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Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai Email Compiled/partly written by Melvin Durai
February 2016

Sonu Nigam has lent his golden voice to 6-Pack Band, India’s first transgender band. It’s his way of helping a community for whom he has long felt empathy.

“When I was a child, I used to think, what if I was born in a planet where people like me were in the minority and others were majority,” the playback singer told Times of India. “What would happen to me, my family because of that? It used to sadden me very much, that is there no way we can’t give them (transgender people) a respectable job, proper business ... Why can’t it happen that we see them at normal places?”

Six-Pack Band, with help from Nigam, music director Shamir Tandon, and others, is releasing six English songs, beginning with a cover of Pharell Williams’ hit “Happy.” Their version is titled “Hum Hain Happy” and has garnered more than a million views on YouTube. It begins with a short introduction that describes the hijras or third gender as “a community almost in exile” who somehow find a way to be happy in India.

“They are always happy despite the fact that people abhor them, disrespect them,” Tandon said. “‘Happy’, we hope, will be heard by everybody.”

Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.

[Comments? Contributions? We would love to hear from you about Chai Time. If you have contributions, please email us at melvin@melvindurai.com. We welcome jokes, quotes, online clips and more.]

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