Anjana Padmanabhan, the 10-year-old talent who has won the first Indian Idol Junior title, aspires to fly higher, literally! She wants to become a pilot but she would also like to establish herself as a playback singer.
"I want to become a pilot but I have always wanted to become a playback singer too," Padmanabhan told over phone from Mumbai.
Will she be able to balance both worlds? "Yes, I'll manage," she said in an innocent tone, a day after she was announced the winner of the "Indian Idol Junior" finale Sunday.
There's something else also that she wants to balance. Unsure of how she will handle the limelight, she said: "As of now I will try to balance both my studies and my passion for singing."
The young talent, who is based in Bangalore, sang Hindi songs on the show without knowing the language. Her powerful renditions won her several fans.
Children's reality shows are often under the scanner for putting kids under unnecessary stress and pressure. But Padmanabhan says her parents have been more than supportive throughout her journey. "There was no pressure from my parents. They just said 'Whatever you do is good. You have already made us proud'," she said.
Padmanabhan also drew constant praise from the show's judges - singer Shreya Ghoshal and composer duo Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani. Episode after episode, she continued to enthrall viewers and judges alike with her range and versatility.
What also worked in her favour was the way in which she never let language become a barrier. Asked how she managed to overcome the language handicap, she said: "I used to mug up the lines and then practice over and over again. There were people who used to explain the meaning of the lyrics as well. And since I used to learn the lines, it made it easy."
Now Padmanabhan is confident about her Hindi and she admits that the show definitely taught her a thing or two. "I know Hindi now. Because of the show and my friends there I have managed to get a grip on the language," she said.
After winning the show, the 'junior' also gave a sample of her improved Hindi skills through a short acceptance speech. A student of Delhi Public School in Bangalore, Padmanabhan's favourite subjects are social science and mathematics.
Indian Idol Trophy
As part of her victory bouquet, she received an Indian Idol Junior trophy, a cash prize of Rs.25 lakh and a Nissan Micra car. She also received a Rs.5 lakh cheque from Kotak Mahindra and another cheque of Rs.2 lakh from Horlicks.