In an interview, Bollywood playback vocalist Mohit Chauhan revealed how he would have been a farmer if being a singer wasn’t in his cards. Well, we can be thankful that in this timeline, Chauhan went on to be the exceptional musician that he is. But before singing as Janardhan Jhakkad for Rockstar, Chauhan was just one of the many indie singers of the 1990s, fronting one of the many indie bands of the time.
Fronting Silk Route, the rock ensemble also included Atul Mittal on lead guitars, Kem Trivedi on the keys, Kenny Puri handling the percussion. Apart from lending his silky-smooth voice, Chauhan also played backing guitars for the band.
Dropping two albums Boondein (1998) and Pehchaan (2000), Silk Role had a notable albeit a short-lived career. But their breakout hit Dooba Dooba continues to induce nostalgia amongst many a 90s kid, especially if they grew up listening to non-film Hindi music of that decade.
As the title suggests, Dooba Dooba was a smooth number about a person falling in love (and sinking in his romantic partner’s eyes is to get more metaphorical). The lyrics also point to a distance between the singer and his lover and he asks his beloved to step out of a photograph and pay him a visit.
Taking the concept literally, the video was also shot at a pond-like setting as the band members stand over half-sinking cares. Then towards the middle, Chauhan ends up going underwater to find a mermaid swimming in the depths.
With influences such as Dire Straits and Sting, Silk Route’s magnum opus is a feel-good song about love that arguably would go down as one of the most iconic indie-pop songs. Apart from Chauhan’s aforementioned vocals, the finger picking on the guitar and the flute portions are other highlights.
Following the success of Dooba Dooba, the soft rock outfit did release a sophomore album and recorded music in the early 2000s. The band dissolved soon after this and Chauhan instead found a marketable venture into Bollywood. The rest, as they say, is history.
With no future plans for a band, Chauhan continues singing iconic songs ranging from Delhi-6’s Masakali to Jab We Met’s Tumse Hi. But he still owes his career to Dooba Dooba, a song that truly made him who he was.