|Anil Kapoor and Sridevi in Mr India (1987)|
While searching for quotes on singer Alisha Chinoy [she subsequently changed her surname to Chinai] and Sridevi, found this feature online... and this quote makes us a little sad;
"In the past, I saw Sridevi walk away with all the raves for my song 'Kaate nahin kat-te' in Mr. India. It hurt then, it hurts more now. I'd rather sit at home jobless than allow my talent to be used to further any actress' popularity," a livid Alisha said. (from News 18, back in Dec 2010, long before Sridevi tragically passed. Context is relevant here, for obvious reasons.).
Alisha Chinoy spoke out against other actresses too, but this particular line stung a bit. Sridevi has always credited her singers, choreographers and directors and never spoke out against anyone else - always complimenting others for their work and efforts. If the credit went to Sridevi for her memorable dancing and acting in the way that song was picturised in particular... as she was the face on screen... well, it's no fault of hers. Every element in Kate nahin Katthe was grand, be it the way it was shot, choreographed, be it the styling, sets, direction, camerawork...
However, Chinoy isn't wrong in her thoughts either. Playback singing is unique to Bollywood and uninformed fans in the past may have given credit to the actresses, but in today's internet informed and social media age, every single person watching a Hindi film knows that none of the actresses onscreen sing their own song (* with a few memorable exceptions - but that's for another blog post).
Kate nahin kathe, Mr India, 1987
Ek do teen chaar, pyar chahiye, Waqt Ki Awaaz, 1988.
I'm a bad girl, Guru, 1989
Chodh chala rahon main, Pathar Ke Insaan, 1990.
Cha raha hai pyar ka nasha, Chandramukhi, 1993
For the record, we remain huge fans of the singer Alisha Chinoy - in the shrill 1980s, her soothing voice was like a melodious balm, she softened the songs for us and we - and our headphones - are grateful.