Monday, August 18, 2008

Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge 2009: Song and Country

Boy, there is nothing like a SRGMP August 15th episode to get everyone talking about Indo-Pak bhaicharaa. Thankfully this week we were spared clips from old movies of jawaans getting their limbs strewn all over the place - although I get the feeling that might yet happen later in the season.

After a tremendous national pride song and dance - in which one contestant had to suffer through pounding fake chillis on stage - Head trotted out and said something about how this Independence didn't feel right because we were a nation divided. A loose case was made for how SRGMP was blazing a trial no politician can. This was interspersed with a map of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh representing - and this is something people kept saying on the show - Akhand Bharat.

My respect for SRGMP shot up even more - if its possible. After all what show on this planet can make geo-political boundaries its bitch? In any case, Head dragged every Pakistani singer on stage and asked him that clunker of a question: how do you feel about being in India? Thankfully the Pakistani contingent is an articulate one and said wonderful and florid things.

Then it was the turn of Lahore's Sara Raza Khan - possessor of a dazzling smile, a woman-child voice and several redonkulosly cute performances. "I love Pakistan!" she said with enthusiasm, smiled at Head and compared India and Pakistan to two members of the family who didn't get along, went to live their separate ways, but still found time to meet and share the love. "This is a good arrangement" she said.

This seemed to wake up everyone on the show. SRGMP mein bagaawat! "I hate the word Partition!" Aadesh thundered. Anandji, guest mahaguru on the show and witness to azaadi, rebuked poor Sara for declaring her love for her country on stage. Sara gulped and nodded profusely. It was left to permanent mahaguru Kavita Krishnamurthy to save the day with some gracious comments. I know Partition is a touchy subject and a highly serious one, but because this was SRGMP, the whole thing left me very amused.

Yet, SRGMP has made invaluable contributions to South Asian togetherness. After all didn't we see how last year the show brought fans from across the border together worrying (about Mussarat Abbas's elimination), bickering (about Amanat Ali's loss in the finale) and agreeing (about Junaid Shaikh's hotness)?

And speaking of Kavita, can I suggest we replace Asha Bhonsle as mahaguru next year with Kavita? She handles those rowdy boys (also called judges) with detached aplomb, has a ready smile and a fair and even hand when deciding on singers. Besides she's got Mum's undying admiration. In fact, we should make her President of India. She could sing for all of us - something we don't get to hear often enough. Think about it: no more dozing off during Presidential addresses!

Moving on: the following day's episode was a Rakshabandhan special. Congratulations to the producers for dragging Ekta Kapoor along with brother Tusshar to the show. Ekta so looked like she didn't want to be there. How? For starters she wore an expression on her face that communicated boredom. She parked a honking purse on her lap and hid behind it. And you could see her tapping her feet with impatience on various occasions. This had the unfortunate effect of making the giant bag on her lap jiggle - allowing all of us to see how badly she wanted to get out of there.

But when some saas-bahu stuff came up, she perked up and said something dense that will make its way into a saas-bahu strategy book soon. She identified a Himesh song as her favorite, making the House of Reshammiya blush and break out into a terribly romantic song. She then commanded Shankar Mahadevan to sing. Soon enough, she high tailed it off the sets, leaving me hugely sad.

Happily, SRGMP in the US seems to have caught up with its Indian counterparts. In the interim episodes I must confess Pritam has become a personal favorite. His special episode was much fun to watch and that Pritam Puraan idea scaled the heights of tacky goodness. Who knew Pritam fainted at the sight of blood or that the cute insaan (Himesh's words not mine) once saved a caterpillar but threw his cell phone out of his window in the process, that he can't pour water into a glass (according to his lovely wife) and composed the Dhoom theme in a kitchen.

More Pritam on the show, I command you!

Also:

34 comments:

j said...

I want Ekta as the next president. Got to say the woman has no social graces. Looks like she was brought up in the jungle.

Anonymous said...

Actually She should be made a Super Cop of Jai Maharashtra or Army Chief.

Over Rated said...

It seems that Tushar Kapoor is the permanent guest host for all Indian reality shows.

I bet Ekta wanted to turn into a bat and fly away. If only the cameras were not rolling......

dockaul said...

Aspi , Aspi, Aspi !!
Mussarat Ali ! Ab-Bas jaldi galti sudhar lo..
Keep up the rolicking reviews. U R da best.

Aspi said...

dockaul, good to see you here again. Thanks for the blooper identification. I've fixed it - I knew something was wrong the way that name came out :)

j, is she always like that? First time I've seen her outside of pics.

over rated, you are correct! Tusshar is the genial reality show specialist.

Mind Rush said...

Ekta annoyed me no end. She is a power hog and and extreme Type A personality.
Why bother having her on the show? She has no graciousness and no presence. Can she talk abotu anything other than her work?

j said...

Its the first time I have seen her in such a setting also. I have seen her in clips where she obviously is the queen, like her b'day party or showing up in coffee with KJo with three of her famous balaji stars. She seems to like the attention but I think tries to portray a no-nonsense personality.

My psycho-babble guess would be she is always surrounded by chamchas who want to get into her good books and can't do anything against her will that she is uncomfortable in any other settings.

leera said...

Yay, after a long gruelling summer of selling coffee and statistics I was uber pleased to see that SRGMP has gotten incrementally better and USA has finally caught up.

Aspi you are bang on with Pritam being very entertaining. But he seems intimidated by the back and forth between Himesh and Shankar and less reluctant to open his mouth. However when he accused HR and 'Behen ki shaadi' Aadesh of breaking their own rules in that cute bangla accent. awwwwwwwww

Ekta to me seemed uncomfortable, maybe her sacklike dress had something to do with it. But she stood awkwardly like a 14 yr old girl with severe self esteem/body issues. But once on the seat I could see her wheels turning (" I should get paid for this blatant copy of Balaji drama and camera angles")

Tusshar did his homework and tried to represent himself well. If only he wasn't so ugly, and came out of the closet as Fabulous Tusshar Kapoor.

Sara's comment took balls as it is a little uncomfortable for a Pakistani to stand there in a supposed "akhand bharat" show and constantly hear "bharat mata ki jai". Why should she feel guilty for loving her country, we may disagree with its policies but have no right to expect the foreigners to be instantly enamoured by our "dariyadilli" and swear alleigiance to us.

I was disappointed with Shayan getting the boot, he hits those "low notes" like bappida would have loved.

Lastly thank you Aspi for the awesome post that made my day!

*~mad munky~* said...

ekta couldn't actually be bothered to applaud - she just tapped the side of her bag!

i admit i got all tearful at shankar's rendition of the maa song...*sniff sniff*

i wonder if aadesh will pay for my wedding? i might send him a rakhee next year.....

sara fan said...

I actually really like the way Sara talks. She is very outspoken and speaks well. Finally a teenager who does'nt giggle her way like Aishwarya Rai.

I hope that comment of hers does not end up her getting less votes once voting starts.

Aspi said...

leera and ~mm~, hilarious!

sara fan, I'm with you. Lekin you know how these shows go: spunky girls ke liye iss ghar mein koi jagaa nahin.

svr said...

Now I gotta watch this episode. Sara sounds truly modern! I was slightly annoyed at her in the first-second episode where she mouthed that great dialogue about the same air-water-earth-blood, and the heart-breaking Partition. Sounds like she made up for it!

And I really liked Kavita too. Her comments to the singers in the one episode I watched made a lot of sense, and she didn't seem all arrogant like Asha Bhosle! (Anyone besides me getting annoyed at Asha?)

As for Ekta, ha, I bet she was just pissed: "oh man, they stole all my ideas! Now I can't make a singing reality show soap opera!"

Pitu said...

Ohh I must see this for Ekta Mata!

Aspi said...

Asha used to annoy me from Day 1. Sure she's awesome and everything, but her rewarding of ultra-conservative girls over spunky ones was just way too 10,000 BC.

Randomness said...

10, 000 BC was an ok film but it lacked a firm screenplay.It was mainly a visual.

Aspi said...

10,000 BC was a kiddie film that got misplaced on the adult shelf of fast track projects at the studio.

Anonymous said...

Loved the caricature of over confident / ove estimated HEAD !!!

megan said...

no one commented on Ekta's shoes? it was platform-y weird looking rectangular thing..i couldn't keep my eyes off its ugliness.. My gawd!

srsly tarun is awesome and i love his voice but i am sick of the sister sheninigans... he doesn't need to do all that..

also these people think rakhri is some sort of a joke..you don't just tie it on any random person off the street, people you will never meet again.. gosh so annoying...

will tushar be in touch with Sara? and consider her as his sister? NO...

its all gimmicks for them..annoying

megan said...

also i don't like these independance day reality show specials.. i donno at the risk of offending people here, i find them rly cheesy where ppl cry at the drop of the hat..

and they have an episode like this in every reality show season.. patriotic themed episode.. and also the rakhi day special show..

both are my least favorite themes!!!!!! UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! cheest fest..

they're just as bad as Himesh tribute episode...

*HEMA MALINI STYLE* NAHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN

j said...

All Sara has to do now is sing the Aitraaz song to finally fall from grace. The indian public will never forgive her then.

Yeah, Asha B. comes across as a prude. It is surprising specially with the kind of sexy/sultry songs she has sang.

Ekta said...

I was NOT uncomfortable on the show. But my bag cost 8 lakhs. So what is the point of putting it under my feet? If I pay an actor a lot of money, I'm going to make sure he gets used properly on the show, no?

Same concept.

As for my shoes and dress, its called the Power Doll look that I'm pioneering. Look it up in 3 years when I'm already on my next look!

Deep said...

ekta looked sexy.

jai ektadi, lets rock!!!

Anonymous said...

Megan Like Jagrata Singer ? Wow
what will happen to VS Now.

Tussar Knew he will meet a new sister and brought an air ticket to Ajmer.

How Silly ??????

Aspi said...

Anon good point: that whole Tusshar thing was so faked! Which makes me suspicious of the whole show in general.

So when one singer each from India and Pakistan make it to the next round on the very day SRGMP is talking about a united India, you have to go hmmmm.... Fortunately I don't watch it for the competition at all.

maxdavinci said...

saara saara saara...

Shez got some spunk or what? the cutest looking singer among the lot.

for her I'd say hazaar galtiyan maaf. she sings sur mein has a dhassu smile, aur kya chahiye?

I'm just glad Zee didn't do the same shitty controversy like last time fro I-Day.

ps: Why is the guy called head? IS there an archive post about that?

Bappi said...

Sara, tum India ka Adnan Sami hey!

Obhijit said...

Adnan Sami mooh mein ladoo lagaa ke gaata hai.

Aur woh ladoo mere hi churaiye hue hai because uske aane ke baad meri dukaan bandh ho gayee.

Bappi ja ke kuch heroine ka songs gao

j said...

On Sara, why do they dress her like she is an extra in Pakeezah. Is that how young girls dress up in Pakistan?

Aspi said...

Heh heh. I even saw one girl wearing pleated curtains instead of a lehenga.

maxdavinci, you're right about Sara's in-tune singing. But she needs to grow up her voice otherwise the only work she'll get will be from SEL for Tare Zameen Par 2.

prantik said...

I think sayon is the best of all the current participants, he has a very fresh and new-gen voice. I dont know why his performance was not as good on 15th and 16th, and is now in a danger of getting eliminated. The 16th episode ended strangely , I didnt undertand why only 1 of the final 3 boys can stay and rest have to go, can anybody explain ?

ShahrukhLover said...

OMG Shahrukh if you're reading this I just wanna let you know,I LOVEEEEEE YOUUUUUU.

ShahrukhLover said...

Shahrukh,Salman ki to aisi ki taisi.Kamina apne app ko samajh tha kya hai?Tum fikar mat karna meri jaan.Main hoon na tumhare saath.

Anonymous said...

Has any one seen Towel Kumar's New Movie with Deepika
One Guy and Three Kisses sorry Bachna Aye Haseeno ?

Cinderella said...

i saw that episode where that girl said 'I love pakistan'..and the judges started off...uuurggghh!! what's the big deal abt it????even Shankar Mahadevan said he was proud to be Indian...all of them finally sing praising India and that's ok??..just because the show is based in India?how fair is that???they should have sang an 'Akhand Bharat' song!!

and Akhand Bharat..omg!i din't even know what it meant and was getting pissed off at hearing it again and again after every song!!and what's the use of talking abt Akhand Bharat after 60 yrs of partition..dosen't make sense.

and Head seems to talk even more Hindi than last time....after some days maybe i won't even be able to follow what he's trying to say:P