Playback Singer Sanjeevani Rocks
Story & photos by Girish Modi
Z-TV’s popular talent-search program “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa” has
produced a handful of female playback singers for the Bollywood
film industry. Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mahalaxmi,
Aishwarya Majumdar, Richa Sharma and Sanjeevani Bhelande are
among them. Lesser-known Sanjeevani is currently on a whirlwind
tour of the USA. She has already performed in 8 concerts
including New York-New Jersey, Orlando, Columbus and Detroit and
will be several more before returning to India.
On Saturday April 17th 2010 Sanjeevani embarked on Atlanta to
entertain her fans. This fund-raising concert was organized by
the South-east region chapter of charitable, non-profit Ekal
Vidyalaya Foundation in Sardar Patel Bhavan of Gujarati Samaj in
Tucker. It was Ekal’s annual fund-raising event.
Sanjeevani hails from a family of academicians since her late
father was the Director of Education for the Maharastra
government and a professor of Sanskrit and her mother is a
retired professor of English. Sanjeevani herself holds a Diploma
in Mass Communication, while her younger sister has a doctorate
in English literature. But Sanjeevani’s main passion always has
been music. She started learning singing from the tender age of
10 under various renowned gurus including Pandit Dinkar Kaikini
and completed Sangeet Visharad (a diploma in classical music).
She is fine-tuning her singing from Ms. Rajshri Pathak and
learning Thumri Gayki.
Sanjeevani participated in Sa Re Ga Ma Pa when the show was
launched in early 1990s and was declared a finalist in 1995. She
was spotted by film director Vidhu Vinod Chopra who gave her a
break for his film “Kareeb”. Incidentally, she won the best
playback singer award for the song “Chori Chori Nazrein Mili”
from the same film. Since then Sanjeevani has given playback for
second-grade films like Nayak, Kya Dil Ne Kaha, Road, Rules, Sun
Zarra and Socha Na Tha.
Sanjeevani started the concert with the song Jyoti Kalash
Chhalke from film “Bhabhi ki Chudiya” whose music was composed
by Sudhir Phadke and was originally sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
Thoughout the evening Sanjeevani continued her roller-coaster
ride of film hits from yesteryears starting sung by legendary
singers like Noor Jehan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Geeta
Dutt and Shamshad Begam. She started this ride with Jawan Hain
Mohabbat, Saiyan Dil mein Aana Re , Barsaat Mein from film
Barsat, Dil Chiz kya hai from Umaro Jaan, Mera Sundar Sapna bit
gaya, Waqt ne kya kiya and many more. Sanjeevani also sang a
Bengali song and a couple of Punjabi, Marathi and Gujarati songs
by requests from the audience. Sanjeevani sang Teri Mehfil mein
aaj qawaali from film Moghul-e-Azam, but she did not sing any
During the break Ekal Vidyalaya organizers presented a slide
show that highlighted their mission of literacy, basic health
and hygiene, economic development and social empowerment in rual
parts of India.
One of the rarest achievements of Sanjeevani is release of her
album “Meera and Me” which is a collection 9 devotional songs of
Sant Meerabai. In that album Sanjeevani has included 4 songs
that she has translated in English. Sanjeevani sang Mere to
girdhar gopal in Hindi-English version from that album.
Sanjeevani was accompanied by Keyboard and flute player Mohit
Shastry, Octopad player Rupesh Rane and Tabla/Dholak player Amit
Mehta. Amit also is a good singer and enthralled the crowd by
singing late Mohammad Rafi’s song Tu Ganga Mauj, Suhani Raat Dal
Chuki and duets with Sanjeevani.
The last item of the 3-hour program was Vande Mataram from film
“Anand Math”, that was like national anthem before Indian
government adopted Jangan man adhi nayak after the independence.
Overall, the concert named “Sanjh Sanjeevani” was a nostalgic
evening of popular geets and film songs. It was a huge success
because it included not only a musical evening but also a dinner
in the price of the ticket. Ms. Rachna Gupta had compeered the