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Read. Suffer. Try to Enjoy.

Pop Goes The Weasel

i·dol n.

1) An image used as an object of worship.
2) A false god.
3) One that is adored, often blindly or excessively.
4) Something visible but without substance.

Now that a television show with the above word as part of its name is doing a second season, it’s time to really figure out what exactly is hoping to be achieved here. I can’t imagine what the first time winner must be feeling. Poor guy…would have aspired for a whole lot more than what he’s probably got here. Not even a year to savour his life changing moment, and it's time to say good-bye to the 'title'.

Let’s see –
1) A music contract, spawning an album which didn’t exactly set the nation on fire.
2) A classy self congratulatory music video, with people queueing up to see him, touch him, get an autograph, photograph, whatever - like they were paid to do so(Right on target there eh?).
3) And of course, idolatry - imagined and otherwise.

If this is all it takes to be called a nation wide cult figure, I’m as confused as a Pro*C Programmer. The guy can sing – very well I might add, but did he really get what was made out to be? Or deserve for that matter?

When was the last time an Indipop album really made you queue up at 4 a.m. in the morning to buy it, braving hordes of other Indipop thirsty fanatics frothing at the mouth for their next fix ? Think Hard. Yes Yes Gopi, tell tell?




The first wave of Indipop came in the mid-late 80s, with that memorable half hour capsule on DD called ‘Pop Time’. Gaudy carboard cut-out discotheque type sets. Even gaudier costumes.
Inane lyrics. Inane music. (“Boogie Me. Hai Re Baba Boogie Me…”)

Then came MTV. With a few gems here n there, but overall?
Slightly better production values. But we were still stuck with our good old friends namely - Inane lyrics. Inane music. (“Main bhi Madonna. Aha Aha.”)

Then came the great Punjabi Invasion. If your surname was representative of a region within a 5000 km radius of Punjab, you were good enough to cut a music video. The few really good Bhangra singers had a real lot of sudden, overnight competition. The Non-punjus just submitted to the music, since understanding the language was a bit of a problem. Munda, Kudi, Sadda, Todda, Bhangra, Giddha were all I could pick up. One non-Punju line I loved most though was “Aaayyyy…Kem Chho? Hee Hee Hee. Maja Maa Chho? Hee Hee Hee.”

Then came (and by all accounts, still persists) the recent “remix ka daur”. The most frustrating. Every freaking channel is plastered with videos of scantily clad, artificially bronzed, cosmetically enhanced ladies who dance like female praying mantises in heat, with vocoderized voices butchering timeless classics, whose time has come to boot. A lot also threw in some hideous Miami meets Mankhurd rapping to thoughtfully garnish the already steaming turd fests. But guess what still persist? Inane lyrics. Inane music.

Which leads to the reality TV shows who promise you the earth, the moon and a constellation in between. My question is - why have an IndiPop album recording contract as the grand prize? A more logical prize would be a deal to sing for the composers who judge them, for Bollywood songs. In a nation where a massive majority of all popular music is film music, how much sense does it make to pump funds into creating another waste of shiny plastic that no one is gonna buy or listen to in a couple of months’ time? A career in Bollywood would be a far better proposition. Monetarily as well as professionally.

For all my bluster, point 4 of the definition in the first para might have been the original point of these shows anyways. Ahh TRPs…what will thee make them drag in next?
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11:51 AM, December 13, 2005
Blogger Anand said...

You would've done good with a couple of more 'personal' swipes at the "Unchi-hai-Building-dude" , "the-Deewana" and "the-Main-Hoon-Na-Shahrukh-is-everything-woman".
A good read :) Keep writing buddy!!    

5:24 PM, January 11, 2006
Blogger SEV said...

Almost forgot about the character called Baba Sehgal there :)
'Aaja mere gaadi mein baitho'.. ultimate classics - and you had to see the Madonna video to believe it.
The indi-pop scene is sadder than most, but the singers that win these shows have almost never made it ever. Except possibly Sunidhi Chauhan.    

5:49 PM, January 12, 2006
Anonymous Anonymous said...


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