From Gangtok's Streets To Mumbai, Pritam Helps Sarangi Player Realise Bollywood Dream

Pritam has promised that Santosh's sarangi will play a big part in his future compositions.

Santosh Gandarba, who often plays the sarangi near Lal Bazaar in Gangtok, just happened to sing (and play) Channa Mereya on a particular day. His voice was smooth and the sarangi accompanying it, was equally lucid. As he performed, someone recorded it and put it on YouTube; a video that eventually found its way to the composer of the track, Pritam. The Bollywood music director was so impressed, he shared the video on his Twitter profile and asked social media to help him find the boy. And just like that a Bollywood dream was born.

According to a report in The Telegraph, Pritam’s tweet was seen by another Gangtok resident, Deejay Bolo, who had seen Santosh play on the streets. After asking around a bit, Bolo found Santosh’s name and number and put the future-star and his maker in touch. With help from Sikkim CM Pawan Chamling, Bolo accompanied Santosh to Mumbai and introduced him to Pritam.

Pritam, on the other hand, couldn’t help but express his thanks to Chief Minister Chamling and all the Sikkimese locals who helped find Santosh. The composer has promised that Santosh’s sarangi will play a big part in his future compositions.

Based out of Rangpo (Sikkim), Santosh belongs to the Gandarba community (also known as Gaainay in Nepal) who have been singing and playing the sarangi for generations. Having played the instrument for more than a decade-and-half, he might just be the first one from his family on a path to (countrywide) fame.

Santosh said, “Dada asked me to come back to Mumbai and undergo training. I am the lone earning member in my family and will have to make arrangements for them. I will definitely go to Mumbai once dada makes arrangements for my travel.”

Pritam has been known to be continuously savvy about fresh talent, which prompted him to start a platform called JAM8. The platform aims to nurture and hone new talent – something that’s gone on to produce music for movies like Raees (Zaalima) and Race 3 (Allah Duhai Hai).

And that’s why in Santosh’s case, Pritam might just be the right mentor between his life in Gangtok and something truly life-changing in Mumbai.