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L.Srikumar Pai
B.Sc( Engg.), MIE, MIWWA, MICI
Civil Engineer & CAD Specialist
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Singer Usha Uthup
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Usha Uthup or Didi as she is fondly referred to, was born in India of parents who came from the traditionally rich states of


Tamil Nadu and Kerala and was raised in the bustling metropolis of Mumbai. Although Usha had never learnt music formally, her passion for music was present right from the moment she uttered her first words!

Persistence and conviction drove Usha to pursue a professional singing career in 1969. This move later went on to prove vital in removing the stigma attached to singing in night clubs in India. With her gifted, velvet, smooth voice she was the only artist to have recorded six albums in English with HMV/EMI.

The singer has also acted in a number of Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam movies.

She has sung in 16 Indian languages including Bengali, Hindi, Punjabi, Assamese, Oriya, Gujarati, Marathi, Konkani, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, Tulu and Telugu.

She can also sing in several foreign languages including English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Sinhalese, Swahili, Russian, Nepalese, Arabic, Creole, Zulu, and Spanish.

There is well known for popular hits in the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. She started her Bollywood playback career, when she sang an English verse in hit song, Dum maro dum in Hare Rama Hare Krishna, and went on work with music directors like R.D. Burman and Bappi Lahiri, through the 1970s and 80s, singing hits like One two do cha cha cha (Shalimar), Koi yahan aha nache nache (Disco Dancer), Ramba ho (Armaan), Hari Om Hari (Pyaara Dushman) and Doston se pyar kiya (Shaan) and more recently Darrling in 7 Khoon Maaf.

She is married to Jani Chacko Uthup who is originally from Manganam, Kottayam, and was formerly married to the late Ramu Iyer. They have a daughter Anjali and a son Sunny

She currently lives in Kolkata with her husband. She is considered an icon of modern Kolkata and is an active social presence in the city life.


  • Padma Shri (Padma Shri Awards (2010–2011) -fourth highest civilian award presented by Government of India
  • Filmfare Award Nomination for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "One Two Cha ChaCha" from Shalimar (1978)
  • Filmfare Nomination for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Hari Om Hari" from Pyara Dushman (1980)
  • Filmfare Nomination for Best Female Playback Singer for the song "Rambha Ho" from Armaan (1981)[13]
  • 7th Kalakar Awards for Best Audio Album (Bangla) for the album Door DeepBasini (1999)
  • 10th Kalakar Awards for Best Audio Album (Bangla) for the album Chai Silpir Samman (2002)
  • 12th Kalakar Awards for Best Playback Singer for the film Joggers Park (2004)

Letters of a daughter to her father

By Kabeer Yousuf - MUSCAT — “Papa, why did you instil so many values of life while I find it extremely difficult to implant them in the generation next… they question the authenticity and rule out them saying they are outdated. They ask me to get accustomed to the ‘doctrine of today’ and to get out of the ‘ruins of the past’. But they often don’t know that I’m highly modern in my views.”
These are the words adapted from one of the 500-odd letters written by the pop singer of the generations to her late father. Usha Uthup, who is closely connected to her dad, who retired as the police commissioner of Mumbai, shares her emotional exchanges with the world through letters written in her own handwriting.

“I started writing these letters to my dad several years ago and still keep writing. He is the one who taught me the crucial values in life, morals in other words, without which I wouldn’t have reached anywhere today”, Usha told the media at a meeting held in connection with her performance at the Amphitheatre today.

Another letter from the daughter to her father reads thus: Papa, you taught me there is noting in life that is without a price tag on it. I used to press your clothes, stick the chevrons carefully, and keep you prim and proper in your official outfits. You used to give me one ana, two ana (oldest currency denomination) for each task that I undertook.

Your aim was nothing but to teach me that every single penny is the result of one’s hardwork. Thank you appa, for all your efforts in my upbringing. Without you I’m nothing and I really miss you”.

“Probably in 2013 or 2014 I will be able to publish the book. It will have my happy and sad moments. I used to write a lot letters to my father to convey my feelings for the last 30 years. But, I never posted them to him. Now, there are hundreds of letters. Even though he passed away a few years ago, I still write to him.

( Courtesy: Times of Oman & Oman Observer )




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