Sumeet Tappoo was very emotional when he undertook a whirlwind three show tour of Fiji recently.
For him it was not about making good of a golden marketing opportunity about his recently acquired status as a bona fide Bollywood playback singer. Music was the last thing on his mind. He was just coming home.
After spending the last 25 years as an Indian semi classical musician, producing 18 albums and performing more than 400 concerts around the globe, he wanted to share this important milestone of his career with his country.
"Like I said, I have completed 25 years of performing on stage, I made it a point of coming to Fiji. I made it a point of coming home you know, to where I started from, so I made it a point to come back all the time. I will keep on coming back home.
"People always ask me that. I am always here and I am always ready to perform in Fiji only what it requires is a call from the Fiji people who love music," Sumeet says.
His journey started in Lautoka in the 1980s, where he drew his first musical inspirations from his father Mahendra Tappoo, a musical talent in his own right and later on from Indian Bhajan Samrat and music legend Padmasheree Anup Jalota.
"I was very inspired by his music. I remember as a child, I used to go to his concerts with my father and my mother. Watching him on stage inspired me, and that gave me the extra motivation to continue forward from there.
"You know as a young child, what he (Anup) sings was very serious, semi classical music; it was a very serious brand of music, but what was amazing was that as a young child, I reacted to those songs. There is one song that he sang, I used to cry and I didn't quite know why that was happening, it was an emotion which was within me," Sumeet says.
But prior to becoming a student to his guru, Jalota, Sumeet started growing his musical roots at humble venues in Suva, Sigatoka and Lautoka, appearing in shows with bands like the Melody Makers and the Master Orchestra.
With his father's and family's unwavering support, Sumeet recorded his first ever album as a 11 year old prodigy releasing it in Bombay, India as well as Fiji in 1990.
And with it the realisation of setting the bar higher and strive for the ultimate - Bombay!
"So that was the foundation basically. There is always the dream to move to Bombay. It was not an overnight realisation, it came over time. I guess the more exposure that I got, like going to Bombay, hearing more music, the more it makes me realise that this is something you can do," he says.
But the Bombay dream had to wait for a while as he had to complete his studies, graduating with first, a degree in business and later a Masters degree.
But the music didn't wait as Sumeet continued with his love for music, and kept producing over the years. After successfully completing his studies, he picked up from where he left off and headed straight for Bombay.
"No business, because that was what my education was on, and my aspiration was there. I specialise in marketing, those aspirations are still there.
"My passion in music overrides everything right now, and even though I was part of the business here in Fiji for some time, I realised that what I really wanted to do is music.
"What gave me real happiness is music, and that's what drove me to go to Bombay. If you wanna have a career in music in the Indian world, you have to be based in Bombay," he says.
Coming from a very good background of devotion, and bhajans and gazhals semi classical music, Sumeet did not take long to establish himself as a feature in Bombay, and not just another one hit wonder.
With a sense of purpose, a melodious voice, a whole lot of determination and of course, a very analytical mind, Sumeet took to India's Tinsel town as if it's his own.
Wading through the quagmire that is synonymous with the cut throat nature of the world's music industry, Sumeet kept his focus and level headedness in this big world.
"We all sound very good in the bathroom. That's the thing - it gives you such a false perception of everything. Some would think that they can perform so well in the bathroom but when they go out on stage they can't perform," he said.
Sumeet's debut pop album titled Meri Deewangi, released by Bollywood Film Giants Eros International, was in the Top Ten Charts for just under 40 weeks.
"So I have been blessed in the sense that wherever I perform, I get accepted by the people, and I have performed in countries all over the world. With God's grace, there's been acceptance and the likeability factor in the concert is important. The albums I've done have been accepted as well," Sumeet says.
His biggest achievement so far, and a personal joy, is that he was able to sing with some of the best semi classical Indian singers like Shankar Mahadevan, Suresh Wadka, Sadhana Sargam and Hariharan.
He recorded a nine track devotional album with the two Indian music legends, Hariharan and Mahadevan, called Bhavanjali - Jeevan Jyoti Sai described by music lovers as bhajans composed to beautiful raaga and soothing solos.
The slow soothing sounds of bhajan and ghazals, along with Sumeet's melodious voice have led to offers from Bollywood for playback and movie sound track.
He had just recently recorded a song with Bollywood diva Sunidhi Chauhan, which will be released as a movie sound track for a big budget Bollywood movie next year.
"She is a megastar, it is an honour to record with her, it is a romantic duet that is releasing next year and I have also recorded a few solos myself, and that will also be released next year in movies, so that will give a different dimension to what I am right now."
"I have only entered the Bollywood stage because I think I can do it, I am only entering the film industry because I know I can do something. If I realise I can't do this, then I can't do it," Sumeet says.
Even though Sumeet may be near the pinnacle of an international music career, to him it is just another day in the office - a sense of humility surrounds him as he always tends to keep everything about him so real and grounded.
"There has been very good feedback, it feels good but obviously this has been only a start. I don't consider myself as 'I am up there right now' so you asked me where I want to go, I will always keep that within myself, I don't tell people where I want to go.
"I know what my goals are and I have to keep the focus, and I am very self critical, that is one of the things I have been taught, spiritual from everyone, from home, from my spiritual side and from my business training as well - the only way forward is self analysis and being critical of yourself," Sumeet says.
And he's finally managed to introduce his four-year-old daughter Saisha to the rest of Fiji at his concert tour last week - a moment he will always treasure because this time round, he has brought someone else close to him back home.