Walking through the crowd in a dim lit club and making his way up to the stage, Vishal Dadlani croons a new version of the title track from the 1997 Yash Raj blockbuster Dil To Pagal Hai. Sharing the stage with him is the Brooke Bond Red Label 6 pack band 2.0 featuring talented differently-abled youngsters. This new rendition talks about how people call you crazy for following your passion, but at the end of the day, it really shouldn’t matter what other people think. The band members show you how to own who you are, as they croon along with Vishal.
You can watch the video on YouTube, but first, let’s get to know the band members.
Fifteen-year-old Parth Padhye believes that he was born to sing. “I love to sing any time. I sing till I go to sleep at night. I like all types of songs — ghazal, sufi, qawwali, Marathi natyasangeet. I love romantic songs, specially high-pitched ones,” he says, adding that his favourite artists are Kailash Kher, Atif Aslam, Arijit Singh, and Kishore Kumar among others. “I have learnt to sing listening to some of my favourite artists. And though I have many favourite singers, my guruji Suresh Wadkarji is on the top of the list,” says Parth, who feels like a “hero” to be a part of the band.
“Vishal Dadlani uncle is a very good person and singer too. I learnt some dance steps from him while performing on stage,” he adds.
Being a part of this band has worked wonders for him. “I think taking up music has helped me in many ways. Being a child with Semantic Pragmatic language disorder, I am overcoming my language problem in music by singing in three-four languages. My only special need is communication skills which I can overcome with the help of people around me. I need support to express myself. And since I joined the band, I started communicating more with all my friends and the crew members of the YRF. I feel more confident than before,” says the teenager who wants to learn classical music and later take it up professionally.
This 15-year-old believes that music is her life. “I love to sing, and I do it all the time. I have to be told to stop sometimes,” she laughs. Some of the songs you might find her humming are Do Lafzon Ki Hai, Hothon Mein Aisi Baat, Girls Like To Swing, and The Breakup Song. “I am inspired by Lata Mangeshkar and Shreya Ghoshal. I have always wanted to be a singer. It has been my ambition from childhood. It was great to be in the video with Vishal Dadlani. I am very happy with the response we’ve got,” says Ananya, who loves taking selfies.
Ananya has a twin brother and she claims to be the “right half of the brain.” She is dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder. “Whatever people may think and say, I regard myself as ‘normal’ and I don’t think I need to limit my ambitions in any way,” says the teenage girl who is fussy about her food, unless there’s paneer on her plate.
The best part about being in a band, says 18-year-old Prerna Agarwal, is making friends and spending time with them. She has Autism Spectrum Disorder and has been blind since birth. But listening to the television helped her understand the world.”I am inspired by Shreya Ghoshal and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. My current favourite songs are Afreen Afreen, Padharo Mhare Desh and Mere Rashke Qamar,” says the girl whose friends call her a walking-talking musical.
It was a dream-come-true for her to be in this video. “I felt like it was the first time that people saw me, and the second time they agreed with me. I want to be the next singing sensation. Those who feel that my ambitions need to be limited because I have special needs, are the reason behind my success. I like it when someone judges my capabilities, so I can prove them wrong,” says she.
What a sorry mistake it would be if you ever challenged Anjali Ramesh to a dance-off! Because not only is she a fantastic singer, she is also a marvellous dancer. She has Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and Dyscalculia. She loves Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj. “I like to sing when I’m alone. I was very happy to be a part of the 6 Pack band,” says she. This 15-year-old shares that she wants to make a name in business, and join her family business one day, but she will never stop singing. Anjali believes in herself, as she believes in others. “To all those who think we are not equal, I want to tell them that we are. So talk to us as you would with everyone else,” says she.
This 15-year old has created a superhero avatar for him, and we’re talking costume and everything! He likes to be called Maitreya-Man (like Spider-Man). He has recently been listening to the songs of Secret Superstar on repeat and claims they are his current favourite. “I also like Channa Mereya, and Jhakkad Pakkad (the song the 6 Pack band did with Karan Johar). I am inspired by many artists like Arijit Singh, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, Shaan, Atif Aslam, Justin Bieber, Shankar Mahadevan, Kailash Kher and more,” says Maitreya, who has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
He shares that being a part of the band, where the other members feel he is the ‘big brother’ of the group, feels awesome. “I want to be a music director,” says Maitreya talking about his ambitions.
While having a conversation with 12-year-old Rishaan Patil, one must remember he has a lot of truth bombs to drop. He has Autism Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and more importantly, a charming personality. “I love to sing. I like to sing all the time -- in the shower, in the car, and especially when I’m not supposed to be making a sound, like in the classroom, during studies, or when my papa is trying to sleep,” says he with a glee that never fades. He adds, “I love Kishore Kumar, Coldplay, John Mayer, Kailash Kher, Raghu Dixit, Himesh Reshammiya and Baba Sehgal.”
Being a part of this band he has had many precious moments. “I love being on stage. I got to become a rockstar as I sang on the mic and people in the audience were clapping for me. It was so much fun. Now I can find my own songs on YouTube, so yay!” he says, adding, “I realised that Vishal sir looks like Baba Sehgal. But I love his songs Allah ke Bande, Dil Diyan Gallan, Jag Ghumeya, Radha, Dus Bahaane and Maa Ka Ladla.”
The pre-teen has some time to decide what he’s going to do in life, but he already has plans, sort of. “I want to be a rockstar, or a pilot, or an astronaut — but someone who sings. Whenever someone tells me that I can’t do something because of my condition, I feel like saying, ‘Uncle please start the music and do the Jhakkad Pakkad dance!”