‘I can’t wait to give Rahman a hug’

As the first Indian musician to pick up the prestigious award for Best Original Score, AR Rahman has sure got us in the Chhaiya chhaiya mode. And the singer of the number, Jai Ho, a song of celebration that has snapped up the award for Rahman, is already “jumping with joy”. Sukhwinder Singh is all set to raise a toast, but is waiting for the composer to come back from Los Angeles.

“I’m yet to call up Rahman. It’s all because of the time difference. I can’t wait to give him a hug,” says the excited singer. In fact, he’s in no mood to hide his feelings as he says, “I started my day with Bholenath’s puja and then, switched on my cell phone. There were 72 messages already.”

Sukhwinder jogs his memory to the time when the song was recorded. “I didn’t even know it was for Slumdog… the track was so nice that I sang 6-7 versions of the number. Even Gulzarsaab was perplexed. These days, most of the peppy numbers are just high on music, as lyrics take a backseat. But Jai Ho is special, as it has quite a few meaningful verses, even though it’s desi at the core,” he quips. The singer claims that he’s yet to hear the final version. “Koi mujhe gaana suna do,” he says in his usual singsong voice, as he volunteers to sing a line from one of the many versions.

The singer, whose friendship with Rahman goes back a long way, feels “he should have won a Golden Globe long back”. For Sukhwinder, celebrations have to wait for three more days till he’s with Rahman in Chennai. “With Rahman around, celebrations are all non-vegetarian. He’s a very shy guy. But he knows that I can be naughty if I want to.” Waxing eloquent, the singer says, “There’s so much to learn from Rahman — he hates talking about competition.”
Jai Ho!

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