Tuesday, 24 May 2011


The voice of Sridevi in many of Sri's 80s films, yesteryear actress Naaz.


Husband Subiraj was responsible for Naaz's entry into the world of professional dubbing artistes. Till then she'd just looked on it as some pocket money, doing the occasional regional film. Himmatwala was about to be released and someone was needed to dub for its new South Indian heroine, "who was nil in Hindi" according to Naaz. Subiraj persuaded her to go for a test to the Ketnav dubbing studio and from numerous applicants, hers was the voice chosen for Sridevi.

"She was speaking the way they do Tamil - in one breath. I can still remember that first line from a scene between her and Asrani - she was saying, 'Mera dil karta, main katta katta kairi kaoon'.

My voice suited her, it had the right tone and I'd been able to get the correct feelings across. That was the beginning, since then I've dubbed for her in around 40 films.

"I was lucky for her," says Naaz, "See how many flops she's had since she's started doing her own dubbing."

Yesteryear's child star blames certain producers who spurred her on to do her own dubbing for her debacle. "Sridevi's shrill voice doesn't go with her face. People were so used to my voice behind her that her own voice sounds artificial. My voice was taken to be natural one and people keep asking her who's dubbing for her now."

Naaz was paid Rs 5,000 for her first work for Sridevi, she gradually progressed to Rs 30,000 for Chaalbaaz.

"After Himmatwala, Jeetendra and Kader Khan recommended me to producers to dub Sridevi's voice. Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) was also quite impressed with my work. He used to say that Sridevi shouldn't switch to any other dubbing artiste. If I'd continued to dub for her nobody would have known that the voice that matched her lips wasn't her own."

In between, when Naaz dubbed for Moon Moon Sen and Bhanupriya, Sridevi was asked why she was lending her voice to these two actresses. "Sridevi called me and asked why I was dubbing for others. I told her I was a freelancer. After all, she didn't have me under contract - 'Meri badnaami ho rahi hai,' she said, but what could I do about it? I have to make a living.

"She's a fantastic actress, her expressions and feelings were easy to match while dubbing. It was a pleasure working for her.

"While dubbing, a professional can add to an artiste's performance. I use glycerine when a heroine is crying in a scene. People are amazed but without it, how can you get the sniffles and the huskiness, to make the dialogue sound authentic?..."

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