Interview : Alka Yagnik




Alka Yagnik is back to her ‘judge ki kursi’. All set to judge L’il Champs 2009 on Zee TV, the versatile singer talks to our correspondent about why she loves judging reality shows than playback singing.

You are back to judge L’il Champs 2009…
Yes…and you can expect more fun because this time it’s boys versus girls as our tagline says ‘Jeetenge yeh world, Boys ya Girls…?’

Aren’t you tired of judging reality shows?
See, I have not judged reality shows so far. I judged L’il Champs 2007, after that Voice of India, and now L’il Champs 2009. I may not have agreed to do this show too had it not involved children. I always enjoy being a part of a show where talented kids are involved.

Of late, there had been cases where judges’ comments had adverse effects on child-participants. How will you handle such incidents?
I always try to sugar-coat the bitter pill. It hurts me to hurt kids. But when you have to tell a child that he/she is rejected, you have no choice. Then also, I try to

‘ Stardom is short-lived now…’

be as gentle and sweet as possible. There are some blunt people in the industry who shout at kids and use harsh words like ‘Get out’, ‘You are useless’ et cetera. First you must learn how to talk to kids and then come to judge them.

In the last season of L’il Champs, we saw co-judge Abhijeet pulling your leg in all the episodes. Are you prepared for his leg-pulling this season too?
Yes…I have decided to pull all his hair if he pulls my leg. So you may expect to see a bald Abhijeet at the end of the show. (Laughs)

Who scripts your fights on air?
Nothing is scripted…people who don’t know their jobs, needs scripts. We are here for so long in the industry that all our comments, actions and reactions come spontaneously.

You are a shy person in real life. So did you have any difficulty in opening up in front of the camera for the first time?
It is true that I am a very shy person in real life. But that doesn’t mean I have difficulty in voicing what I have to say. It depends on the mahaul (surrounding). I talk a lot where I am comfortable.



What do you like more-singing or judging reality shows?
My first love will always be singing, not just playback singing, but live shows where I can interact with my audience. But honestly speaking, after spending so many years singing ‘Jiya bekarar hai, humko tumse pyaar hai’ type songs, judging reality shows is really a welcome break.

Now-a-days we are getting too many new voices, but not a ‘name’ like Lata, Asha or Alka. Why is that?
Now there are too many new talents because of the reality shows and media exposure and hence work in the industry is distributed too. But stardom is short-lived now-a-days as there is no sustenance value. Everyday a new voice is coming and before he/she gets a chance to establish himself/herself, another new voice replaces the singer.

Name the heroine who best fits your voice.
There are so many of them. As long as the heroine does justice to my songs on-screen, it’s all right. Madhuri Dixit and Juhi Chawla were very good. I also loved singing for Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kareena Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and Rani Mukherji.

Amid your multi-tasking, do you find time for your family?
Yes, yes. I get time because I get my schedules from before-hand. I know when and till what time I have to shoot or record or go for a show. And I plan accordingly so that I am able to spend quality time with my family.

CHECK OUT: Present day music is not happening!

Many singers are now trying their hands at acting. Do you too have any such plan?
Not at all. In fact, when I started singing in Bollywood, I got a lot of offers to act. But I was always focused and knew I want to be a singer. I have always believed in doing one thing and concentrate on that, instead of trying too many things and become ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’.

Any plans to join politics in future?
I am not campaigning for any party this Lok Sabha polls. Let’s see next year. But I have voted and know that everyone must vote. Beyond this don’t ask me anything.