What’s with all TV channels joining the rat race for making the most “realistic” TV show which would fetch them high TRP ratings? They can’t even be original to say the least. I have seen just one episode of ‘Indian Idol’, where the 3 notorious judges – Anu Malik, Farah Khan and Sonu Nigam (not looking like the apso that he looks now), dissect the personality of the so called participants. In case someone doesnt know, they are notorious for being rude. Anu Malik is the rudest. He doesnt need to make an effort. Venom spills from that forked tongue of his and he kind of takes pride in being sarcastic. Farah Khan looks as if she’s got it on her mind to be rude. She thinks, pauses, and then lets out something that would make a participant wince. Sonu Nigam is quite spontaneous &jhatpat to give an opinion and mebbe because of that he’s the least vile of the three.
When I watched it, the city where they had conducted this farce was by chance Delhi. I call it a farce because it appeared quite stage managed and certainly not reality the way they claimed. There was an assortment of participants. Some sang well, but were ridiculed by the judges. Some sang so-so but were accepted by judges on basis of their looks or because the participants were sucking upto the judges. Some were really good and were taken (but of course, it was supposed to be a talent hunt all along). Of course, some were *really* really bad and they did need to be questioned whether they were even aware of it. There was some guy who came and did some weird exercise of touching his own feet and various parts of his body in a yoga manner. The judges got really flustered (mebbe because they were jealous of this yoga flexibility) and snapped at the guy to hurry up. The guy tried a little emotional dialogue by saying that he had some problem in his body because of which he needed to do all this before singing and that they should not make fun of his problem. Beats me, how all this had any connection with his throat. Anyway, the judges didnt buy it either and snapped at him to start. The guy sang a new classical rendition of the “Nirma” ad and sang it well (mebbe his exercise worked), but he was told by all three judges in a very rude manner that he was a misfit & his choice of song was outrageous. The guy got pretty angry and started fighting with them on camera. He told the judges that he thought it was pretty rude of them to have behaved the way they did and they could have been more polite certainly. Kewl reality this.
Then, there was a woman who was blind and had especially come to audition. On seeing her, the judges kind of got overwhelmed and suddenly turned respectful (sympathy with the handicapped). The lady sang a nice number with a lot of emotion and expression and needless to say she got through, though there were several like her or better than her who got kicked out. Her “Sonu Bhaiyya” specifically remembered her from Sa-Re-Ga-Ma. Then, came a painter (prolly from Ludhiana). And no, this was not the MF Hussain variety. This was the hanging-in-some-makeshift-jhoola-painting-house variety. Again the judges warmed up (sympathy with poverty). This guy sang an amazing Mohd. Rafi number and for once the judges were all praises. Then, there was some guy, who was just ok, not really great with a Shaan song (and Shaan songs are what he sang later too), but he kept flashing a sweet (according to Farah) smile all the time. He got through (I feel) because of that.
There were a couple of others who sang ok or well, but got kicked out for no apparent reason. Newspapers mentioned some lady, who took the whole venue by storm because her daughter was ungracefully thrown out of the elimination rounds. I didnt witness this “reality”. One interesting statistic from the Delhi episode – the song which was sung by most participants was “Bheege Honth tere, pyasa dil mera“. Gotta get real, these singers.
Suddenly ppl’s idea of reality is to shock the viewer. “Instant recall” perhaps is the theory behind it. There are lots of reports in the papers too about how these so called reality shows are stage managed, Indian Idol and India’s best being among them. I dont even know the names of the various such clones on every other alpha, beta, theta channel.
US has already started showing reality shows where wives exchange their ‘oh-so-boring’ husbands for a week. In other words, swinging is just a game now. Temptation island was another. Soon this stuff would be all over the country, in desi flavour. “Slurp” would say the couch potato generation. Is it a surprise that they cant distinguish between the real and the idiot box variety of life?
Given a chance, I would like to start a reality show of mine. “The Great Indian Cookery Show”, I would christen it as. Compared to these oxymoronic unreal-reality shows, at least *there*, I would know that if the nymphet-like-cook-with-the-pearl-drop-like-tears is crying, it’s for “real”, because she’s peeling an onion.