Small World

Amruta Fadnavis: The First Lady on the Airwaves

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Maharashtra Chief Minister’s wife gets into playback singing but no lyrics with double meanings, please

On 19 February, when Sangharsh Yatra, a Marathi biopic on the late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, hits cinema halls in Maharashtra, Amruta Fadnavis, the wife of the state’s Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, will make her debut as a playback singer. And not just Marathi movies, she has lent her voice to a clutch of upcoming Bollywood projects as well. Director Prakash Jha’s 4 March release Jai Gangaajal, the sequel to his popular 2003 film, has a devotional track by her.

“I am also singing for Kunal Kohli’s film which will be released two months hence. Mr Kohli showed a video clip of a song of mine recorded on his mobile phone to Mr Jha and I got an offer to sing for Jai Gangaajal,” she says.

A classical singer who has studied music, Fadnavis was inspired to pursue singing by her ophthalmologist father, Dr Sharad Ranade. “I would do riyaaz with him. I got hooked on to classical music and started learning it,” she says. “I have done live shows in Nagpur. Even in Mumbai, I have sung at some events.”

She manages to make time for practice between her job as an associate vice-president with Axis Bank, being the Chief Minister’s wife and a mother. “I take at least half an hour off to do riyaaz. I have kept an electric tanpura in the car and sometimes practise on my way to work,” she says.

Fadnavis says she gets immense pleasure while singing for social causes. For instance, her song Tila Jagu Dya (Let Her Live) was rendered for an NGO’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign. “I kept thinking of my daughter Divija as I sang it because it is about the journey of a new-born girl child,” she says.

She has also recorded a song for actor Vivek Oberoi’s NGO that rehabilitates children of commercial sex workers. “Singing is more than a passion for me. But no double meaning or obscene songs,” clarifies Fadnavis.