Being a journalist has its own perks. Where else would you get to meet such fascinating and interesting people? Last year I met the charismatic and rebellious singer Lucky Ali who spoke of his nomadic streak, growing up under the shadows of his father the legendary comedian Mehmood and his unconventional music. Yes, he still sees UFOs!
From breeding racehorses to selling carpets and working at an oil rig… you have always chosen oft the beaten track. Why?
It came naturally to me. I did what I thought was right. It’s aright…it’s been a great journey.
Why so little in so long?
For me less is more. The more you try to express the less people get you.
What’s your music?
I do alternative music bordering on mature content. Not childish. I listen to my heart.
Are you happy with what’s churned out as music today?
It doesn’t affect me. I didn’t make it. What affects me is what I do.
Your aunt Meena Kumari was a much celebrated poet. Do you write?
Yes I do pen down my thoughts. I carry a pencil and a notebook. The pencil should have an eraser at the back. Just try it – you will be amazed at what thoughts come out.
For someone who’s had no formal training in music, apart from being the choir boy you have done remarkably well.
Maine music seekha nahin. Par upar wale ki rehmat se ho jata hain. I should have learnt but I never really paid attention. Now when I sit with musicians they correct me and I learn.
You been a rebel running away from home, demoted in school and so on. Was growing up tough for you?
I rebelled against things I never understood. I needed to understand. I was never running away but running to understand. I’d run from my father in Bangalore to my mother in Bombay. Once I ran off to England and then to America from there. In hind sight I think I was seeking my dad’s attention. The further I went away the more he’d call me.
Was it difficult growing under the famous Mehmood’s shadows?
Not at all. He just told me ‘don’t ever beg.’ Drive a rickshaw if you have to. But don’t beg.
Do you still see UFOs?
Yup. I saw one in March. You won’t believe what a sight it was. They are from the federation of light. They play with lights. I filmed it.
How come only you see it?
Because I look to the skies. I look at the stars. Just open your eyes, look to the sky and you will see all the glorious things. Thoda upar bhi dekho na.
You are wanderer. Where is home now?
Home is where the heart is. It’s not about wandering. I let my mind wander but I let my self travel. There is no road that contains me.
Other than music what else interests you?
I like planting. I just finished planting onions, palak, methi, beans, corn, coriander, thyme, sage and basil and garlic.
Back to Bangalore…Rest.