Bipin Pandit, the COO of The Advertising Club, launched his coffee table book about music titled Khumaar recently. The book was launched on the same day as his showKhumaar on recently at Savarkar Hall, Shivaji Park, Mumbai. Music maestro Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma of famous music duo, Laxmikant-Pyarelal launched Bipin Pandit’s bookKhumaar. The coffee table book has 30 articles contributed by stalwarts from the Advertising, Marketing and Media fraternities.
Those who meet Bipin would look forward to meeting him again, for Bipin likes to meet new people daily and make new friends. As a result he is into a very big circle of his friends who we suppose have different kinds of interest and careers. On my first meeting with him I found that he can talk hours on music, entertainment and cricket.
Bipin is also a versatile orator and communicator. He is also a good mimic and has been comparing stage shows. Besides his strong personal attributes Bipin is extremely methodical at planning and organizing. One can gauge that by looking at his career which has started from Baroda Rayan, Castrol to the top slot of Advertising Club of India and also his association with Welingkar’s as faculty for Event Management
Verus Ferreira met the talented singer and author for a short chat to know more about the book and more about his music and love for entertainment. Excerpts.
Congrats Bipin on the release of your book. How did this concept of the book come about?
My shows of Khumaar were attended by all the bigwigs of the Marketing, Media, Advertising, P.R and the communication world. While conversing with them at length I could sense that passion for music also runs very high amongst them in fact a few also started mentioning Ragas and classical music to me.
Being a passionate music lover myself and having been on stage for 23 years as a professional compere and mimicry artist having performed at all the auditoriums and most of the banners, I thought of compiling a book and give something back to the industry. I was quite sure in my mind which people can write well and communicate their point in an articulate fashion. Thus the project of Khumaar book was born.
You have dabbled into so many areas from having business acumen to sports and entertainment. Which field do you feel you excel in the most?
Music, sports and events.
How did you go about choosing the personalities for the book?
Right from the beginning I was very clear about one thing…… (Pauses) that I will keep it simple, hence the brief to all the writers to write about either your favorite playback singer or music director or lyricist. I also told my friend Chaitanya Padukone to write about Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna as he knew them well and I was to pay them a tribute at my musical show. That precisely explains why I have also contributed a piece titled “The Khumaar of Rafi and Shammi magic”. These three Romantic legends passed away in 2012.
You have selected authors who have written about each singer/music composer, and so forth, how did you select the authors to write on each person?
Well I knew most of them and their passion for music. I also was quite sure about their writing skills which are of prime importance for contributing to a book.
Being such an illustrious singer yourself, it would’ve been befitting if you had written your own experiences on these stalwarts of music, instead of getting others to get their take on the musicians. This would’ve given the book a personal touch? Comment.
In which case you must read my contribution in the form of two interviews, first with the legendary music composer Pyarelalji and second with Ruhan Kapoor the son of the legendary Mahendra Kapoor. Don’t miss the article on the Rafi and Shammi Kapoor magic which I have written and poured my heart out and yes not to forget the preface.
Now having conceptualized the whole idea, driven the project, choosing the cover design, getting advertisements, identifying the writers, convincing them, conducting the interviews this is a project I lived 365 days. Please don’t forget that I was also organizing a musical nite on the launch day and above all performing as an anchor and mimicry artist.
As you can clearly see my plate was overflowing. The best thing to do was bring other personalities also so that many will get to know the unknown side of these famous people. I am sure after reading my book many will get to know that side of their bosses which was not known so far.
Being such a well known personality in the ad world and music world, did you choose which singer / composer would be featured or did it depend on the author to take a call on his favorite artists?
I had left the choice to the writer of the article. I was however very keen that the book should have a piece on each of the great singers, so I did bounce some names without insisting, if they agreed they went ahead with it. Thus this collectors issue has an article on Rafi, Kishore, Lata, Asha, Manna Dey, Mukesh, Hemant Kumar, Yesudas, S.P.Balasubramaniam, Talat Mahmood, and Geeta Dutt. Understandably Rafi and Kishore have got more written about because of obvious reasons. The articles on various music directors and lyricist have also come out extremely well.
Why the title Khumaar. Is it similar to your shows that you organize so well?
Yes you are right; the primary reason is because Khumaar is my brand under which I do shows. Khumaar means intoxication and I wanted people to feel musically intoxicated after reading my book just as they feel after attending my shows.
Today at least 40 people who bought the book called me up to inform me that they read the entire book at one go. They further stated that this happened because they never felt like keeping the book down which is so rich in content. I really felt happy.
Who is your target audience for the book?
Music lovers all over the world.
Being in the industry for the last 23 odd years, who would you say is the one person who has influenced you the most?
The Leo in me does not allow me to get influenced by anybody very easily. I do have very strong viewpoints which I express fearlessly but without hurting anybody. In fact such is the journey that I have to learn many a thing by observing.
I must however say that I respect some individuals a lot because they are the people whom I have observed closely and learned a lot. Some of them are my past presidents and some have worked for a long time on the Ad club committee.
Being in a unique position of having 16 bosses most of them are Chief’s of their respective companies, I have to maintain a balance and emerge as a matured person who works diligently and in a hassle free manner.
The book delves more into the early years of Bollywood music and its singers, who would you, say are the new breed of Bollywood singers who have made a mark like the yesteryear singers.
There is no comparison. The singers of the old times were in a league of their own. I will however add that I have great hopes from singers like Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan, K.K. Sunidhi and Shreya Ghosal. These days’ composers have started singing; hence I am afraid the breed of pure singers may get extinct.
Interviewed by Verus Ferreira