CHARITY – a generous action, as the dictionary puts it, comes from within. A person is either born generous or inherits it from his/her family. Having not been born with a sliver spoon, I realized that one doesn’t need to be affluent to be able to do charity. My parents devoted a lot of their time to the underprivileged children. My home was a learning centre for those children who would get trained in acting, singing and dancing. This was charity in its purest form. So charity for me is all around things that have affected me deeply, or things where I use the talent that nature blessed me with, to help others.
The person with the single largest contribution towards making me who I am, was my mother – and she died from breast cancer when I was young. I saw her suffer and fight. I lost the opportunity to show her that I too could write songs, and my songs could also win hearts. I think this has laid the seeds of wanting to wage a war against this disease. More recently, Rupsha’s sister in law, Tanushree (Tanu), passed away to this same disease. Even from her hospital bed, Tanu would send me notes on how I could better project myself, or what my next show ought to be like. She truly believed in me – and would often get upset that since the time I started doing music professionally I hadn’t won any award. The award came exactly 44 days after Tanu left us. This was followed by the National Award.. Her demise has left a huge gap in all of us.
I decided to support the Tanushree Dasgupta Breast Cancer trust (www.tanushreedasgupta.com) that our family has set up. When I did receive the National Award in 2010 as she had predicted, it was but natural that the entire prize money was donated towards the trust – so that some cancer patient somewhere could benefit from it.
I also believe in my music. Which is why the project I am most passionate about is Condition Free. This is not just about recording an album with these talented yet unfortunate street kids, or doing a show with them. Its about sharing and teaching them ways in professional music – so that their future could be so much brighter. It is about showing them hope - about telling them that they too could be shining stars. Even if one of them go on to become a successful musician, that’s a huge reward, my fulfillment of karma.
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