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, Saraswathi...it 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.
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!).
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.
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!
- This show fills sidekick with new appreciation for Lil Champs
- Hilarious and disturbing says leera
- original m dishes some Neil Mukesh love
- Is Pritam an incarnation of Jatayu asks SkD
- More like Yeti says Ritha
- Most of these kids are serial auditioners says Joules
- Talent is the only saving grace of this show says Pratik