With his broad beaming smile and soulful voice, Zomato delivery boy Pranjit Haloi has taken the internet by storm. The teenager from Guwahati is gaining attention with his rendition of Gori Tera Gaon Bada Pyara from the 1976 film Chitchor. Pranjit sang the KJ Yesudas song at the request of Anirban Chakraborty who had ordered food from Zomato recently.
“I was shocked - how did he come to know of my interest? He wanted to make a video, and I was a bit reluctant at first. Even after I sang the song, I asked Mr Chakraborty not to post it on social media. I never dreamed of coming into focus this way,” remarks Pranjit.
The 19-year-old singer is since winning hearts with the 1 minute 16 seconds video that has fetched 14.9k likes, 1k comments and 11.4k shares on Facebook, so far.
"To my all friends, Presenting Pranjit Haloi (Zomato delivery boy who delivered food today at my doorstep). I saw in the app that ‘he wishes to become a singer someday.’ I planned and requested him to sing a song. He is so good that I made this video. I request everyone to watch and help to fulfil his dreams,” wrote Anirban Chakraborty, sharing a video clip on Facebook.
Looking at him, one can never guess that the young boy is blessed with such potential. Pranjit belts out his favourite numbers while cycling to work, and along the way to deliver meals across the city.
“I don’t get time to practice, so I would sing while cycling to work and back home – I sing while waiting at restaurants preparing food for delivery, I sing on my way to locations. Music is life,” Pranjit laughs.
Pranjit has already got a call from Indian Idol, Sony TV's popular singing reality show that will soon hit television screens with its eleventh season.
“I got a call from Indian Idol on August 17, few days after the video was out. They said they like my voice and have asked me to record another video – without music though. They said they would call me to the show.”
Currently pursuing his graduation from a government college in the city, Pranjit wishes to someday make a name for himself in the industry.
“It has been a tough life for me and my mother since my father’s death – I was in Class Three then. My mother works during the day to earn a meagre amount to help us get through. She sweeps and swaps floors at a hostel in the Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship in Guwahati, and has taken up cooking home meals for a family living close by. Ma earns about Rs 6000 a month, but she is doing it all to help me realize my dreams.”
“It’s hard work for both of us. I deliver meals in the rain too and use a cycle for delivery. After making about 6-7 trips in a day, I feel so tired reaching home that I can’t practice. This song I sang… It was without any practice. There’s this tiniest hope that someone sees it and guides me ahead for a career in music,” says Pranjit who has been learning singing since Class Nine under the tutelage of Malavika Bharali Saikia in Guwahati.
The young boy had appeared for a few city auditions to reality shows on national television but hasn’t been lucky yet.
“At one audition, I waited till dusk for my chance, but it never came. And I don’t have money to go and try my luck outside. Another time, I wasn’t selected because of my fault – I was feeling tired that day, and my voice didn’t sound right. Sometimes, I return home to Ma and sing for her the same song I had sung in the audition. I would ask her why they didn’t like it if she thought it was beautiful.”
Despite all adversities, Pranjit refuses to give up, and continues to practice singing and writing songs, drawing inspiration from his favourites – the legendary Kishore Kumar, and popular Assamese singer Zubeen Garg.“I love Zubeen da. I would continue to work hard and practice harder so that I can make him, and everyone proud.”