He narrowly missed becoming Indian Idol but that hasn't dampened his spirits. The Agra boy gave a scintillating performance in this Taj city, much to the delight of his fans who had supported him during the singing reality show.
Rakesh sang a full repertoire of romantic numbers at the Agra Club stage, leaving the audience enthralled. He started with the classic Humen tumse pyar kitna and went on to tracks like Dil diya hai and Chappa chappa charkha chale.
On Sony TV's popular reality show Indian Idol, Rakesh and finalist Bhoomi Trivedi lost to Hyderabad-based Sreeram Chandra earlier this month.
Campaigning for Rakesh had reached a frenzy in his hometown ahead of the final of the show's fifth season. Special 'pujas' were held at various temples and banners and hoardings all over the city asked people to vote for their city lad.
He interacted with the media at the reception accorded to him by music lovers of the city. Rakesh said he had many miles to go and would not give up easily.
"A grounding in classical music would have been very useful," said Rakesh, who is a popular devotional singer in Agra.
But he said that his talent had been widely noted through Indian Idol.
"Ahead is struggle, though there are silver linings...I am getting some offers to sing in films," he said.