On India’s Independence Day, Indian-music lovers in Kuwait were thrilled to attend the ‘I Love My India’ concert organized by Indian Youth Society at the Indian Embassy Auditorium. Sugandha Mishra, the star of the show, on entry ignited the flames of patriotism in the hearts of many with her poignant rendition of the song, ‘I Love My India, from the movie ‘Pardes’.
Talented, beautiful, ambitious and inspirational, Sugandha Mishra represents the modern Indian woman. Her brilliant performance before a lively audience resulted in an evening filled with melodic songs, sweet banter and lasting memories.
Indian Youth Society of Kuwait (IYS) is a non-profit organization formed through the initiative of like-minded young Indians with the vision of honoring, encouraging, supporting and celebrating the Indian social and cultural values among the people of Kuwait.
Sugandha is a multi-talented entertainer who has graced many reality shows with an enchanting smile and rich vocals. She is also famous as a comedian, a mimicry artist and a stage host. We, at The Times Kuwait, take this opportunity to thank Sugandha Mishra for taking time off to provide us with an exclusive interview.
What was it like performing in Kuwait?
I really enjoyed it. The people were lovely, and they were so positive. The closeness we shared was similar to a family, and I felt like I was performing with my family. It was a great experience.
When did your interest in performing first start?
Fortunately, I am blessed with a musical background. I was born in a musician family, and my grandfather is my Guruji. Since I was 4 years old, I was exposed to music and was trained in classical music. I feel I am blessed because I found my Guru at home. My grandfather is my inspiration.
Did you meet a lot of fans from the Indian community in Kuwait?
Yes, I got in touch with a lot of my fans. Before I arrived they had sent me messages on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook, saying things like “you are coming to Kuwait and we want to meet you” and “We want to see you”. Someone clicked a picture of one of my fans standing on the Embassy road, and the caption read, “We are waiting for you.” I received a lot of positive messages from my fans, which was very touching.
What was the significance of performing at the ‘I love my India’ event on Independence Day?
It was very important to perform on the occasion of our Independence Day. As an artist it was my privilege to contribute to the celebrations, and I was eager to perform for India.
What was the best part of the event?
The audience was the best part of the event for me. Everyone was full of enthusiasm, and they joined in the fun. They were singing, dancing and cracking jokes, and participated whole-heartedly in the event.
How did you prepare for the event, did you have anything special planned for the “I love India” concert?
I prepared specially for this event, and I sang many musical medleys because I was told that the audience was made up of a mixed crowd of old and young people, and there would be families. I performed different musical medleys for the audience that included many latest songs as well as well-known older numbers.
What did you think of the IYS’s concept of showcasing a modern, multi-talented entertainer such as yourself on Independence Day?
I think the event was a good platform to showcase the modern multi-talented woman on Independence Day. There are many talented woman and such opportunities should be made available to them to show their skill. I feel this also promotes Indian culture and arts to a larger audience. If you ask me, then yes, I think my performance could be considered inspirational to many young girls.
Where would you most like to perform for Independence Day next year?
For next year, I would like to perform in India, either Mumbai or Delhi. Maybe it would be nice to perform in the United States.
How exciting was it when Indian Youth Society invited you to perform?
I would like to thank Shabbir Qamar for making the event possible. I would also like to thank the IYS for giving me this platform for promoting Indian culture and for encouraging upcoming talent. All credit goes to the IYS for making this event possible.
Did you see any amazing sights in Kuwait?
I saw a lot of sights in Kuwait. I especially enjoyed shopping as I am a shopaholic and visiting stores to buy clothes is one of my favorite pastimes. Whenever I feel low, I decide to go shopping and it helps to lift my mood. I feel more relaxed and upbeat, shopping is a kind of mood elevator for me.
What was your experience acting in a Bollywood movie, Heropanthi?
Acting in a Bollywood movie was a very different experience. Totally different from television. There is a lot more work required in television, as we are always pressured due to time constraints. We often have to shoot for 14 hours a day at a stretch. Shooting for a movie is comparatively very easy going. We have time to rehearse and practice, and we can make use of the takes to improve our performance.
Performing in a Bollywood movie is more relaxing compared to the reality TV shows I have been involved with. Once you have performed on television it is easy to perform on the big screen. There aren’t any plans in the works to star in more Bollywood films, but I definitely want the option.
What is it like being a female comedian?
It is challenge for a female comedian, and it is more difficult for an average looking female comedian. If your appearance is funny or if you have odd features, you can make fun of yourself and include that kind of body humour in your act. You can't do it if you look average and normal, you can’t crack jokes about yourself.
And being a woman comedian, there is a very thin line that you have be to wary of to maintain your dignity. You can’t cross it by doing anything antisocial like making below the belt jokes. It is very difficult being a female comedian.
What advice do you have for young girls thinking about entering the entertainment industry as a comedian or mimicry artist?
Just be yourself! If you have a passion for any creative or performing arts, you should try to do what you like and enjoy it to the fullest. The first thing in life is to enjoy what you do.