What with the strike and everything - none of the details of which I seem to be able to find anywhere - its been a while since we watched a new SRGMP episode.
But after a few weeks, and I'll admit the break was a good one, SRGMP returned with not one but two stars on back to back episodes. One was promoting a movie and the other was promoting khuda jaane what.
I've never been a fan of Zayed Khan - the only time I've watched him was when I went to see SRK in Main Hoon Na years ago. But I must say his appearance on SRGMP completely made a fan out of me. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Zayed showed up on the Arabic special episode. This is a rather smart turn by the SRGMP producers because it gives them a chance to reuse all the props from the Qawwali, I mean Sufi episode.
Honking wine pots? Check! Huge golden balls with pointy bits sticking up? Check! Belly Dancer? Check! Harem Pants? Check! Half melted candles? Check! But this is entirely the greatness of my beloved show that the producers could have, but chose not to let their creativity stop there.
Also joining these props was a sand pit which replaced the usual stage. If that didn't take your breath away, a flat screen TV behind the singers constantly depicted videos of camels plodding in the desert. What do they say about cheesiness begets cheesy goodness? Towards the end Zayed picked up the mike and made some sadela joke about how those were shots of Bollywood actors crossing the desert to go to Oman to act in Asma's movie.
Speaking of Asma, SRGMP pretty much let that girl lose on the show. She co-hosted with Head, which is another way of saying she was on display for making fun of for an extended period of time. Why this special treatment? Khuda jaane! Probably this was the channel's way of making nice for the terrible roasting Asma had to endure a few weeks ago at the hands of her fellow contestants. Or perhaps SRGMP doesn't want to lose its Oman audience.
Back to the reason why I really liked Zayed. At one point Yashita Yashpal, who I should add with much fondness is continuing her love affair with wacky outfits, asked Zayed to come on stage and dance with her. And what does Zayed do? He bounds up on stage and immediately starts executing a Subhash Ghai type overwrought dance performance. There were ghutne-tek poses, shoulder shimmies and hip thrusts. Arms were thrown about. Much hopping ensued. Thus Zayed deftly promoted his upcoming Ghai movie and looked beyond his carefully constructed cool image to embrace his inner Bollywood junkie. How can anyone not love that?
In the very next episode, Aamir Khan showed up wearing a rumpled black jacket over jeans and a smart white shirt. Surely he was there to promote Ghajini? Nope, not a word from him about the movie. Instead we all had to wallow in Tare Zameen Par wimpiness for an hour. More discussions of adhuraness pervaded the mahol. At one point after Debojit had rendered the raundu song of the millenium - Maa - Aadesh Srivastava was so moved that he ordered Aamir and Shankar Mahadevan on stage. Then he saluted them. No, like with a proper military salute. What did Ma tell me about not acting out when drunk or moved? It always leads to regret later.
For a guy who is the most sought after actor in Bollywood, Aamir is fairly unassuming and business-like. And you can tell because he doesn't do anything that is supposed to look cute just because he is a superstar. Thankfully, he doesn't do any one ghisa pita thing or dialog to "entertain" us. (Hey Akshay, you listening? Time to ditch that laugh. Kareena, ditto with that "Bhatinda ki Sikhni" dialog) Instead he made some loose, mildly engaging jokes and kept the show going.
He was enough of a sport to sing Aati Kya Khandala on stage. He snuffed out a machees with his tongue. He endured some crazy ass bananas dancing by Debojit Dutta on stage. Later Aadesh brought out a drum kit which Aamir shakily played over Pappa Kehte Hai.