By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: For long there has been whispers of Daler Mehdi not quite hitting it off with his kid-brother singer Mika who is currently hot in the Bollywood music charts.
One would have thought that Mika would erase all the grievances with his elder brother at a time when Daler’s son Gurdeep is all set to make his Bollywood debut. While the entire Mehdi family – including Daler’s wife Daljit – has pitched in to Gurdeep’s debut film Meri Shadi Karvao Mika has discreetly stayed out.
Says a source close to the family, “Out of the brothers, Mika has always been a rebel. While Daler’s entire family has come together to support Gurdeep’s debut, Mika has stayed away. Gurdeep was in fact very keen to have his uncle sing for him, as Mika is a very popular playback singer in Bollywood at the moment. But Mika stayed out.”
When one asked the boy about his youngest uncle’s absence from his debut, Gurdeep admitted Mika was asked to sing in Meri Shaadi Karvao. “My father has sung in my film. He couldn’t sing for me since he’s so senior. He has sung for my co-star Manoj Pawa.”
Another US-based uncle of Gurdeep has also sung in debut film. “My other Chacha Harjit Mehdi who lives in Calfornia and who is into Sufi music has also sung in my debut film.In fact, this id Harjeet Chacha’s Bollywood debut along with me.”
As for Mika absence, Gurdeep tries hard to hide the real reason. “Mika Chacha was supposed to do a promotional song for my film with me. But he decided against it. He said, ‘You do this on your own. I don’t want anyone to think you’ve made your debut by firing your gun from anyone’s shoulders.’ I’ve composed four songs and sung them for myself. Mika Chacha can sing in a future film for me. I am here to stay.”
Gurdeep is very proud of the fact that he is the first Sardar hero of Hindi cinema. “There have been many heroes playing a Sardar.In the 100 years of Hindi cinema there has never been a Sardar hero. I don’t see my appearance as a hindrance. I see it as my USP. In my debut film I play a Sardar. In the future I may play other characters but my appearance would remain unchanged. I will work my character around my turban hair and beard.”
Curiously, Meri Shaadi Karao is directed by a foremost filmmaker from Pakistan Syed Noor. Ask the boy why, and he explains, “Syed Saab is a very eminent director in Pakistan. My father and he are close friends and I’ve known Syed Saab from my childhood. It was he who suggested that I get into acting since he felt I could dance and sing so well. The whole project is his idea. We were initially to make the film in Punjabi only. But Syed Saab felt I should make my debut in Hindi cinema and become the first Sardar hero of Bollywood.”
Because of the director’s stronghold on Pakistan Gurdeep hopes to see his film become successful on both sides of the border.
“It’s my father’s dream to see me make a mark both here and Pakistan. I hope I can fulfil his dream” says the newest and the most unique turbaned star-son.