'What more can a little boy from a small town ask for?'
'The trophy is for all the singers of Indian Idol'
Pawandeep Rajan has won the latest season of Indian Idol, and he is on top of the world!
It has been a dream come true for this young singer from Champawat in Uttarakhand.
As if his struggles weren't enough, he tested positive for COVID-19 in the second wave, and had to take time off even as the competition was hotting up.
So what does he plan to do with the prize money of Rs 25 lakh?
"I want little kids, who are not able to think big, to be able to dream big," Pawandeep tells
Congratulations! Your family was with you in the winning moments.
My dad was very happy.
He was so happy, he put the trophy on his head!
My mum started crying.
My classmates had also come in to watch the show.
It was a great feeling.
You got really close to the other contestants on the show. Did you feel bad that they lost?
I would not say that they lost because the trophy is for all of them.
The most miraculous thing is we are going to work together a lot in the coming days. I am very, very, lucky that such great singers are good friends of mine.
I have the best team in the world.
It would be great fun to work with all of them.
We will be working together on many projects, so that when we are old, we can look back at these days and think, 'Oh my God, we had met on the Indian Idol stage.'
I read you and a few of the contestants plan to buy houses in the same building in Mumbai. Is that true?
Yes, we are planning to get homes in one building and stay together.
We are also trying to set up a studio in that building itself so that we can record songs there.
We have a plan of making a chain of songs.
You have won Rs 25 lakh. What will you do with the prize money?
I have an idea of opening a music school in my hometown of Champawat, Uttarakhand.
I want little kids, who are not able to think big, to be able to dream big. If I thought of it and was able to achieve it, these kids will also be able to accomplish their dreams.
This school will help them to achieve their dreams with a bit more comfort, which I never got.
It will be a little easier for them to get opportunities.
The kind of struggles that I have gone through, I can tell them directly, so that they don't make the same mistakes.
We will be keeping some of the best gurus and teachers.
When you auditioned for the show, did you ever think you would win?
I did not even think I would be selected.
Right before I went in to sing, Sawai Bhatt had sung, and I was blown away by his singing.
I didn't even I would be able to surpass that.
Even when I sat with the piano to sing, I was a bit scared.
I think I sang half the song and then the ma'am there understood that I was nervous. So she asked me to calm down. She said, just do your best.
I was very, very, nervous at that time.
You have already sung a song for Himesh Reshammiya, which has over 25 million views. What was that experience like?
Himesh Reshammiya sir had promised us that he would give us a song and he kept his promise. He gave me two songs.
He is making songs for every one of us.
He has a golden heart.
What he is trying to do for us is simply remarkable.
It is a dream come true because we have been listening to his music in so many movies like Namastey London.
We have been listening to them while growing up. Now, we are singing songs composed by that same music director.
That itself is a big prize for all of us.
What more can a little boy from a small town ask for?
During the show, you tested positive for COVID-19. What was going through your mind then?
The only thought in my mind at that time was that COVID-19 was in the entire world.
It is something that has been catching everyone, and I am no different.
I took it lightly and did not let it overpower my mental strength.
I was determined to stay strong.
I was quarantined for 14 days, and I took my medicines as prescribed by the doctors.
I took all the precautions.
It was not something to be scared of.
If you take precautions very carefully, it will get better for sure.
What would be your message to those suffering from COVID-19?
You should quarantine yourself in your room.
Try to be healthy.
Don't let coronavirus overpower your mind. I know it is very difficult, but try to be strong. Do not let the virus take over your mental strength. Eat healthy and take medicines as prescribed by doctors.
Drink a lot of water.
I'm sure you will come out of it victorious.
What are your plans going ahead?
There is a lot of work that I am going to do in the coming days.
But first, I want to take a vacation.
For the past 10 months, I have been singing a lot. Now, I want to take a vacation of about 10 days and then come back and start work.
Where do you plan to go?
I plan to go to Kedarnath.