Ranu Mandol: A journey from a train station to Bollywood

She was married at the age of 19 and the couple shifted to Mumbai after marriage. However, she returned to Ranaghat after her husband’s demise.

Now fondly addressed as ‘Lata of Ranaghat’, Ranu Mondal was born in Krishnanagar, West Bengal and she spent most of her childhood in Ranaghat at her aunt’s place as her mother passed away when she was young.

How did Ranu Mandol become an internet sensation?

Ranu, a woman in her 50s, used to sing at the Ranaghat railway station and passers-by gave her money with which she bought food for herself. One day, Atindra Chakraborty, a 26-year old engineer, spotted her and shot her video which he posted on the internet on July 23. Within a few days, the video went viral with 2.5 million views and over 50k likes. People started comparing her voice with that of veteran singer Lata Mangeshkar.

Atindra told India Today that he first spotted Ranu crooning a Mohammad Rafi song. “I was hanging out with my friends at a tea stall on platform No 6. A Rafi song was playing on the radio aloud. Suddenly I heard the lady humming to the tune, as she sat on the platform floor. I asked her if she could sing something for us. She sang a song and I recorded it on my mobile. We were surprised how melodious she was,” he said.

How did Himesh Reshammiya discover Ranu Mandol?

Seeing the popularity of Ranu Mandol, the makers of Sony TV’s singing reality show Superstar Singer invited her to the show.

Sharing a teaser of the episode featuring the singer, the channel wrote, “Ranu Mondal is testament to the fact that great talent can come from anywhere, and hardships only temper talent until it gets the right opportunity. #SuperstarSinger provides a platform for such talent to rise and reveal itself.”

Impressed with her voice, Superstar Singer judge Himesh Reshammiya offered her a chance to sing in his upcoming film Happy Hardy and Heer.

Keeping his promise, Himesh recently shared a video where he was seen recording the song “Teri Meri Kahani” with Ranu.

In the video clip, he said, “I found Ranu ji’s voice very divine on Superstar Singer. We’ve done the recording today. Her rendition of Teri Meri Kahani is beautiful. Hearing Ranu ji’s voice, people will be left spellbound.”

In a statement, Reshammiya also stated, “Salman Bhai’s father Salim uncle once advised me that whenever in life I come across a talented person, I should never let that person go and keep him/her close to me. He advised me to help that person grow his/her talent. Today, I met Ranu ji and I feel that she is blessed with divinity. Her singing was mesmerizing and I could not stop myself from offering her the best I could. She has a god’s gift which needs to be shared with the world and by singing in my upcoming movie, Happy Hardy and Heer, I think I will help her voice reach everyone.”

Not only did Superstar Singer invite her on the show, but an NGO also gave her a makeover to encourage and support her talent. Also, her viral video reportedly reunited Ranu with her daughter Sati Roy after ten years.

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