New Delhi, October 4-5, 2003

Daler Paaji's chotta bhai tests out his singing skills

Harjeet Mehndi in action in front of
his brother

Eager for their spawn to achieve childhood stardom, the pushy parent will encourage their offspring to perform in any manner without a second thought for the poor sprog's dignity. But no such thing happened with the Mehndi siblings, all of whom are providing to be born performers.

For almost an entire decade, Harjeet Mehndi an unassuming Californian seems to have worked to the theory that if he can sound half as good as what we lovingly know as the big daddy of pop, Daler Mehndi, he'll make some money.

But the truth that it has taken him more than a decade since he launched his singing career to finally cut a disc proves he hasn't tried to zip, zap and zoom on elder brother's massive creativity and huge credibility.

Equally-at-ease with singing in Punjabi, Hindi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri and Arabic, Harjeet explains I learnt to survive early in my career by never saying no. So I get a client who only wants me to sing Gujarati numbers for three hours, I'll do that. A livewire on stage who has performed in major cities of Canada and Europe besides the Us, says since there's so much of diversity in the Us, it helps to master as many languages as you can. But when you are the youngest brother of the pasha yourself, the hype could be too much to bear.

The obsessively tuneful and talented Harjeet, however, doesn't let the genius name and legacy handicaps his music. Like smelly cheese and a decent bottle of red wine, he says he has matured and mellowed with age. And If you still have any doubts as to his musical pedigree, fear not, for his soon-to-be release debut album, Nach Punjaban under big brother's music is stamped with the name Mehndi on all tracks.

A compilation of highly charged rhythmical stormers, itís music that 's been put through the hip-hop blender. It's a fine mix of Punjabi folk and modern beats with a definite appeal for the young, informs Harjeet. And on the strength of his debut, this bank manage is going to whoop with joy.