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“I am ‘papa ki pari’ (daddy’s little angel). Some people call me Lata Mangeshkar of Madhya Pradesh”

Positivity brims over in the Bhopal-based Purohit family, whose life is set to music. Literally. All thanks to their daughter, Falguni. An only child of Chandar Prakash (52) and Latha (50), she was born 16 years ago, much to their delight. However, their initial thrill gave way to shock when they realised the baby could not see at all. But soon they decided to teach her to be self-reliant.
Says Latha, “At home we used to watch television and listen to songs. When she was three, we realised she has a beautiful voice, is able to carry a tune, and pick up songs very fast. We enrolled her in a school for Hindustani classical music when she was six.” She also learnt to play the keyboards, harmonium and dholak (drums) at a nearby music school. At the Kendriya Vidyalaya, she has just finished Grade 9, and in music she has cleared the fourth-level exams of Prayag Sangeet Samithi.
The fact that Falguni was born into a joint family of 10 also helped initially. “Now only we three live in the house. But the other family members live on the same street. They all love her very much. She is the youngest and very pampered.” Falguni considers herself lucky for having such a supportive family, especially her parents. “They are my greatest inspiration and their love for me makes me confident.” Her dad dotes on her and has made every wish of hers come true, she says. She is very attached to her married cousin Deepika who stays in Indore and with whom she constantly shares everything on the phone.
Latha’s day is spent in taking care of the house and then helping Falguni when she returns from school. “I help her with her school work, write the notes shared by her friends and then ensure she does her singing practice. In fact, people call her ‘Lata Mangeshkar of Madhya Pradesh’. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan invites her to every event of his and he always makes her sing ‘Vande Mataram’. When he spots her in the crowd, he personally escorts her to the stage.” She has also sung before other dignitaries like Congress leader Digivijay Singh and playback singer Vinod Rathod.
Falguni loves her school. “The teachers take extra care of me and are super supportive. They always encourage me to participate in various school activities and at every event they make sure I sing.” Till Grade 8, her favourite subject was science. “But then it became tough. Now I like English because it is easy, and geography because it is fascinating. I like learning about space, planets, islands and imagining them. I love getting to know new things.”
Like most teenagers her age, Falguni too loves spending time with her friends, getting into mischief, sharing stories and playing ‘Truth or Dare’. Kanak Maheshwari has been her best friend since Grade 1. “She is always there for me. No matter what she is doing, if I want something she will stop her work and do mine first.”
Falguni’s musical taste is eclectic. “I love Alan Walker and am a huge Justin Bieber fan.” Walker’s ‘Faded’ and Bieber’s ‘Night Changes’ top her list. “Among Indian singers, I worship Lataji and feel very happy when people say I sound like her.” Perhaps predictably, this 16-year-old’s favourite Lata number is ‘Solah baras ki baali umar’ (innocent age of sixteen)! Another favourite is ‘Tu shayar hain mein teri shayari’ by Alka Yagnik.
She wants to be a professional singer eventually but has kept her options open. Among the people she draws inspiration from is YouTuber Sourav Joshi, especially because of the messages and lessons he adds at the end of his vlogs. She loves doing mimicry, like railway station and phone announcements, and says she is really good at mimicking the way Shin Chan (the cartoon character) speaks.
She has won a slew of prizes at various competitions. “I am part of a musical group called Sur Shankar Musical Group and they encourage me a lot. I go to a lot of events with them. Its founder, Mr Suresh Garg, supports me and helps me train. Right now, we are practising for World Music Day, which falls on June 21. I am looking forward to my summer vacation which starts from May 1, but I need to prepare more for the Grade 10 board exams.”
Her YouTube channel is [Falguni Purohit - YouTube](https://www.youtube.com/@falguni8d293) and she would love a feedback.


Vicky Roy