Twin singing : sensations of Darjeeling

Renowned musicians call on everyone to vote for Prashant


He has been able to capture people’s hearts with his voice, and when the Indian Idol 3 airs on the Indian channel, people across North Bengal and Sikkim in India, and many in Nepal too leave everything else just to watch him perform.

Prashant Tamang is certainly the No 1 celebrity in Darjeeling and Sikkim at the moment. His hometown has already anointed him king.

However, Prashant is not the only voice that has captivated the West Bengal denizens. Karma Sherpa, a 22-year-old from Sonada, has made it to the Top 7 of Zee Bangla Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contest.

Some 22,000 contestants had entered the contest that is being in Kolkata’s Lakeland Club.

Karma, a crooner at Siliguri’s Hotel Konark, has the distinction of having won the Swar Shree award in Darjeeling. Though a non-Bengali, Karma is proving a tough opponent in the contest that requires contestants to sing Bengali songs.

Karma is currently touring Darjeeling hills to garner support as SMS voting is open till July 2 after which six Sa Re Ga Ma Pa contestants will enter the third round depending on the number of votes received.

And musician Karma Yonzon said, “Karma has proved that Nepalis are capable of adapting to any cultural stream. He is one more reason for all Nepalis to feel proud.”

The craze for Prashant continues — from family to friends to top musicians in Darjeeling, everyone is praying for his success.

Prashant’s family feels that he become a uniting factor for Nepalis. His elder sister Archana said, “I am happy all Nepalis voted Prashant into the Top 10 bracket.”

Veteran musician-singer Durga Kharel described Prashant as the voice that had cut across borders and united Nepalis the world over.

“He has a naturally gifted voice. It is an achievement in itself to have made it to the Top 10 bracket. I am hopeful of his going ahead,” said Kharel.

Singer Daisy Baraili said Prashant had drawn home the hearts of all Nepalis living away from their homes.

Composer Chandan Lamjel said Prashant had proved that Nepalis are naturally gifted in the field of music. “He has already built a bridge for all Nepalis to cross over into the world of Hindi music,” he said.

Singer Kumar Subba lauded Prashant saying, “It has given me the feeling that it is I who have made it to the Top 10 bracket.”

The final 13 Indian Idol 3 contestants will now enter the gala round where each week one will be eliminated depending on the number of votes received until just one among them is crow-ned the next Indian Idol.

Darjeeling hills and Sikkim are awash with support messages, banners flags, posters and stickers appealing to the people to vote for Prashant. Staff in Subba’s music studio have fanned out the streets of Darjeeling and are requesting passersby to vote for Prashant.

A Tungsung resident Kalu Syangden said, “I have never seen such support even for any religious guru or political leader.”

Every inch that Prashant moves forward towards the title, the people here celebrate it with much enthusiasm.

When electricity supply was interrupted while the programme was on, people descended in hordes at the electricity office to get the power restored. They found the office staff feverishly wringing their hands and egging on the electricians to do it fast.

They have been holding programmes and taking out rallies in support of Prashant. The Himalayan Darpan, a Nepali daily published from Siliguri, is holding a signature campaign in Prashant’s support. The signatures will be sent to Sony Television on June 26.

And musician Kumar Yonzon’s appeal is: “All those who are the sons of Nepali mothers should vote Prashant to victory.”