By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 15, 2016
OPENING DOORZ was fortunate to witness a performance worthy of applause at St. Andrew’s Auditorium recently. It had the sweet timber with a body language of a rockstar and confidence that says, “It is His grace.” Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Smita Malhotra-Rosemeyer and her younger son Riaan Rosemeyer
I thought I had heard Laura Branigan and Barbara Streisand and Whitney Houston and Celine Dion. Then, on Thursday, November 3, to be precise, I heard Smita Malhotra-Rosemeyer!
The venue was St Andrew’s Auditorium, Bandra, Mumbai, and the occasion was the celebration of the life of a saint. Mother Teresa was being celebrated by Mother Teresa’s Roses, a charitable trust headed by Sr Christobel, who do the work that our Saintly Mother did.
With Ronnie Monsorate bringing his touch of finesse with his band of musicians, Smita, who at first anchored the show with Asif Ali Beg, stepped up with the microphone in hand, after exhorting the audience to love like Mother Teresa did. The next four minutes were pure joy for me, and for all those in the audience who sat in a trance as she became one with the microphone and the musicians around her, rendering Meghan Trainor’s ‘Like I’m Gonna Lose You…’
Boy! That was pure joy. She finished to a rousing applause. And even before we could settle in our seats savouring her sweet timber that rose and dropped without a flaw, she called in her ‘hunk’ to partner her on a duet—Frank Sinatra’s ‘Love Was Made For You And Me’.
Riaan, all of six years, walked onto the stage to another rousing applause. I for one, was wondering what this tiny tot would do with this Rockstar. At the cue from Ronnie Monsorate, holding his mother’s hand, looking into her eyes, Riaan began, and then Smita and then Riaan and then it was pandemonium as another applause brought the house down.
Not missing a beat, not missing a note, Riaan overshadowed his mother. His voice, a little ‘childish hoarse’ added that sexiness to the duet. Fluent. Flawless. Fabulous. Riaan made the stage his own as in between lyrics he performed the cartwheel.
Not one to let talent pass me by, I sought Smita’s number and spoke to her. I swear, I had never heard of her. My loss! Pleasantly surprised at the applause and the congratulations, she revealed a side to her that would need more space than this one article.
When asked how Riaan got into singing, she smiled, “Through my stomach,” patting her surfboard.
Surprised at the expression on my face, she adds, “I would hum a lot to myself when I was pregnant, I think he heard that. When he was around 11 months old, I realized if I was singing something, he would sing it back to me. I used to sing notes to him and he would sing it back. I figured this guy was going to be musically inclined.”
Riaan has not yet got any formal training and he is just about getting a few lessons in Hindustani classical from a friend of Smita who comes over, once in a while.
So are there any more Mother-Son performances lined up for the future? “This was his first stage performance,” smiles Smita, adding, “He has always been fond of the stage. I am very busy with my work and have very little time to spend with him and our older son, Shaan. So I said, why not sing with him as this would give us time together.”
Not offended at being asked about her singing background (she has a body of work that made me go red in the face for not knowing) Smita explained: “I started doing theatre. I did a lot of musicals playing the lead role for plays like Evita, Fiddler On The Roof, etc… all in Delhi. Then, I got into Radio. I was an RJ for some time and a show producer before I ventured into television and acting.”
Smita also dubs for films for leading stars and she is also the ‘Voice of Sony’ and a voice for numerous jingles on radio and television. She has also acted in Parineeta, done three music videos besides being a part of leading serials like Kum Kum (where she played the lead negative role) and Panchim, to name a few.
Smita reveals a very interesting aspect of her singing. “The day you saw me on stage was after 13 years. I had lost my confidence completely. I did not even know if I could sing. After Shaan was born, I was home-bound because of his illness. I got busy with home and the outside world just blurred.”
Today, she has a newfound hope, she has Shaan, Riaan, Howard her husband, and she is super busy. Confidence is just another ingredient which she has got back, and loads of it. “I am now able to see life much better. I have been through so much. I have also learnt to be thankful for all the work that I have now.”
Smita’s is a voice that has a magical hold on you. Meghan Trainor I’m sure would have no qualms in saying that she made her song stand out.
Watch this space for more, as Smita reveals another side of her life.
At Opening Doorz, we believe in Celebrating Life!