A few days ago I read few great posts about my few of my favorite reality shows in some of the blogs. Some of them have had meticulously updated their posts to record the progress and nuances of various contestants in these shows. Indian Idol, Nach Baliye, Comic Circus, and Jhala Dikhla Ja—I have watched them all with anticipation and enthusiasm.
Like millions of viewers, I have both applauded and criticized the performances. I have had my share of disappointments when my favorite contestant was eliminated. But nevertheless, I continued watching these shows as they were my personal window to concerts that were held right in my bedroom. Where else would I get a glimpse of brilliant cha-cha-cha, or a glitzy jazz performance or disco dance, or an innovative, never-performed-before stand-up comedy, or my favorite number being sung with new harkats in spunk and grand style on stage?
I watched these shows casually to unwind. Sometimes I read or discussed about them. Like every fair Indian, I felt sad when Shweta Salve, obviously a better dancer than Mona Singh lost in Jhalak Dikhla Ja because latter was more popular, having played recently a popular character called Jassi in a TV soap. I was stupefied when a Parsi celebrity couple performed magnificently on a wordless music. I was outraged when the guy from that same Parsi couple admitted, in a moment of shock during their elimination from the show Nach Baliye 2, to (physically?) abusing his partner. (He used that opportunity to apologize and thank her.) I watched Hussain and Tina win the coveted dancing couple’s titles. I read that Abhijit Sawant had published his autobiography. I watched Ruprekha Bannerji win Fame Gurukul along with Qazi Toukir, and later never realized that she has disappeared after the win. I witnessed everything, yet nothing was motivating enough to make me reflect and write about it. Until today.
It is this about this 18-year-old girl who had enthralled me with her performances in Indian Idol 3—Ankita Mishra.
In my busy job, when I come home late and tired after commuting in a city that has lack of good public transport, there is little energy remaining to invest in anything else. I barely eat and yearn to sleep at the first opportunity. Yet I rarely fail to see Friday and Saturday Indian Idol 3 shows. Friday because it is the performance day and Saturday as it is the show where results of public voting are announced. Fridays I watched Ankita sizzle and perform in her innovate style and power-packed performance. Her detailing about the props and dress, her masti, her heart and soul she put into song is always hard to miss. It pepped up my tired soul after a hard day at work. On Saturdays, I watched with anticipation and prayers that Ankita would linger on the show. She is the only one I voted for in this show.
I have heard several criticisms about Ankita, hither and thither on blogs, from people. They are correct. Yes, she is not pretty looking gal on the show. And she certainly is not best singer out on the show. But do I care? I watch the show to be entertained. I certainly am not a music connoisseur, if I were, I would buy expensive tickets of that classical singer and sit-through a music session that doesn’t give me the pep up I need to survive another week of grind at work. If it a singing gem that needs to win, why does that aam admi, who doesn’t understand the rudiments of basic music, votes? Why don’t we get the best music connoisseurs from the country select the best singer instead. Clearly, it is not the aim. Aim is to get the best entertainer, one that reaches your soul, can take away your tiredness of the day or week so that you are all revved to handle daily humdrums of life. After all, isn’t that why we have entertainment?
Ankita Mishra with Govinda
This girl, Ankita, gave me that reason to unwind. As Javed Akhtar said, yeh dil se gaati hai, apne liye gaati hai. Perhaps that was why her performance always reached to me. I always waited impatiently for her turn to find out what she would perform this time. Remember her Rangeela performance with hat or her Aap jaisa koi or her Piya tu ab to aa ja performances that had big cage on the stage. Did I notice that she had few of her notes up and down? I was too captivated to notice while I watched her. The audio of her performance heard stand-alone retains that special enthusiasm and confidence. It is contagious.
I proudly say Ankita was my favorite contestant. She is the sole reason why I wrote this post about reality shows. Ankita, you rock. Perhaps it was the only time I agreed with Anu Malik when he unabashedly admired your performances and your hunger to excel. Move on and do well in your life. As for me, now that you are gone, the light has gone out of Indian Idol 3.