Usually when SRGMP gets down the last stretch, a frenzied vote appeal gets launched, those that are beholden to sur suddenly become beholden to region - and I get the crap bored out of me. For some reason though SRGMP this year seems to have escaped that trap. And they have done it by piling on the cheese.
Let's start with Yashita's Vote Appeal Episode. Because she is up against SRGMP Maharashtra champ Vaishali, the poor girl was asked to refrain from campaigning in her hometown Mumbai and instead dismissed to her dad's jamnabhoomi Delhi to scrounge for votes. She showed up on the streets in an open jeep and I can guess what happened next.
Shopkeeper 1: Arre Bablu jara dekh. Someone important seems to be in a procession
Bablu (eating a mathri): Chomp! Wonderful, I'll tell all my friends. Who is this woman? Our chief minister?
Shopkeeper 2: No, no, she seems too stylish to be our CM. Must be an actress.
Passerby 1 (eating golgappa): Gulp, gulp! Those signs have her name on it. She's Saregamapa!
Passerby 1's wife: (eye roll) Kiss gadhe se paala pada hai!
Passerby 1's children: Daddy, daddy, let's join the procession, we are getting way too bored with petha shopping!
(Everyone heads on over to get a closer look of Yashita)
SRGMP Voiceover: The people of Delhi did a jamke swaagat of Yashita!!
All this amusement had barely died down when Yashita was ushered into - wait for it - Tihar Jail! What a khaufnak place to send a young girl. A cricket match was going on and none other than Virender Sehwag was watching it. Viru greeted Yashita with all the enthusiasm of a pet who's found out its about to be neutered. Then Viru went back to watching the convicts playing cricket and probably thinking: Aah, Australia ki yaadein.
In general, this vote visit made a lot of sense. We all know that our country is run from prisons by criminals with cell phones. And after they are done with their business and all bored, might as well SMS a few in for Yashita. Innovative? That's SRGMP for you.
Fortunately, I caught a glimpse of Himani Kapoor. People kind enough to read this blog know I'm a huge Himani ka chamchaa. So let's get this out of the way: Himani looked great and had a winning presence on stage during the show that followed. The uniqueness of her voice stands out enough that you want her to show up more on soundtracks. Himani, great boots but more of that trademark shaava, shaava move next time please.
All through the show Head looked spiffy - he wore an argyle sweater and a shiny jacket that the Drift Memsaab tells me, is very 'in' these days. Just one problem: that jacket was so spanking new that it refused to fall properly over Head's midriff. Thus it stuck out at both ends around the waist, making Head look somewhat like a mini pagoda.
What about Yashita on stage? She still sounded a bit shaky - but she's learning fast. And she has a natural way with people that doesn't seem forced. Other singers who accompanied her: Harpreet Deol from last season and this season's Salman Khan: Tarun Sagar.
Later the other title hopeful Soumen Nandi from Kolkatta had his own show. This was even more fun than the previous episode. A number of terrific reality singers showed up to support Soumen: Ujjaini, Debojit and Aneek among them. There were a couple of standout moments.
First, Mamata Bannerjee showed up on stage and said a few things. At one point everyone urged her to sing because apparently she used to sing before. Mamata dug her heels in and refused. Nope, she said: I don't sing anymore. It takes practice to sing on stage. I ain't doing it. Just as all the argees were dying down, she inexplicably trotted out and said "Well, now, if you insist!". Here she revealed herself to be a fine linguist. She broke out into French saying: "Oui lavaar kaantri" before belting out a desh bhakti ditty.
If that wasn't enough, the SRGMP producers had also invited Mithun Chakraborthy. Amidst some dhamaal - I might have seen bodies flying around at his arrival - Mithun showed up looking dapper and clearly enjoying all the attention. When Asma joined him on stage, he unleashed an accent that I think was meant to be Arabic. B movie acting ki jhalak. "I have four legal children and innumerable illegal ones!" he boasted while shilling for his new show Dance India Dance.
Later Head had Mithun dance to I am a Disco Dancer on stage. Mithun gamely bust into all his moves. This I liked tremendously. Not only because I am a huge Mithun fan. But also to move forward, one must never forget the sins of the past.
Yashita's episode Part 1
Soumen's episode Part 1