It seems like the end of an era, as the iconic singer-music composer Bappi Lahiri is no more. The news of his demise has sent down a wave of grief across the country and left a void in the Indian music industry.
The singer, who would be forever known as the "Disco King" of India, made us dance to his groovy tunes for decades. Besides his distinctive music, the most fascinating characteristic about Lahiri was his gleaming gold chains.
He probably never made a public appearance without sporting his gold chains and bracelets. Over the years, his fondness for gold became a part of the singer’s identity.
However, Bappi Lahiri’s love for gold had a connection with his fondness for the Hollywood icon Elvis Presley. Back in 2016, the musician explained it by stating that he always wanted to make an identity for himself, just like Elvis had his trademark Jesus Christ diamond cross and Michael Jackson his sunglasses.
In Hollywood, famous singer Elvis Presley used to wear gold chains. I was a huge follower of Presley. I used to think, if I become successful someday, then I will build a different image of mine. By the grace of God, I could do it with gold. Earlier people used to think, it is just a way to show off. But it is not so. Gold is lucky for me.
Lahiri, in an old interview , revealed that at the age of 21 he realised gold was lucky for him.
...my mother gave me a gold chain with a Hare Rama Hare Krishna locket in it. I got Zakhmi — my first blockbuster. When my mother put on the chain for me, she had told me it would be lucky for me.
The 69-year-old singer believed those gold chains brought a big change in his life. Therefore, his jewellery pieces had a greater significance to him.
After my mother, it was my wife Chitrani who gifted me another gold chain with a big Ganpati locket on it, on my birthday, in 1977. This was following the super successful box-office runs of Aapki Ki Khatir and Bambai Ae Aa Mera Dost.
With or without his ornamental bling, Bappi Lahiri did leave an impression on us. And will always be remembered as a pioneer of disco in Bollywood.