Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kyunki Chhote Ustaad bhi kabhi music show thi

anu g visits the last show standing and gets a distinctly soapy feeling

I have never been interested in soaps and serials. So this Friday when I realized Lil Champs was over, I decided to sit back and enjoy a quiet evening of music with the Chhote Ustads on Star Plus.

But boy! Was I mistaken! This show has all the ingredients of a tearjerker soap-opera.

Will these Bidais ever end?
Just as I switched on the TV, I saw a doli on stage. Out came this little 12 year old Prakriti struggling to walk in wedding finery. Her aunt came with her, and gave a long speech on how girls were Durga, Lakshmi, went on for 5 minutes, like in one of those saas-bahu serials. Poor Prakriti had to listen to how she would get married and depart for her sasural. The poor girl must have been thoroughly traumatized.

Next to be carried in: Sonia from Haryana with badey bhaiya who began by saying that Sonia was the youngest after four brothers. This made her very special to them. Just as I was envying her (my greatest regret is not having a brother) he said "lekin ladki tho paraya dhan hoti hai, tho isse hume bhejna hoga!" My regret turned to relief instantly.

Sonia then said she would never get married. Kunal Ganjawala stepped in and thundered "Never say that! A brother is privileged to marry off his sister!" Such a progressive male, our Kunal!

Next to come in was the only boy in the final five, Vyom. His mother declared "In India, its not just a marriage between a girl and boy, its between two families". Girls, beware! Don’t you line-maro Vyom, you'll have to tackle Aunty first! Then suddenly realizing that her son might lose girly votes, Mum hastily patched things up. "Its Vyom's choice. I will send off my daughter Annu, and bring another Annu into the family". Girls beware! Aunty wants his sister for Vyom. All this while Vyom was squirming on the stage.

I found the whole concept so melodramatic. The poor kids were asked to think about getting married and leaving their parents. How traumatic. This is the age when they need to enjoy life, study well, and bond with their parents.

Bhari Melodrama
Whenever a contestant’s parent spoke, everyone broke into tears. When Shreya was asked to sing a bidaai song, she sang a bit and them simply broke into huge sobs.

Motherhood and the travails of life has played such havoc with my hormones that from being one of those stoic upper-lipped sorts who used to wonder how people could cry on public, I am now a ready-to-drop-tears at the slightest show of emotion. Yet none of this touched me in the least. Only at the end when one of the very good singers Sonia exited and broke down sobbing, did I rest assured that I had not become hard-hearted. Pritam again staged a walkout saying he couldn’t take this anymore (the next minute we saw a preview of the following episode, and it had Pritam beaming alongside Salman. So much for trauma!).

National Disintegration
While we are struggling in India for peace, here is one show that shamelessly promotes regionalism. The anchors and judges keep asking the people of a state to vote for the contestant of his or her home-state. And when someone loses, the home state is blamed and rebuked.

Bhagwan Gajji
My opinion on reality shows is that aesthetics demands that we see only what is happening on the stage as if there is no cameraman or director around. But this is one show where everyone seems to revere Gajendra Singh. From the judges to the parents, everyone chatoed Gajji at every opportunity they got.

So any of you bored of reality shows and want to watch soaps? Tune in to Chhote Ustaad next week!



Aspi said...

anu g, thanks for the post. I feel caught up with the show although I've never seen it. While doing the screen caps I noted that most of the kids sang really well - definitely better than Lil Champs.

And is Pritam another (happy) Rahman or what? The man just keeps beaming all the time and hardly says anything.

sidekick said...

anu g, great job.... a post after my heart! since u recommended it and anvesha and aishwarya were getting props fm other drifters too, i checked out both epis of last week's shows. i have a new appreciation for SRGMP LC and just how clean of a show it was. Gajji's emotional manipulation was so OTT that i too was completely unmoved. I was in fact disgusted with the excessive dramebaazi.

My appreciation of Head also went up several notches. Abhas the amped up host of Chotte Ustaad operates at such a high decibel and enthusiasm level that it is intensely cloying and annoying. His "utterly butterly breaks" make Head's "Time Please" seem charming and pleasant.

This is a show of wasted promise coz the kids are excellent - heaps better than the SRGMP LC lot. Aishwarya an Anvesha could prolly challenge the best on any of the regular non-kiddie music shows and would beat Anamika easily. Despite that I have a soft spot for Anamika coz she doesn't sing at the uber high pitch that characterizes most current and aspiring female BW singers. The A-Team at Chotte Ustaad, as good as it is, is more in the lata M/ shreya mould than the sunidhi/richa one.

The salman epi was better than the bidai one, but the emotional manipulation continued. May be best to watch the clips of the A-team on youtube than suffer at gajji's hands.

anu g said...

Thanks Aspi for the captions and posting this.
I just read that Pritam had had a traumatic event in his childhood which affected his speech. And he genuinely empathises with the kids who get out cos he knows how traumatic it can be. I feel guilty for having made fun of him, poor fellow.
He is stuck to this channel and has to put up with it all. Incidentally he had verbally accepted Star Plus's Little Champs , but Gajji 'kheencho'ed him. He must be regretting it.

anu g said...

Sidekick, thanks so much. I watched parts of the Salman episode. Maybe u should do a post on it. I was literally ROFL when Abhaas was screaming in excitement as Salman was taking off his shirt. Aspi, u must have a look at that episode:).
I agree with u about Anamika being the Sunidhi types.She sings the curreny-bollywood songs beautifully. In fact thats why I prefer Anvesha to Aishwarya becos she can sing the jara-hatke songs also, while Aish is the typical Lataji types.

anu g said...

Heres an interview with Pritam. Can u believe, Gajji asks the kids to fight, but they say they cant cos they r best friends(I assume its Anvesha and Aishwarya).Gajji is carrying it too far! Sidekick, I am disgusted too!

leera said...

Hilarious and disturbing. I wonder how these kids do when they go back to normalcy after this circus.

Do more Anu G, If not the show I gleaned much entertainment from the post.
Btw Aspi, the disney cap, awesome!

original m said...

I watched 7 march episode just for my sex pot Neil and was he looking handsome or was he looking sexy or was he looking hot!!

My god such an humble, sweet and hot dude.. i love him so much more now.. he speaks so articulately too and NO HE DOES NOT LOOK LIKE SPOCK.. Zachary quinto aka sylar looks like Spock and i tells you he don't look like my bb..

i haven't made a fan video in ages i am gonna make one soon on Neil..

i was disappointed when that Kunal unibrow sang so loud overshadowing Neil's voice.. i wanted to hear him sing

anyway among the contestants i liked Prakriti (??) she looks like a minority lost in majority ppl, she isn't that bad.. she is great but gets treated like an unwanted step child

Soniya is good too sad she left.. the other 2 girls, didn't like them.. the guy is so feminine but he was raised by a single mom and has a sister so i can totally understand the effeminacy

anu g said...

Original M:), I kept thinking of you when I was watching Neil on the show.Am not joking..But my post went on so long, that in the process I forgot to write about neil.He came across as a very nice guy. Even I didnt like Kunal overshadowing him when he was singing. What I liked was that he seemed to genuinely enjoy every song, and could give technical analysis too. And at the end, when he was asked to announce the winner, poor guy, muttered 'Lord, i can do this'. Did someone compare him to Hrithik? No way! Hrithik comes across as this prim-n-proper raja-sort-of person, Neil is the more normal human.
Hey i didnt know Vyom doenst have a dad. When she spoke of being alone, I assumed she meant his dad was not present at the show.
Prakriti is a sweet kid. But its not enough, isnt it. She could be compared to II3Prashant-nice human beings from Darjeeling, who can sing ok.But thats not what the competition is about, I think.
Anyway, good choice for a hero,M:).

anu g said...

Thanks so much Leera. Even I wonder why these kids' shows r happening at the end of the academic year. I guess it means they lose one year. It would have made more sense to have it in june/july, so that atleast the kids who get eliminated have enough time to get back to their studies.I think they should have their basic education first.

anu g said...

Correction: Neil said 'Lord, i CAN'T do this'!

SkD said...

Pritam looks so WEIRD!!!!!
Is he some reincarnation of the mythological Jatayu from Ramayan???

ritha said...

skd thats wht i thot of Pritam!!! He looks like yeti to me!

Aspi said...

Since I can't chuckling at these comments I'll assume I've been missing a terrific show.

sidekick, I will be sure to check out that utterly butterly thing that Abhaas does - I didn't catch it.

m, I can't disagree with you. Neil came across as a really cool person. And he's not very filmi because he had that awkward moment when he requested Kunal to sing with him and Kunal grabbed the mike and went after that song. At which point Neil kind of awkwardly put the mike down. Heh, heh. Is Kunal always this entertaining?

Mind Rush, if you are reading this you should specialize in Music Show Aftermath Counselling for Kids.

SkD, Preity is our official Jatayu after Ritha sent in this pic.

anu g said...

Leera, looks like someone read our comments about the kids post-stardom, and wrote this article.

Joules said...

skd, Jatayu - that is an apt description.

I can't wait for Neil's second movie. (What's up with his eyebrows though. Is he trying the Shabana Azmi look) I hope he does'nt let us all down.

As far as the kids shows happening during any time of the year - Most of these kids are serial auditioners whose parents take them from one audition to another. Watch old clips of SRGMP or Antakshri and see how many familiar faces show up. You can see Twinkle, Himani, Kunal Ganjawala, even Amey show up repeatedly at various ages.

This was when there were few shows. Now that there are so many, I can easily see Anamika doing commercials, some dance shows, teen music shows and then trying out for SRGMP or II.

Shekhar said...

SkD, seems like you have forgotten me completely.I was your 'baal ki dukaan' once upon a time.

leera said...

Hmmm that was an interesting article Anu G. However the Zee execs excuse that without reality shows kids would be busy in extracurriculars anyway is BS.

Extracurricular activities donot carry with it big money stakes, TRPs, over-the-top production, regionalism, innumerable retakes, super odd hours etc.

Also as joules pointed out, there is definitely a stage parent involved if theses kids are serial auditioners.

Pratik said...

The only saving grace for this show is abundant TALENT....otherwise it's a complete 'masala' show

Gajendra Singh (Director) comes up with biased AVs, regionalism propoganda, contrived quarrels, kissing scene....all on show meant for kids

The participants , in particular, Aishwarya, Soniya & Anwesha are brilliant and thankfully there are no judges quarrels here. Though, I wish they could give more technical advice like Sonu & SW gave in little champs to kids.

Mind Rush said...

I don't follow the show but your comments are entertaining.
BTW, skd, Shekhar misses you!

Cinderella said...

it's such a masala show.i see it rarely...only for Anwesha's perfomances.and it was so hilarious to watch Salman take off his shirt in a kids show!!!!

Anonymous said...

hi aspi kia chhote ustaad do desho ki ek awaz main wild card entry ho gi????agr hui to bht maza aney wala hai....rahat ko chahiye k PAKISTAN se aur b achi n challnging awaz le kr aye n yahan se b achi voice aye n phir unki wild card entry karen.....then to show mindblowing ho jayega naa...??k byeeeee

Anonymous said...

hi aspi kia chhote ustaad do desho ki ek awaz main wild card entry ho gi????agr hui to bht maza aney wala hai....rahat ko chahiye k PAKISTAN se aur b achi n challnging awaz le kr aye n yahan se b achi voice aye n phir unki wild card entry karen.....then to show mindblowing ho jayega naa...??k byeeeee

Anonymous said...

hi aspi kia chhote ustaad do desho ki ek awaz main wild card entry ho gi????agr hui to bht maza aney wala hai....rahat ko chahiye k PAKISTAN se aur b achi n challnging awaz le kr aye n yahan se b achi voice aye n phir unki wild card entry karen.....then to show mindblowing ho jayega naa...??k byeeeee

Anonymous said...

hi aspi kia chhote ustaad do desho ki ek awaz main wild card entry ho gi????agr hui to bht maza aney wala hai....rahat ko chahiye k PAKISTAN se aur b achi n challnging awaz le kr aye n yahan se b achi voice aye n phir unki wild card entry karen.....then to show mindblowing ho jayega naa...??k byeeeee