Mamta Sharma, who has lent her voice to “Anarkali disco chali”, “Fevicol se”, “Pandeyji seeti”, and “Munna badnaam hua” among several other popular Sajid-Wajid numbers, breaks down while talking to IANS as she recalls working with her “guru” and “mentor” Wajid Khan.
“I am not in a clear state of mind right now because he was really close to us. Wajid Bhai was just like family. I am too shocked to say anything. Only last week I spoke to him over video call. He was absolutely fine and I thought he would be discharged in a few days. Meanwhile, this happened. I am still not out of this trauma. I cannot think of anything right now. Whatever I am today, it is because of him.
“Wajid Bhai had taught me how to live life and how to be a good singer. He had discovered the singer in me better. Also, he has changed me as a person. He has helped me change my thoughts and encouraged me to always be positive. He had taught me to always smile through tough times. He was a guru, a mentor to me.
“His per word was ‘bindass’. He would always tell me, ‘bindass gaa, don’t think too much’. So many times, I have sung in a pitch higher than what I normally sing in, because he encouraged me to do that, because he believed in my capability as a singer. He would always advise me to learn the lyrics by heart because that would make me sing a song better.
“He was an extremely balanced person who knew how to handle both happiness and pain. At times when I was ecstatic or even when I was sad for some reason he would always tell me to be patient. He was a balanced person, a nice person and a positive person. There was always a positive vibe around him. I have never seen him use a single negative word about any person. He would always tell me, ‘do your work, let your work speak on your behalf’.
“I had first met him at a party of ‘Dabangg’. All of them were very nice, Wajid bhai, Sajid bhai mummy, papa they were like family. Their behaviour was so nice and warm that they always made me feel that I am a part of the family. Today I am in so much pain just thinking about him that I am finding it difficult even to talk. I would never forget forget what he taught me in life. He transformed me as a person and I assume that he has done that with so many other people. He was such a sweetheart.”
“When we spoke over video call just one week ago, I was in tears looking at him but the smile on his face was intact and he was consoling me saying don’t worry, I am ok, I am good, I will be alright. He was such a strong person and a pillar of positivity. I would always look up to him that yes this is how a person should be. Today so many people are grieving his demise just because he was a good man. I know he will always be watching me from above and I will try to live up to his expectations.”
(As told to Ahana Bhattacharya)