There are lot of times when watching SRGMP is just so embarrassing, I can barely bring myself to watch. And let it be said that I enjoy those times immensely.
Last week a ton of crap happened that made me put my hands over my eyes and whisper: "Man I can't take this anymore". At times SRGMP became so cringe worthy that it entertained me by virtue of emotional trauma.
First, Head hosted the entire thing in a silly shloka sing-song voice. Well, I thought, if I give it enough time it might grow on me. But is SRGMP a show that takes the predictable route? No! And so it was that Head ended up just as nutty as he was when the show began. I'd like to state this briefly: this season Head has displayed a welcome understanding of the show's tacky values. And his efforts to embrace that are appreciated.
More fun arrived from - surprisingly - the normally soporific Suresh Wadkar.
Let's start with Yashita Yashpal - who has been a bit of a revelation on this show and because she sang that much maligned Aitraaz song (albeit as soon as Asha Bhonsle had left), is one of my favorites. Yashita scorched her way through Vaishali Samant's playful lavni hit Aika Dajiba.
After it had ended, Suresh Wadkar asked Yashita if she was Marathi. "I'm Punjabi but I was born and raised in Mumbai". Yaar, Suresh interjected, you sang Marathi so well even though you are Punjabi!
This confusion between ethnicity and statehood used to annoy me back when I used to tell everyone I was Gujarati only to have someone say "But I thought you were a Parsi". Nowadays this stuff just entertains me. In fact, I would like to nominate Wadkar as Maharashtra's Global Cultural Emissary. Sure he'd piss people off, but think of those cool YouTube videos that would result.
But Wadkar wasn't done. At one point Head - putting forth his best straight face - informed the singer that fans had questioned his credentials to judge hip-hop and rock singing. This seemed to wake up Wadkar. "Because I have taleem (in Hindustani music) I can sing anything!" Wadkar thundered, waving his arm about for effect. "Give me a rock song to sing!" and here I detected a note of pleading in his voice "and if I don't do it justice, I'll quit!"
Thus in one fell swoop, Wadkar devalued the singers of every jonar of music but Hindustani classical. I would like to suggest that Wadkar's first assignment as Maharashtra's Cultural Emissary be a meeting with these two gentlemen.
And then - killer! Debojit bombed his way through Sonu Nigam's Aisa Pehli Baar. After listening to some do-chaar from Himesh, Pritam opened up his Puran and handed it to Head. And Head basically told Debojit that he had been left adhura and unfinished by God and was considered abnormal by usual standards. This was followed by some patronizing encouragement.
The go to music at times like this - Taare Zameen Par's theme - started playing in the back. Debojit looked up and blinked. At this point I covered my eyes again and couldn't decide whether to laugh or cry.
Thankfully Debojit's Mom took charge and without unnecessary drama or rona-dhona narrated that Debojit had been evaluated by multiple psychologists who couldn't come up with a definitive diagnosis. So, she concluded, our boy is different from others and unique. Much clapping ensued.
And who can forget on Sunday a jyotish showed up. Smilingly he asked each one their birth date and followed it up with some Linda Goodman style advice. Head introduced Mitika by saying she was in some sankat because she loved someone in Chandigarh. "Achieve something of note!" advised the jyotish man "so that he may love you!" Wow, India sure has changed: looking hot gets you nowhere these days.
One of these days, when the entertainment value in SRGMP downsizes, we can all talk about the singers. But that might not happen anytime soon. Already a noteworthy cold war is brewing between Shankar Mahadevan and Himesh Reshammiya. And Himesh is still sulking from his chela Sunwinder's exit last week. Its only a matter of time before Monty is back...with a vengeance.
Aren't we all glad that SRGMP is so deliciously...adhura!