Delhi is a part of my identity: Singer Palash Sen

Popular Indian pop and rock band Euphoria’s frontrunner Palash Sen talks about his love for the city and why, unlike others from showbiz, he prefers to live in the capital
Palash Sen (Photo | Dr Palash Sen/Instagram)
Palash Sen (Photo | Dr Palash Sen/Instagram)

Singer Palash Sen’s love and fondness for his hometown, Delhi can be easily inferred from the first few lines of his 2010 creation, Delhi Meri Jaan—the theme song of the 2010 Commonwealth Games that was held in the capital. “Yeh sheher meri jaan, iska naam meri pehchaan…” sings Sen.

Recalling the decade-old gig—he calls it a defining moment in his life—the frontman of Indian pop/rock band Euphoria shares, “When I was composing the song, I realised I am connected with nowhere else the way I am connected with this city, and whatever I have is because of the people of this city.” In this week’s ‘City on my Mind’, Sen gets candid about his affection towards Delhi and how his relationship with the city has evolved over the years.

Tales of the past from home
Born in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), Sen recalls moving to Delhi when he was just about six years, only to experience a culture shock. “As a boy who was raised in Jammu-Kashmir… [since] they are really small towns, coming to Delhi was a culture shock for me. I was amazed that there is a city with cars and buses, which bustles and hustles so much. Modernisation was way more here than there [J&K],” he shares. This “quantum leap” lost momentum with time and Sen soon acclimatised to the ways of the city.

His school—St. Columba’s School, Ashok Place—was a space to learn and experiment. Sen would dance, sing, act, and take part in debates. Even his family supported his inclination toward performing arts. However, he eventually took up medicine—Sen is a 17th-generation doctor in his family. “It was never confusion in my head about what I wanted to be. I wanted to be a doctor, but the music continued to be a part of my life,” he says.

The rise to success
Euphoria garnered global fame for their albums and singles—Maeri, Khwamkhaa, Mehfuz, and more. Sen believes that Delhiites have been the band’s biggest cheerleaders all through these years. “Euphoria wouldn’t be Euphoria, I would not be who I am, without Delhi. The people of Delhi have always backed Euphoria. It has been 20 years and our biggest concerts are still in this city,” he says.

Even after a flourishing music career, Sen never permanently relocated to Mumbai or elsewhere. “Delhi is my home, why would I give up on this city? I always call Mumbai my ‘sautela sheher’,” says Sen, who works from Mumbai but prefers to live in Delhi.

Calling Delhi an abode of ‘dil-wallahs’, Sen concludes, “The passion of Delhi is unmatched and this is reflected in the city’s food culture. Wherever there is love, wherever people are passionate about who they are, the food thrives.”

Quick Four

Favourite street food: There used to be a samosa-wallah right outside Lady Hardinge Medical College, Panchkuian Road. That was the best samosa in the world.

Favourite place to hangout: My home

Favourite monument: Old Fort

One lesson the city taught you: Be passionate about whatever you do

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The New Indian Express