By Asjad Nazir.

THE popular Bollywood singer Udit Narayan celebrates his 63rd birthday on December 1.

To mark the magical voice behind award-winning songs like Mitwa, Papa Kehta Hai, Pardesi Pardesi, Chand Chupa Badal Mein and Mehandi Lagake Rakhna turning a year older, Eastern Eye took a closer look at the popular music star in his own words throu-gh interviews he has done.

My father was a farmer, and I used to live in a village in Nepal. I started singing in my village and in my school. People used to love my voice.

I was blessed with a good voice but not a good life. We did not have a radio at home, but whenever I would hear Mohammad Rafi’s voice emit from a neighbour’s radio I would be mesmerised.

I got a musical scholarship from the Indian embassy in Nepal, and I came to Mumbai. After struggling for 10 years, I got my first break with the movie Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak.

I got 1,000 rupees for the song Papa Kehte Hain. But money was secondary – what made my day was the beautiful song that I got to sing.

When I was short of money, I used to take local trains/buses and when I had no money at all, I used to walk. In the monsoons, I used to spend my nights at the station and get very ill frequently because of that. High fevers were a common part of my struggle.

I had to work very hard and be very patient for where I am today. Hard work is the key, do not give up. Keep working hard till you have what you have always wanted and you will get it.

I feel like I am living a dream. I always wanted to become a famous singer, who would be remembered by people and whose songs would play on the radio.

All of the awards are equally important and they mean a great deal to me. They are all special in their own ways.

After putting in so much hard work I feel good that I have achieved so much love from all over the world.

I think there is no substitution for hard work. You have to be honest, humble and you need the right character and dedication.

I sing in 36 different languages, and I have been entertaining people for over three decades now. I am thankful to God, my fans, and the movie industry. Now, I feel my struggle was worth it.

I love my fans with all my heart. It is because of my fans I have done all I have.