But the legend who believes in Atithi Devo Bhava firmly said, “I am not taking any sides. I am not a politician. I am a singer and I don’t understand anything else. I love my Maharashtra from the depth of my heart.” CS gives a glimpse at her experiences while judging the show with Abida Parveen and Runa Laila:
Abidaji never talked to anyone. She would hardly even smile. She is happy in her Lord’s court. Nothing or no one matters to her then. So I let her be. Meanwhile, I used to imitate everyone and my favourite victim was Runaji. Whenever she would sit having peanuts, I would imitate her, throwing peanuts in my mouth, one at a time.
While we would be judging, I would try to look at Abidaji through her thick mane. It was very difficult to spot her eyes through all the hair. But at the end, we all believed in one thing, that no contestant had a nationality or a religion. We judged everyone based on their talent. After all, music resides where there is sur. And we worship voices and rhythm.
Birth of a friendship
I am a Maharashtrian, but I understand Bengali thanks to Burmansaab. So whenever Runaji would say something in Bengali, I would smile. She didn’t realise that I could understand what she was saying. So she asked me once if I know the language, and I told her that I did. After that we just went crazy talking in Bengali and giggling away. It went to such an extent that people started wondering if we were making fun of them in Bengali. But it wasn’t like that at all. So, this show gave me a very good friend (Runa).