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A couple of days before the release of your film, you made it to the front pages of national newspapers clad in a burqa. Would you clarify once and for all, what exactly happened? "I respect Khwaja sahab a lot. I just wanted to offer my prayers. We had informed the security and the committee. They said that you can come but in 10-15 seconds the euphoria was such that we couldn't come out of the car. And the security couldn't handle it. There were around 10, 000 people and we didn't know what to do. Finally, Mr Qutubuddin who is from committee said that you wear a burqa and come as it will be better if you take the blessings. I was very keen on getting the blessings from Khwaja sahib. But I didn't know that I would get involved in a controversy. I didn't want to hurt the sentiments of anybody. I'm really sorry that I did this mistake. I asked for forgiveness from the committee members and they forgave me."
There's an element of Sufism in your music as well as singing. Is it because of your belief in Khwaja sahib? "Music is something that directly connects to God. Ahista Ahista, Namastey London even Tanhaiyan song in Aap Ka Surroor and Ye Tera Mera Milna are very divine tunes. Of course the orchestration is modern to appeal to the youngsters but basically they are very divine. Words given by Sameer ji are very touching, giving a lot of personal identification. When I compose a song, I pray to God to please bless me with a good song. The divine thing works and something comes from within and that's the way I compose. I can't take the credit."
You've had your critics but none of them have blamed you for plagiarism. You improvise a lot while singing your songs. Is that the raaz for your originality? "I see to it that I compose fresh tunes. When you copy an English song then you can't give your feel to it because it has been done by someone else. So, when you are doing something original, it might go wrong but if it works, it works big time. This is my feeling. When you copy, it can't work big time as it has already been done to death. With me freshness has worked," Himesh reveals.
Your shows in UK and USA were a rage. People see a junoon in you when you perform or while doing almost anything else. Where does that junoon come from? "When I perform, main duniya bhool jaata hoon. When I sing I don't think ki ye dekh raha hai woh dekh raha hai...ya meri shakal kaisi dikh rahi hai. That connection is important. When you connect with God, its bhakti, dua...it makes me concentrate. Music or work is worship."
Well, let's talk about Aap Ka Surroor again. One thing that everyone has liked is the presence of Auto-rickshaws in Germany. "Auto sequence was conceived by Prashant. I give him full credit for that. I used to compose music which was very Indian, like Tere Naam. The auto-rickshawwalas were my big fans. But when I changed my style to DJ, club, Sufi Rock...Aashiq Banaya Aapne, Just Chill etc. they changed their style and they played my music. It was a big gesture on their part. So, we did this sequence where they come to Frankfurt for saving me," Himesh said paying tribute to one of his fan group.
There are reports that there will be a sequel to Aap Ka Surroor. "Yes of course there will be a sequel to Aap Ka Surroor because the film has done well. There will be about two more films that I will be working as an actor. I will be singing and composing music in them as well. It will again be something unconventional yet commercial."
Your shows in UK and USA were named after Aap Ka Surroor the music album that you came out with last year. Will we see a different set of Aap Ka Surroor concerts keeping the film in mind? "Yes, we will have dialogues in next lot of shows, we will have different versions of Aap Ka Surroor and of course my songs from Red, Namastey London and earlier lot as well. It will be a package of 100 songs in a 2 and ' hour package. Very entertaining but the tagline of my shows will remain the same....Let's convert the stadium into a night club."
Finally, would you like to give your point of view on the differences between you and Sonu Nigam. "I heard the reports that he was upset. We have never ever spoken on this conflict between us. He is a colleague, for me he is the best singer in India. He has also sung in Apne. I love him, respect him. I don't have anything against him."
Himesh Reshammiya didn't flinch even once from answering any of the questions in this half an hour special. Even though Aap Ka Surroor has worked magic at the ticket window he wants it to keep going on and on. That defines the spirit of HR, the gallons of energy levels that ache for bigger glories tackling all odds. The phenomenon called Himesh Reshammiya....in other words....continues to Rock...in spite of the boulders of criticism, he continues to be egged on by the bouquets of appreciation from fans. Some call it curiosity value while others say....this is nothing short of hysteria. What do you think?