career in singing. She ruled the charts in the forties and fifties. And after her retirement, she led a simple life in Mumbai away from the eyes of media and fans. She gave few interviews but mostly stayed away from the limelight. In fact in 2004 lot of media publications wrongly reported that she had passed away. Her family had to clarify later that she was very much alive. She passed away on 23rd Apr 2013 leaving behind a treasure of songs which will live with us forever.
For me she is a singer who always lifts the mood without fail and here are few of them which top the list.