Monday, September 03, 2007

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2007: The show that found itself

It’s easy to say that SRGMP is a crass show. I’ve always believed it to be much smarter than that. And it took the Laloo Prasad Yadav episode to show us how well SRGMP understands and embraces its tacky loopiness.

An auspicious opening
How about that awesome opening sequence – the one where someone showed up with the lalten – which if you ask me is a reference to its striking resemblance to the globe with the earphones on it. 10 out of 10!

And It’s one thing to put a lame cutout of a tree on the set - but to hang a kati patang on it? Genuis! And all of these little details in the “desh ki mitti ki sugandh” episode kicked off with a rather uncoordinated, entertaining performance by the boys – with Raja Hasan trying hard to prove that the theme was right in his ilaaka by busting some khet-ka-khiladi moves.

A little later the girls showed up. And they made the boys look like ballet dancers so uncoordinated were they! And yet I had much fun.

A show well written
Early on the producers of SRGMP – who I can’t congratulate enough for executing this week’s show – must have realized that their guest LPY wouldn’t be able to carry the show to the heights demanded by his scoop appearance. And they were right because LPY – apart from a couple of genuinely chuckle-worthy moments - himself was coma-inducing.

So instead they built a show around LPY. This was a good move because by the time LPY arrived, all he had to was show up and I was entertained!

The Daler explodes
Right after those all-arms-and-limbs opening pieces, Daler Mehndi appeared. And even accounting for the fact that I’m a big fan of his terrific voice, you’d have to admit he was the star of the show. He twisted, he jumped, he urged the boys and girls to match his octaves (and in doing so showed their rawness up quite a bit), flirted outrageously with Sumedha, decided Mauli wasn’t worth as much of his time, ignored Poonam and had a couple of his backup dancers hoick him on his shoulders. All this without missing a beat.

In between Head would pop in to give us a blow by blow of LPY’s progress from Delhi to the studio. He would ask the same tired questions about Indo-Pak bhaichara. If this isn’t great TV staging – I don’t know what is!

The race to chato LPY
Once LPY showed up, I was curious to see how the judges would go about chatoing him. Certainly, I thought, the Hauj auph Resamva would take the lead in this. But no! With a speed that would rival The Flash, Bappi was on stage and launching into a sweet song about LPY’s general greatness. So romantic did Bappi sound, and so into it did LPY get, that for a while I thought we might need a rakhee to stop tongues wagging.

And God bless Mauli Dave for asking that question that insinuated that LPY had rigged some numbers in the Railways revenue. This gave us the opportunity to watch Ismail Darbar raise his eyebrows and nod his head trying to look impressed as LPY mumbled through a brief history of the Indian Railways and how he turned it all around.

Finally on to the competitive singing in the shows: yes, I remember there was some.

38 comments:

Manish said...

I thought the paanwala at the kiosk looked very similar to Subhash Chandra - the Zee honcho. Given the fact that Subhash Chandra's still smokes beedis, I wouldn't be surprised if it was himself.

Manish said...

I thoufght Lalu Prasad Yadav would be LPY, not LPV. Unless you prefer calling him Lalu-Prasad-Va.

Leera said...

The petting zoo in the background, wow what detailing! I couldn't help but hope that the critters were constipated!!
I was most surprised by daler mehndi who not only sang his own songs with elan but made every song sound fantastic to the same dhol beat! Kudos, put him on your A-list Aspi.

Anonymous said...

Srgmp producers are clearly geniuses in the art of tackiness. I was also amused when each contestant (Pakistanis included) said how much they admired LPY - it all sounded so phony. And Sumedha took this opportunity to declare that she too is a Bihari.

On to the songs now. I thought Mauli's song selection, Namak, was both hilarious and apt. It was delicious to see the camera zoom on the cops during the song. I expected them to leap of their seats and dance - just like in the original video.

Trivia: According to a friend-of-a-friend who is a Bihari, the song "Namak" from Omkara apparently describes oral s*x. Could this be true? Or is this a aural (no pun intended) Rorschach test? Once I was told about this, the song never sounded the same again.

--texan

Aspi said...

Manish, corrected. Thanks, buddy.

Leera, at one point my wife did ask me if the rampant goats had done their business on stage. And I had to point out that those were scattered rose petals.

Anon, really? Kind of like Pearl Jam, eh? I have no idea, but then I'm the wrong person to comment on the flavor.

Manish said...

Texan, Bhojpuri folk has always had its part of double entendres and suggestive similes. And this has its roots in special shows organised in almost every wedding -where the menfolk gather for a session of music performed by troupes - just as in the film Omkara.

The disturbing fact is that more of such songs are now available as legal CD releases. And the lyrics are getting raunchier and a lot more direct. This has a huge market - T-Series earns more with Bhojpuri releases than mainstream bollywood releases.

Yet, I think "Namak" is a well written song. Maybe many wouldn't find it as entertaining as ""Lehenge mein Laden Ghus Gaya".

Anonymous said...

aspi ur post is more entertaining than the actual show! (which was kinda disappointing). I was rewinding to check out the frame which is ur last pic..haha i bet the editor was sleeping! Amanat said he had heard a lot abt Lalllooo's 'brilliance and bravery' in pakistan. Wow...wht was HE listening to???
-Ritha.

Mind Rush said...

Having a significant number of authentic north Indian acquaintances helped me decipher 70 percent of LPY's comments. Note to SRGMP producers: You really ought to have had sub-titles when the man spoke.
I ended up liking the man though. He was less of his caricature and more an amused politician than I imagined. The judges (save 4 V) have already outed themselves as Gujarati. Else, we would have had all claiming to be Bihari.
And, I was much amused to watch the Daler shamelessly hitting on Sumedha. His music was magic though!

Next time, I want Rabri Devi as special guest and the theme to be Modern Bharatiya Nari.

Mind Rush said...

p.s. How does the Railway Minister justify arriving in a "helicoperva" that says "Raymond?"

Aspi said...

Mind Rush, the subtitles is an excellent idea. They should have done that.

megan said...

I have a LOT to say about this episode...

Aspi said...

Hopefully you are typing it up while we wait :). Or will there be a vid?

JodhaBai said...

haha no vid.. and just random thoughts..and i wasn't typin yo

the show was so eff'ed up.. i felt like i was watching a spoof show not the real deal..

OMG those bodyguards with guns, i swear i saw Mattel on one of them i aint kiddin... the way they tried to create tension and anticipation, it was corntastic.. the helicopter, people throiwng flowers at him, hahaha were Zee totally taking the piss or were they serious?

I didn't know this guy before the show but i totally think he should be in some reality show...

everytime they showed the guy i felt a bit queazy, the hair sticking out of his ears..AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

is this guy fo real?

bong hits the bong said...

Lip synced cacophony of the girls, Raja's "Khatiya Khari" dance,Daler's High voltage flirting, Himesh bhai's relentless dollops of praise for our dear "Onik" {how I wished they tied himu with the goats)...the atmosphere was psychedelic if not surrealistic and it was not necessary to hit the bong when a profound philosophical truth dawned on this poor bong soul.
I would like to call it the " Law of conservation of bong luck"...it goes like this...the total quantity of luck earmarked for bongs is a constant, so when one has a field day, it runs out for the other...take for example when Emon is dressed down, Aneek is heaped with parise, when Amartya gets his nobel , Tagore gets his stolen ...and when Leera gets royal treatment from Mrs.Drift, Mrs.BHTB uses the choicest explicits to force me carry out house hold chores.......forget it...just a momentary lapse of reason

Anonymous said...

hey guys

been checking out this site for some time now, totally love the articles Aspi and the comments are hilarious as well.... Mindblowing! *have a shot*

Anyways, what do you guys think about the results, Amaanat, Aneek and Sumedha in the top 3... Pati, Patni or Woh! :) Seems like our darling Himeshbhai's strategy is working.

P.S. Megan, do you by any chance dress Shekar considering he is dressed by Megh Shah... so make it Meghan :)

Leera said...

Bong luck, hmmmm. Will give some thought to that concept.

Pratik said...

This episode was let down in terms of singing. The stage was hilariously designed[Goats!!!! :O]. But then we had to bear Himesh's participant marketing gimmicks yet another time - Love story for aneek; and standing up and murmuring the song for Mussharat - stolid look of Lalooji and videos of participants visits. It irks me that SRGMP, VOI and II3 are not singing competitions but reality shows having singers in it.

jodha bai said...

ewww anonymous give me some credit alright.. i have better taste than that megh shah who makes Shekhar look so sloppy and weird with those ugly illfitting jeans and shirt..

it looks like Michelle from Black chose his clothes?? ugh

no wonder whenever he's on stage his hands are in his pocket, not a good look.. who the eff is this person??..i am this close to emailing shekhar to fire megh shah and hire Meg Kaur

Bella said...

Sorry Megan

I just couldn't resist.
Oy, Shekhar is definitely a hottie, ok minus the fact that he dresses wierd and has a new favourite word in his dictionary... and is the biggest fan of miss umreeca

Aspi said...

A lot of you have noticed that Amanat, Aneek and Sumedha have survived the rounds. But you have to give Manish credit for predicting this. In fact, if they end up being the final three, we'll have to accuse Manish of being on the SRGMP team of producers.

Bthb, that idea of tying Himesh to a goat is priceless. A new sport is born!

Meg, I was a little surprised Mauli didn't pile on "love from america" on Laloo given that Mussarat and Amanat were doing the same.

Harsha said...

Although Mauli did say "humari university ne aapko invite kiya tha..App nahi aa sake the"

Manish said...

It's a fight between gharanas, not singers. The final 4 will all be from different gharanas. Next, Bappi's candidate (Mauli or Sumedha) go out. And Bappi gets a big contract for the SRGMP Lil Champs as a judge.

And in the final 3 stage things gets messy. VS are no longer interested in judging shows - they have too many Yash Raj Films in their kitty. Neither will HR or IR bow down. HR wouldn't have forgotten last season's loss. Everyone mentor wants to be in the limelight of the finals.

And the only way out for my fellow producers would be to go for an actual vote count.

girlie girl said...

Like there was any chance of LPY coming to speak at an American University! The guy can barely talk in Hindi without falling asleep...

Megan, I agree...Shekhar is in a deperate need of a new wardrobe person!

Harsha said...

Even I think Mauli or Sumedha will be out this week. By their singing skills, it definitely has to be Mauli going out. She was bearable though last week. Public votes for her even when she sings bad so this singing will probably take her to top spot !I have been hoping for past many weeks and will keep hoping this week too that Mauli goes out from the contest.

meganbai said...

i aint gonna spoil your fun by saying who goes out..even though that won't be a mood spoiler

Shakky also needs a personal trainer.. I think ShakiraBen smuggled dhoklas to the srgmp sets and bribes V and S to give her undeserving points.. Their waists get bigger week after week

girlie girl said...

That goes for ALL the judges...everytime they show a glimpse of them, all i see them doing is chewing like cows. WTF are they eating back there!??! And i think on Saturday's episode, at one point, during a performance...i thought they showed Vishal txting (or sms-ing i should say) on his phone...

Anonymous said...

Only if Mauli goes out it will not be a mood spoiler. Anyways this show is a mood spoiler itself as Mauli could come all this way :-(

Aspi said...

girlie girl, I noticed that too. Only Vishal seemed to be using his phone like a laptop, laying it on the desk and punching keys on it. It was pretty funny. I think he was pretending to take notes for the singers.

Mind Rush said...

In response to girlie girl...I think they are all smokers and are chewing gum on the sets, or tobacco.

And, incidentally, during one of my trips to India I read about a group of MBA kids who had come from Amreeka to Dilli to hear LPY talk about how the Indian railway turned a profit . They students were from the not-too-shabby university called Harvard-va.

Girlie Girl said...

Aspi, either he was taking notes or just bored out of his mind! either way, did anyone notice at the end of the show when everyone was on stage a certain Mr. Vishal was missing?!?! hmm...Interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Haha. Mauli is out...although I think that based on last week's performances Sumedha should have gone. Next week, I think that Sumedha will go and we will have seen the last of Bappi Lahiri's Shuckeeeraah and Brritneeh Sppphhheaars/Baaarby daall (Shakira and Britney Spears/Barbie doll). And we won't have to see him on the set of Saregamapa ever again!! Yay!!! Let's throw a party!!! Now if everyone stops using that irritating word 'mindblowing', Saregamapa will truly be a PERFECT show! :-)

-qwitiqqx

Anonymous said...

LPY's Railways turnaround is the second most-sought Indian case study in management schools across the world. The first of course is Mumbai's Dabbawalas, who travel from univeristy to university giving lecture in chaste Marathi.

The Megan Tabloid said...

Vishal left the show halfway through cuz it was rakhi day and he went to meet his sister

but i think he got sick of the three ring circus and decided enough was enough...

shakky looked so lost on stage without V..aww his hands were in his pockets surprise surprise..and ufff those jeans and that hideos shirt

Anonymous said...

Megan...can u apply as Shekhar's stylist please?? Make him wear clothes that were not chosen randomly. Oh and while you're at it, tell Aditya's stylist to give him a comb ;)

-qwitiqqx

Mindblowing said...

qwitiqqx, yes thank u.. imma send him my resume..he will never wear illfitting clothes ever on srgmp.. I will make sure i'll pay attention to finer details and take his measurement accurately a number of times.. we'll have to get rid of the clothes to get it right..

one thing will then lead to other and you know what they say is the best excercise? *wink* so i can be like his personal trainer also...

Aspi said...

Megan, for someone who is nuts about Shekhar you sure spend a lot of time talking to Vishal. What gives?

meggy said...

no reason..V is just more accessible and replies to emails instantly..

S apparently only checks his emails once in a while..

V is more witty too

Aspi said...

meggy, I hereby pronounce you Star ka Yaar.