New Delhi

She hails from town of pleasure, Kolkata, however singer-composer Nikhita Gandhi confesses that almost all of her summer time holidays have been spent within the coronary heart of India, ie Delhi. “My maternal grandparents used to live here, and also a lot of my cousins. So Delhi became like a second home for me,” says the artiste who’s standard for tracks akin to Raabta, Qaafirana, and extra lately Jugnu.

‘Delhi is my second home’

In town, lately, to carry out at a operate she took off a while to go to the Qutub Minar, and reminiscences of her childhood got here speeding again to her. She recollects, “I was very little when I visited. I’ve been to all iconic monuments in Delhi, and it’s great to make new memories here as an adult now. Qutub’s a place that my mom used to love to visit, so there’s a special connect… I used to stay mostly in the Delhi Cantt area since a lot of my family members are in Army and Navy. My mom is from Ashok Vihar, and back in the day my grandparents were professors so I used to spend time with them around North Campus. Half of my school in Kolkata ultimately enrolled in Delhi University. I didn’t pursue college from DU, which has a campus life that would have been good. But much later I did perform at a DU college fest. And even now as I return to the city, it feels pretty incredible to revisit the place I call my second home, as a singer.”

Nikhita Gandhi calls Qutub Minar as a monument with which she says she has a particular join, and needs she might carry out on the standard Qutub Festival sometime. (Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

So a lot so is her fondness for town that “Every time I’d travel to Delhi and one of the songs playing at the airport would be Raabta — when it had just come out — it would be such a cool feeling for me that my song is playing! It’s nice to come back to this city as a professional singer now. I wish I could perform at a cultural setting like the Qutub, in the city that I’ve a deep connection with,” says the 30-year-old.

‘There’s a thrill in purchasing from Sarojini’

A self-confessed frequent customer of a few of Delhi’s best-known markets, she’s very properly clued in to what’s out there the place. “Sarojini is a big tradition. Of course, I’ve shopped from Sarojini, who hasn’t? If anyone says they haven’t, they’re lying,” quips Gandhi, including, “It’s more like a nostalgic memory now. My elder cousin was very fond, and I was quite young, so I copy what everyone else was doing. And there was a thrill in buying so many things in just 100-200. It’s so funny that there are still those things in my wardrobe that I shopped 10 years ago from Sarojini!”

‘Pollution leaves me with kharash’

But what considerations her each time she’s returning to the Capital, is town’s rising air pollution. “Each time I visit Delhi, I return with a little kharash in my voice. I’ve so many cousins, nieces and nephews here who have respiratory problems due to the pollution… In fact the winter before the first lockdown, I had already started wearing masks because I used to come to Delhi quite often, and before going out, I had to think twice since the pollution is bad here. I don’t know if it’s ever gonna get better. I think I’m going to stay with my mask on, even when everything (Covid situation) goes back to normal.”

‘We are to blame if the next lockdown happens’

But point out to her the phrases ‘Omicron variant’, and he or she is fast voice her concern: “Every time I’m at an airport, I’ve to tell at least 10 people, to maintain social distancing and wear their masks because they all cramp up against each other. I really wish to see this change. Else we are to blame if the next lockdown happens because people are not just maintaining the basic Covid etiquette.”

Emphasising the destructive affect of Covid-19 on the music business, Gandhi rues the way it has been a “very rough time for everyone, especially during the second wave”. She’s pleased in regards to the improved situation, and provides, “Though many of us are vaccinated, we should continue to wear masks because we don’t want to head in that direction again. And I don’t want to see another lockdown, because it’s affected the livelihoods of so many musicians and people from all walks of life. So many musicians left Bombay because they couldn’t sustain! It would break my heart to see that happen again.”

Author tweets @siddhijainn

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