A bond of a mother with her child is one of the most beautiful ever, and even after the physical existence ceases to exist, the bond stays as strong. Sonu Nigam lost his mother, Shobha Nigam, in 2013 and even today she is one of the strongest influences in his life. Recently, the singer spoke to a leading daily about his mother, how she was integral to his formative years and his career, and how she still is as much a part of his life.
“I owe my mother a lot. We belonged to a lower-middle class family. And I can confidently say that my success is just not mine, it’s my family’s success as well. It was a relay race started by my parents and then the rest followed. As a kid, I saw my parents sing on the stage. I thought I was born for it and persuaded them to allow me to sing at the age of 4. After that, the three of us used to sing together and we were pretty popular in Northern India. Later, we juggled between Mumbai-Delhi and finally shifted to Mumbai when I was 18 years old to become a singer. It’s my parents’ hard work, integrity, grit and resolve that helped me make it somehow in the industry.”
In the conversation, he also revealed how he regretted not being able to make his mother live the life to fullest, a spirit he reiterated in one of his famous songs, ‘Kal Ho Na Ho’. “In ’84, we used to live in a small one-room house. I stayed with my parents and two younger sisters. Later, we had a two-room house. But my mother saw the worst of it. She was born in Mumbai and stayed in a smaller room with nine people and no attached bathroom. It was a chawl in Worli. Later, when we could afford it, I asked her so many times if I could buy something for her and enjoy her life. But she never asked for anything.”
Even today, the singer reminisced how he still missed food cooked by his mother, “We were not rich so we couldn’t afford non-vegetarian food too often. We used to eat mutton once in a while. My favourite was Rajma. I love the arbi ki sabji that my mother used to cook for me. My mother was brought up among Sindhis. She used to cook sai bhaji which is a peculiar Sindhi dish . n fact, both my parents were good cooks. They used to make lauki ki sabji mixed with chana. I used to love that. Recently, when I was in the US, my friend’s mother cooked the dish for me. It reminded me of my mother.”