The end of fun?
"There will no more jhagdas!" he declared. "We will judge this competition in a respectful way!" Tie me up and call me Salman Khan, but why would anyone do a teerth yatra to ganga tat ke kinare and not dip in the water just because it happened to look a bit dicey? Just don't go then!
Happily Shankar proved that my fears were unfounded by setting up one of the most hilarious situations in the history of our beloved show. Who knew the man had the devil in him like that? Here is how it went down.
Early on during the singing and judging-shudging, the judges - Himesh, Shankar, Pritam and Aadesh sat stiffly, keeping their thoughts to themselves. Were they all just embarrassed from last week's high drama scrap? Head - bless the man - picked up enough courage to ask them the very same question.
No more jhagdas!
Shankar was on the mike in a flash and explained that the judges had decided to stop talking to each other to promote more harmony. He also said something unconvincing about keeping their interpersonal relationship intact."Its best we stay choop!" piped in Pritam.
Gali ka bachcha bachha - at least the ones with a good head on their shoulders - will tell you that the worst way to resolve differences is to shut down. But such is the loopiness of SRGMP, that smart insaans make entertaining decisions like these.
Clearly, Shankar and Himesh are both alpha males and a struggle was on the cards despite Shankar's memorable previous declaration that he was not that kind of judge. A black & white sankat moment ensued with the space between the judges split by terrific snake-like lightening.
Himesh looked pissed beyond words. He looked bored and unhappy. At one point all the judges shouted out their naaras. The House of Reshammiya glumly kept his chapped lips sealed.
All this was making me depressed when something really cool happened. Shankar asked Head to tell Pritam something because no direct conversation between the judges was allowed.
Then Aadesh asked Head to convey a message to the other gharaanas. Pretty soon all the judges were using poor Head as proxy to talk to each other. This is the equivalent of a simmering domestic dispute in which someone says "Pappu! Tell Daddy ke khaana lag gaya hai!" Hilarity! An amused Head quipped "I should get you pagers"
This delicious and fresh take on jhagdas engineered by the SRGMP gurus restored my faith in the show. But there was more.
SRGMP Special Effects
We'll talk about the singing separately, but for now I'd like to congratulate the SRGMP producers for introducing those dhaasu special effects.
Screens were split. Stuff was turned sideways and upside down. Screens were stop motioned in time with the beat. If I remember correctly Pritam ended up stop motioned with a goofy expression on his face. A couple of times I got vertigo. This peaked during Naina Saxena's performance and was an absolute pleasure to watch.
Producers, please keep it up (and also make sure the budget for these effects stays exactly the same)!
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