Sunday, June 24, 2007

…And now cometh 'The Monsoon’

Friday, 22nd June 2007: Thunderstorms and heavy rains were the order of the day, at least for the latter half of the day on Friday. It was raining so heavily that when I looked out of my office window, I couldn’t see anything but rain! The IBM building in our campus was barely visible. The raindrops were crashing horizontally, vertically, diagonally and in every possible direction on our office facade! Inside, it sounded like some thousand drums were being beaten about at the same time. It was an awesome feeling to be in the cozy comforts of the office and watching the heavy rains outside. The view outside was so spectacular that most of my colleagues were soon lined up near the window and with all the blinds pulled up, they enjoyed the sight of rain, a welcome change from the scorching hot sun. Some just stayed in their seats and admired the view from their cubicles. It rained like this for 30 odd minutes. Then it stopped. The view outside was fantastic. Everything was spick and span. The buildings were shining, the trees looked much greener and brighter and the cars parked outside were shining clean in the evening sun.

It again started at 19:30. Rains were much heavier this time. And it was very dark outside. Some were waiting to get back home. But the phone calls from home were stopping them. Every phone call was the same.... "Don’t come now – It’s flooded here and the power supply’s gone!"
I had work to do and I smiled at the thought that at least today it worked out right. It was always better to work in office that night than be outside in the rain.
We left around 2200 hrs and boy, were the roads flooded. As much as it was good to watch the rain from inside, it was worse outside. It is a typical sight in monsoon, in nearly every city in India -The streets are flooded and the footpaths are muddy, sometimes even under water.Walking is a pain and driving becomes a nightmare especially if it’s a two wheeler. Most of the city is powerless....On our way back home, I watched all of it…As I neared home, a part of road was under water and the traffic was diverted to the other lane.
Monsoons are the toughest times to be in India specially places where it rains the heaviest.

No surprise, the next day’s front-page news was about the rains. It rained a whopping 40 mm on Friday! There were losses of lives and property too. Very sad to read about it.
And the weekend was ...well... washed away in rains. That heralds the start of rainy weekends for some four months now…..And just as I say this, I hear the rains again! Monsoon has surely begun in India.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Indian Reality TV - Song shows....Absolutely disgusting!

Televised reality singing shows have become as ubiquitous in India as the Personal Computer! Nearly every soap channel in India have their own song shows/contests.
Some bring their participants from the streets and some are classically trained. However esoteric the source may be, the shows are no less of any well-directed drama these days. Take for example the stupid Idol series, which had its roots in Pop Idol of UK. It soon inspired American Idol, Australian Idol, New Zealand Idol, our very own Indian Idol and many more. I have watched a few episodes of the Idol series….some out of compulsion some out of curiosity.
Talking about Indian shows apart from Indian Idol, there are nearly half a dozen shows telecasted on almost all popular TV Channels. …
Zee TV 's got their insane Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge series going for sometime now. The Sa Re Ga Ma Pa series got so famous that Zee has introduced it on its regional language channels too for e.g. on Zee Marathi. What’s more they even had Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Kids Challenge!

Sa Re Ga Ma brings singers/mentors in the form of some big names from the Bollywood or Indian music industry. Each mentor has his own participant on the show and the participants battle it out in the middle. Sometimes instead of the participants, the mentors battle it out and criticize/argue each other like school kids. In addition to the singing skills of the participants we also get to witness some brilliant altercating skills of the judges. It adds spice but it gets hell boring after a while.
One of the prime reasons, I hate Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is irritating Mr Himesh Reshammiya. He is one of the judges on the show. Boy,this guy sucks big time. He makes my skin crawl.I just love to hate him and his songs. He sings through his nose most of the time and his songs are a torture. I guess they should be used in prison cells or courts. The accused may instead prefer to live in solitary confinement rather than listening to such annoying crappy stuff. His so called songs have got a very few lines and he sings them over and over again in a song which is very irritating.

The other reason I hate Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is that 99.99% of the songs being sung are Indipop or Bollywoodish. And Indipop = mediocre. Same goes for modern Bollywood songs. No one even attempts to sing different.

Coming back to Indian Idol…The only good part about this show is that the first coupla rounds are at least interesting in the sense that there are some crazy candidates coming in and demonstrating something more than singing skills. They dance, act, cry, beg, dress wierdly and do all things possible! Well, at least that makes me laugh.

There was this guy on some Indian Idol show….He starts to sing…Ahem!! ….I mean he was making an attempt to sing but was miles away from melody. Anu Malik stops him in between and says,.” Dude, this is Indian Idol. You can’t sing. There is no way you can even participate in any competition.” The guy goes “ Who’s here to win or participate? I just wanted to see and meet you”. LOL! That was funny.

One more...A guy in Indian Idol 2007 walks in with a disheveled look. He starts singing and Alisha Chinai asks him to stop. The guy doesn’t. He keeps on singing. Alisha goes nuts….And to add to the humor…Anu Malik and Alisha Chinai tell the other judges that they would go for a short walk until this guy keeps singing. They literally walk out and come after a while and the guy is still singing!!…Anu Malik goes “अरे तुम अभी तक यहीं हो ?” (Oh, Are you still here?). Then they pass their verdict that he can’t go to the second round. This guy walks in to shake hands with all the judges and just as he finishes shaking hands with the judges, he grabs the Indian Idol Ticket for the next round and runs out of the room! The security stops him. Anu Malik comes out running and snatches the ticket from this guy and says “ Indian Idol कोई मजाक नही है” (Indian Idol is not a joke)!!
Incidents like these make it more interesting. But after the first few rounds, when most of the participants are short listed, Indian Idol gets monotonous like the other song shows. They all sing the same stuff - Indipop songs and some ridiculous tunes from Bollywood.

I hate Australian Idol and American Idol for the same reason. They all sing pop songs! Come on ppl. Where is Rock? Nope, we won't get to see that in India atleast. All the telecasters/producers want is TRP ratings. And audiences in India want popish tunes all the time. That means there are going to be more useless disgusting shows like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Indian Idol. Hell with that...I will stick to VH1. A true music channel playing all kinds music ranging from Rock, Metal to Hip Hop, RnB and Trance… except of course shitty Indipop. Thanks VH1. You Rock.