The Cute Voice Behind Your Child’s Favourite Cartoons Doraemon, Chhota Bheem And Many More – Sonal Kaushal
28 June 2017
From a kid to a parent, who hasn’t heard about Doraemon and Chhota Bheem? They are almost every kid’s favourite cartoon characters and most parents adore the characters so much that they too feel that both of them are part of their families.
Well, our today’s story is all about a woman who has been the iconic voice behind these so loved characters. Sonal Kaushal has been voicing for the 22nd century Robo-Cat Doraemon since 2005 when she was just a 13yr old girl.
At a mere age of six years, Sonal auditioned for All India Radio, where her mother was a casual announcer. She got approved and did quite a few shows as a child artist and then she got an opportunity to audition for UTV which was for a Japanese show that would be dubbed in Hindi, Doraemon.
After several rounds of auditioning, Sonal was selected to be the Voice of Doraemon. Dubbing itself is a challenging job, you have a screen in the front playing the video and at the same time audio plays through the headphones in a different language and you have to read the translated script and then you have to speak over the character’s dialogues while modulating your voice, catching the expression of the character, matching the timings and keeping everything in Sync. And for a kid, it is more tedious.
Keeping up with the studies, the dubbing and her shooting schedule weren’t easy but Sonal, with her family’s support, was able to normalise it.
She never expected that Doraemon would become a sensation. Back then, when Sonal was a kid, it was like a picnic for her. Her mother would pick her up from school, get her chocolates, chips and snacks and then accompany her to the recordings.
Since there were only a few companies operating out of Delhi, including UTV, she took a brave decision to advance her career and move to Mumbai in 2013, Mumbai being the entertainment hub. The Channel had to look for a new voice since Sonal had shifted to Mumbai.
Auditions were held and a lot of people attempted to mimic Doraemon but her voice could not be replaced. For the immense love for this character, she decided to record from Mumbai and sends her audio to Delhi, which she still continues to do till date.
In 2014, Sonal was selected to be the voice of another character that went on to become iconic, Chhota Bheem. It was a challenge for her as the original voice was being replaced by hers and therefore she had to match the previous voice artist’s style.
The case was totally different for Doraemon as she has been playing that role since the very start and had played it with her unique style. However, Sonal was able to do justice to this new character as well and it attracted a huge audience all over the country.
Sonal believes that becoming a voice artist is an interesting thing to doubt is challenging. It is a time-consuming process that involves rigorous practice and coaching to modulate the voice and get the nuances of tone and to catch the correct expression and be able to act with it. It has now become comparatively easier for Sonal because of the years of experience and she finds it quick to get into the skin of a new character.
There was a major setback in Sonal’s career in the year 2015. She was unable to speak properly. Initially, she thought it is a normal cough and cold. But it didn’t get back to normal. So, she decided to visit a specialist. The doctor checked her throat and conducted several tests. It was later diagnosed that she had swollen vocal chords.
The doctor enquired if she was a teacher or a singer because this type of swelling is usually observed in them as a teacher has to shout a lot and if a singer stresses their chords a lot. Sonal explained how her work demands her to modulate and stress her voice to add the variations and expressions which possibly stretched her vocal chords to this extent.
Sonal’s schedule requires her to work for 10-12 hours a day where she has to produce different voices for different characters. The doctor suggested her a complete voice rest for a period of 10 days. She was told that she shouldn’t even talk or whisper as if the chords were stressed any further, she could lose her voice permanently.
Sonal was scared but she didn’t get shaken and somehow managed her schedule to take up the rest that the doctor advised. She faced a challenge and overcame it with her strong will and dedication towards her work. It has been an amazing journey for her with all the ups and downs she tells.
She receives messages from parents requesting her to speak to their kid in the voice of Doraemon. When she talks to the little tots, it brings her immense joy and pleasure and the amount of happiness she feels is inexpressible.
There are experiences which she will be cherishing for the lifetime. She feels happy about the kind of job she has when she’s climbing up the staircase to her house and on every floor, she hears her own voice as the kids are watching Doraemon or Chhota Bheem.
As every coin has two sides, there is also a sad part to Sonal’s life. Sometimes when she travels in a metro, she overhears women talking about Doraemon and how their kids are involved in it and she would be seated right next to the ladies but sadly they don’t know that she is the voice of Doraemon. It is a sad aspect as in the voice dubbing entertainment industry, there is not much recognition. The people listen to the voices every day but they don’t know whose voice it is.
With the trending use of social media, people are now getting to know and recognising the people behind these voices. Sonal is 26-year-old now and she is taking over the industry by storm.
She says her job is challenging but that doesn’t stop her. She has till date given such outstanding performances and has lent her voice to 200+ characters including Amy Jackson in Freaky Ali, Mandy in The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy, Pikachu in Pokemon, Mighty Raju (English), Darby in My Friends Tigger and Pooh and Arya Stark in Game of Thrones, Sheikh Chilli in Sheikh Chilli and Friends, Bandbudh in Bandbudh our Budbak, Veeru in Jai-Veeru, Pink Power Ranger in Power Rangers to name a few. She sings Jingles and songs for various shows on TV.
“One of my current projects is ‘Jai Veeru’ on Sony Yay, where I am voicing for Veeru and am really overwhelmed with the response from the kids.” shares Sonal Kaushal.
Sonal Kaushal is a Woman of Courage because she is dedicated towards her work and maintains the energy and consistency in her voice, irrespective of what her personal mood might be. She is blessed to spread happiness among the innocent souls.
When next time we hear Doraemon or Chhota Bheem speaking, we will surely think of Sonal Kaushal being the voice behind it. 🙂
Team WOC wishes Sonal great luck for all her endeavours!
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