Prashant visits his barracks…

Boy idol takes a bow in barracks

If birthplace Darjeeling had swept him away with adulation on Monday, second home Calcutta wasn’t too far off the mark on Tuesday.

When Indian Idol 3 finalist Prashant Tamang passed through town before flying off to Mumbai for the finals of the TV reality show, the singing star got a reception fit for a Sourav Ganguly.

On Tuesday evening, the 24-year-old made his way to the Alipore Bodyguard Lines, where he had spent four years as a Calcutta Police constable and a vocalist with the Calcutta Police Orchestra.

That was before he went off to try his luck at the talent hunt — only to return to the Bodyguard Lines a hero.

“I wanted to take time out and meet my friends at the barracks here,” smiled Prashant, in black shirt and grey trousers.

Before taking the stage, he made a dash for Barrack No. 3, his erstwhile pad, where members of the Calcutta Police Orchestra waited to greet him with hugs and cheers.

“Working in the police force and singing are equally tough. There is so much pressure to perform…. I used to sing whenever I had spare time after duty hours. I have never had any formal training in music but being a vocalist for the orchestra gave me the confidence to participate in Indian Idol. The orchestra is my first band and it will also be my last,” stressed Prashant.

Also waiting to hear him sing on Tuesday was elder sister Anupama Gurung, who lives in Fort William with her armyman husband.

The crowd went wild when Prashant took the stage, with his good ol’ orchestra mates for company. After belting out four tracks — including Ae kaash ke hum and Ya Ali — a weary Prashant went in for a 30-minute break but that did not stop his fans from cheering and waving his posters.

When Prashant returned to the stage, with a green stole gifted by his friends thrown around his shoulders, some got busy video-taping, while others clicked away furiously on their cellphones.

“I am here because of Calcutta Police, because of Sir (Zulfiquar Hasan) who gave me the permission to participate in the contest. Please keep supporting me,” Prashant urged the crowd.

“We are very proud of Prashant. He was the main vocalist of our orchestra for two years. Now he is a star,” said Zulfiquar Hasan, the joint commissioner of armed police.

Prashant bowed out with a couple of Nepali songs and then Do you wanna partner. As his friends kept up the tempo, the celebrity from Bodyguard Lines left to spend the night at a five-star hotel, instead of his barracks.

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