- Birth Date: 31 Dec 1969
- Birth Place:
Remember the child prodigy who sang the hit ‘Hai Na Bolo Bolo’ when she was just nine. Poornima is the oldest singer in terms of experience in the industry ( who among today’s singers can boast of having worked with Naushad, Madan Mohan, C. Ramchandra, Anil Biswas, S. D. Burman and Shankar Jaikishan ).
Poornima did a children’s album called Bal Geet, which had the legendary S. Khale composing the songs and Shanta Shelke penning them. She sang four songs in it and it proved as huge hit and gave immense exposure to Poornima who surprised everybody by singing Marathi songs without a blemish.
The first break happened accidentally when Chandrakant Bhosle, a family friend and an assistant to Shankar – Jaikishan recommended her name to Shankar. Inspite of the prevailing custom of women playback singers singing for children, Shankar took upon him the challenge of taking an unknown child to sing ‘Hai Na Bolo Bolo’ for the film Andaz. Poornima recorded her first song on the 11th of November 1969 with the legend Mohammad Rafi and Suman Kalyanpur. Rafi was impressed by her singing and presented her hundred rupees after the recording.
Her career was planned to be launched at a function organised by the Punjab Association organised by Raj Kapoor, Pran and others. Slated to perform on the 12th of April 1971, tragedy struck on the 11th of April when her father suffered a cardiac arrest and died. The undaunted teenager encouraged by family and friends gave a performance, which impressed many and which also enabled her to get a scholarship of Rs. 250 to study music.
Marriage put a temporary halt to her singing career with regard to films as she stopped doing stage shows, which promptly dried up the offers for playback. Her last song as Sushma Shreshtha was in N. Chandra’s Ankur ‘Itni Shakti Humein Dena Mata’. Jingles took her attention where the professionalism made her settle to a steady work schedule.
In the 1990's, Tips, the Music Company approached her with an offer. Wanting to make a clean departure from the child prodigy image, they suggested a change of name and image. Sushma was game and took the name Poornima, according to her star.Her song ‘Barsaat Mein Jab Aayega Saawan Ka Maheena’ from Maa was a hit. Few things changed till David Dhawan’s Bol Radha Bol. ‘Tu Tu Tu Tu Tara’ was nothing short of an anthem and the remaining songs, which were a success also, gave Poornima the opportunity to savour success and adulation that had eluded for long.
She continued her association with Dhawan, she went on to sing for all his No.1 series including Haseena Maan Jayegi and Biwi No.1, last year’s blockbuster. Inspite of the lacklustre Indi – Pop scenario last year, Poornima was one of the top – ten selling artistes with her album Mera Dil Bole Piya Piya. With the adage “slow and steady wins the race” enforcing her nearly three comebacks.More of her has yet to come ....