English version of Usha Uthup’s authorised biography released

Kolkata, Mar 6 : Nine Gems to Savera to Ritz to Trincas. It’s not a mere list of the hotels and pubs where legendary singer Usha Uthup mesmerised listeners with her melodious voice. it’s a lot more than that. It’s the story of the gradual evolution of the musicality in Uthup, whose popularity remains intact over half a century after she began her music career in erstwhile Madras (now Chennai). A couple of years back, Vikas Kumar Jha penned an authorised biography of the singer christened ‘Ullash Ki Nao’. Now, the author’s daughter Srishti Jha has translated the book into English. “The Queen of Indian Pop: Usha Uthup” just got released. The book concentrates on the various unexplored facets of Uthup’s life, her musical journey that took her from Madras to Bombay (now Mumbai) to Calcutta (now Kolkata). At the book launch in Oxford Bookstore on fashionable Park Street, Uthup walked down memory lane. From her Trincas day, Park Street and Usha has remained synonymous. “Kolkata is my favourite city,” said Uthup, who sports a bindi with the initials of Kolkata written on it in Bengali. After the biography was launched, legendary actor Waheeda Rehman said; “I first heard Usha at the Talk of the Town. She was que and not just a singer with a microphone. So different in many ways. I would say she had the ‘Usha Stamp’ all over her! She truly is the queen of Indian pop music”. On the other hand, former on Minister and celebrated author Shashi Tharoor said: “I’ve enjoyed a long and abiding friendship with Usha Uthup, and this book shares the gifts of her friendship with the world – her tenacity, charm, wit and compassion are woven through its pages. Usha’s legacy is more than her extraordinary musical talent. It is also the grace, fearlessness and wisdom with which she lives her life”. Ace actor Boman Irani had the chance to watch Uthup performing when he was a ten-year-old boy. Reminiscing those moments, he shares, “field marshals, industrialists, royalty, film stars and singers, too, have sat as her audience, absorbing every single musical note, lyric, joke and heartfelt anecdote when she performed. I sat as a ten-year-old at the base of the stage, watching performer and audience together. And I learned much of what I know today, right there. Her words to this ten-year-old still ring in my ears: “Sing Elvis, Sinatra, Reeves or Ray Charles…But make the song yours! Always be an original.” Thank you, Usha. There is no other like you”. XC SSP

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