Meet the man who said Jai Ho

Mysore, February 24: Jai Ho, these two words are on everyone’s lips today. The man who said these words is Vijay Prakash from Mysore. “It is with the grace of Goddess Chamundeshwari that the song won an Oscar and I am proud to be a co-singer.

I am grateful to my father, mother and brother for their unstinted support,” an emotional Vijay Prakash told TOI after Jai Ho won the Oscar.

Thanking Rahman, he said: “I was surprised when Rahman saab asked me to chant the words Jai Ho when there were many talented people in the field. When I was asked to sing it, I never imagined that it would win an Oscar.”

His special thanks were for his brother Paneender, a computer technician in SJC Engineering College. It was Paneender who supported him when he left for Mumbai after discontinuing his engineering course. “Do not worry about the family. I will take care of them,” is what he said.

Music and singing seem to be in Vijay’s blood. All his family members are in the field of art and music. While his father L Ramasesha and mother Lopa Mudra are Carnatic vocalists, his wife Mahati is a singer and brother Paneender is a theatre artist.

According to his father, when Prakash left for Mumbai in search of greener pastures he never imagined his son would one day hit the headlines.

The story of Vijay Prakash and his family itself is like that of `Slumdog Millionaire’. His musician-grandfathers came to Karnataka from Andhra Pradesh in search of a livelihood.

Vijay Prakash’s life took a turn for the better when he started learning finer aspects of singing under the famous Marathi and Hindi singer Suresh Wadkar. A big break for him was winning a TV channel’s singing competition.

Runaway’s success

Prakash’s father wanted him to learn Carnatic music, but he was keen on Hindustani. He ran away to Mumbai and joined Suresh Wadkar’s group. The next we heard about him was when he appeared on a TV channel’s singing competition programme which he won. In college, he used to participate in all the cultural events and share the music cassettes he bought.

— Kumar Kamaleshan, software engineer in Bangalore, who was Prakash’s classmate in SJC Engineering College in Mysore