The trademark bindi-saree-bangle look of her has never been a deliberate decision to create an image but something which happened naturally as she turned into a woman from a school girl, Indian pop icon Usha Uthup has said.

The 70-year-old 'Didi', as Uthup is popularly known, said she sometimes thanks God that she is an Indian and able to sport saree, bindi and bangle.

"My bindi-saree look was not a conscious marketing decision to position my image. The fact remains I just started wearing saree coming straight out of school," she said at the 'India Today Conclave East 2018' on Friday evening.

Uthup said she started crooning numbers at a time when people were of the view that it was the privilege of Anglo- Indian singers.

"When people had a different perception from a female voice of being soft and gentle, I changed that perception (too) with my strong bass voice. And I was accepted as the audiences have always been my friend," she said.

About the audience profile in nightclubs, Uthup said "The nightclub used to be the men's only place. But after I came in, men started taking their wives, sisters, daughters, women friends to the place. It turned into a family place." 

Uthup recalled that when she sang at nightclubs in the '70s, she used to have personalities such as Jyoti Basu, Somnath Chatterjee, Satyajit Ray and Amitabh Bachchan among the audience.

To a question she said "If one can identify her weakness, one can turn that into her strength." 

Uthup, who had started her film career in music with Ivory-Merchant's Bombay Talkies (1970) in which she sang an English number and then in 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' in 1971, recalled, "I started singing at a hotel in Delhi when I got an offer from Navketan Films. They offered a playback offer for 'Hare Rama Hare Krishna' to me." 

She went on to do playback for some of Bollywood's pop hits in films such as Shaan, Shalimar, Disco Dancer, right up to recent releases such as Tashan and Joggers' Park and 7 Khoon Maaf.