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It was always my dream to meet the Spice Girls. But then they split, with each taking up solo careers. I never gave up. I knew India would beckon them. And so it did. If you think you can slot this girl as an item or a glam girl, think again. For she has girl power. She may be petite, but her blue eyes, diminutive frame and her quick silver wit hit you as you meet her. The blonde with the peachy face is still there, but her hair, hanging in two plaits is gone. There I was seated in her suite, sipping chai with Baby Spice aka Emma Bunton:

The Record: This is your first visit to India after the 1997 Channel [V] awards with the Spice Girls. How do you like being back?
Emma Bunton (EB): It has been really hectic for me. The last time I was busy with the awards. This time, I have really been enjoying this trip, because Iíve been to the beach, shopping malls, catching fish, attending parties and doing my own thing, really.

TR: Hasnít anybody recognized you?
EB: Well, they have. In fact, on the beach and in the shopping centre, a few people recognized me and came to me for autographs and wanted me to pose with them for photos. I never really said anything to them, but all through this I noticed that everyone was so polite to me.

TR: Have you enjoyed feasting on the Indian food?
EB: Though on my first day, when I arrived here they told me to be careful about what I eat, that kind of made me a little bit nervous, but, I have really loved the Indian food. I love all the non-veg dishes and the curries. I also tasted the most beautiful coconut lobster curry.

TR: What brings you to India?
EB: I have a heard a lot about Bollywood. Iím here to film a documentary for the BBC that conceptualizes on the life of Bollywood celebrities compared to the Western celebs.

TR: Have you seen any Bollywood movies?
EB: I have seen many, but I canít really remember the names, but I simply love the song (breaks into the song) Chaaya Chaaya, a song that is sung with singers dancing on the roof of a moving train. Itís really fantastic. I have also seen a few dance scenes of the Hindi movies that really took me by surprise. Bhangra music is really popular abroad and especially in London and its played everywhere in the clubs and radio stations too.

TR: Have you collaborated with any Indian music director or singer on your visit?
EB: I really wouldíve loved to do something here with an Indian music director or singer, but at the moment I am concentrating on the documentary and also my new pop album Free Me, released a few months ago. But yes, there have been a lot of offers. I have done a little acting in an untitled Bollywood movie that stars Dimple Kapadia and Soha Khan.

TR: Do you listen to Indian music?
EB: I have and let me tell you its immensely popular back home. The last 10 days, well, I have been watching a lot of Hindi and Indipop music videos on television. I surely will be taking some music with me, as I have bought quite a lot of Hindi music too. I preferred listening to the Hindi pop music rather than the Hindi film music.

TR: Where are you based now?
EB: I live in London, and I live on my own but I am very near to my family. I have just one brother younger to me, and heís my best friend.

TR: Are you seeing anyone presently?
EB: At the moment Iím dating its really fun and I love going out for dinners. Even though I am so busy I make the time and I just take each day as it comes. Iím still very young.

TR: Coming to your music what is the most common aspect in your album?
EB: The first album was more of a learning album, and musically I was just figuring out where I wanted to go, and the second album was much more easy as I knew the sound I wanted. So each is different in itself. I love doing both ballads and upbeat tunes, but I believe that a song must bring out an emotion, and so I love ballads that you can cry to, while a good song you can probably dance with your girlfriend.

You can read the rest of our feature on Emma Bunton in the November 2004 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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