INDIA’S GOT TALENT—AT THE RAILWAY STATION
For many people using the Ranaghat railway station in West Bengal, Ranu Mondal was just a poor old woman sitting on the platform. But when Atindra Chakraborty, a 26-year-old engineer, heard her humming to a Mohammed Rafi song that was playing on the radio, his curiosity was aroused.
“I asked her if she could sing something for us,” he told India Today. “She sang a song and I recorded it on my mobile. We were surprised how melodious she was.”
That evening, Chakraborty and his friends spent an hour recording Mondal as she sang classic songs. A couple of days later, Chakraborty posted a video of her singing Lata Mangeshkar’s “Ek Pyar Ka Nagma Hai” on Facebook. The video went viral, attracting more than four million views and turning Mondal, who is in her late 50s, into a mini-celebrity. She has received an invitation to appear on a reality TV show and a free makeover at a local beauty parlor, as well as lots of attention from admirers.
Mondal, who has lived in poverty for much of her life, told India Today that she has always loved music. “From my childhood, I had a passion for listening to music and singing along,” she said. “Although I liked Mohammad Rafi and Mukesh ji’s songs, it was Lata Mangeshkar who inspired me a lot. I could relate to her singing, and the melody always touched my heart.”
Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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