Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa 2007: A prickly legend gathers no moss

Asha Bhonsle marked week 4 on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa by kicking off a deserving participant, needling Himesh Reshammiya and stressing that ada and dance have no place in the life of a serious singer. Wisely Himesh kept a straight face and rode the storm. He emerged rather unscathed. Ashaji, on the other hand, kept a girl called Sarika Singh – who sang beautifully – waiting and gave the first next round ticket to Nirupama Dey – who sang like chalk on a blackboard. Perhaps Ashaji was trying to make nice with Himesh (Dey was from his gharana), perhaps she wanted to teach a sabak to Vishal-Shekhar for suggesting that Sarika was a certainty for the next round. It was a WTF moment that confounded me.

Last week’s show had its moments though – and most of them had Bappi Lahiri in them. Who knew our man had a real name – Alokesh! What do we do now with all those kids who were named Bappi by their Surakshaa-loving parents?

Well, Alokesh came with all his bling and sang some stuff which elicited an on-stage hug from Shekhar and hyperbolic plaudits from everyone else. Himesh promptly announced that Bappida was good enough for us to claim victory against all the talent from other countries – put together.

Ashaji then kicked off the contest by calling the House of Reshammiya to the floor. She did this by singing “Aashiq Banaya Aapne”, which launched Himesh’s singing career in 2005. She sang it over and over again – a thinly veiled reference to Himesh’s rather annoying attempts to create a trance-like mood in his songs by repeating lines. Himesh swallowed hard, repeated “Thank you” several times – once mock-slapping himself on his cheek. This unexpected bit of grace earned my grudging admiration.

A string of middling contestants filled up the show – most seemed to be shaking in their pants. Ashaji gave all of them that hooded-eye glance – not good. She trashed their ability to hold on to a sur.

Finally Bappi introduced Sikandar Ali, who looks like a cross between Amitabh Bachchan and Zayed Khan and holds on to the mike for dear life while singing. He took on Kishore Kumar’s “Intehaa” from Sharaabi and sang with an intoxicated accent that vaguely reminded me of Allahabad. Ashaji closed her eyes, bowed her head and smiled. Bappi looked pleased. Himesh continued to act like Rahul Roy – which is to say he was expressionless. Sikander was the second singer to make it to the next round.

Now the funny part of all of this is that there is a reserve gharana that can be used to replenish the stock of any gharana that has suffered casualties – which Himesh and Ismail Darbar did today. It’s called Eklavya – which I think is a particularly is a cruel way of mocking a heroic, tragic, guru-less character from Indian mythology.

But it’s campy – which is all I expect from SRGMP.


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Anonymous said...

I can't decide which is more entertaining-the actual show or your post-show analysis!

Shekhar Ki Deewani said...
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