This is going to be a no-frills post. I am not able to find any fancy words. I am deeply touched, moved…
We tune in to watch reality shows once in a while for relaxation during dinner time. We do have a few favorites in this genre. Many a times they come up with more tragedy in terms of elimination, or a depressed candidate due to a failed performance or a brutally mutilated song we love.
Here comes a new reality show. A real path breaker. Not the kind of path breaker introduced by “Rakhi ka swayamvar”. This is the reality show of the 17 street singers around us. Yes, those people, as thin as skeleton, blind, crippled, who sing around us in Railway stations and bus stands. Those people, whom we ignore and sometimes laugh at for their mediocre rendition. The specialty of the show does not end there. There will be no elimination rounds for the show. Instead, the sponsor of the program will build houses for all the 17 participants!!
“hmm.. Novel Marketing Tactics!!” That was my first thought when I heard about the program in Indiavision channel. Yet, I was curious to search for the timing, for a glimpse of the program due to the novelty of concept.
Today, I stumbled upon the videos in Internet. I would like to share those videos with all my friends across the world. See this one :
If your eyes become wet after watching this video, its not the program’s fault. Its because you are still human…
For the benefit of the non-malayalees reading this post, let me introduce a few contestants along with the links to their performances.
She used to share stages with eminent musicians like Dr. KJ Yesudas in her early life. A Ganabhooshanam (degree in music) graduate, she says that she finds no difference between singing on street, or on a stage. For her, music is all that matters.
Suku, Kunjaava, Hamsa
This is a rare story of friendship.
Suku has a 16 year old daughter, who is handicapped. While, changing rented houses often, Suku is helpless with his daughter. Kunjaava, is Suku’s friend. Though Kunjaava himself is very poor and blind, he has come to sing in this show, for a house for Suku !! Kunjaava’s wife and two children also accompany them. Suku is a support for many blind singers in the street, like Kunjaava. He plays Tabla while they sing.
Pushpa & Rajesh
Pushpa’s mother tongue is Kannada. She was born and brought up in Kerala, and speaks excellent Malayalam. Pushpa and Rajesh met each other while singing in train, fell in love with each other and got married. On asking how she came to know about the show, she answered – “One day, I was singing in a train, and the director of this show, Sudheer Sir saw me and talked to me. A few days later, Sudheer Sir came to our rented house and saw the home and circumstances. He told me about this show, but I didn’t believe at first. I never expected I will get a stage like this, to sing”
Subhash came for the show for a shelter to protect them from the sun during summer and rain during monsoon.
In the Judge’s comments, music director Jassie Gift pointed out, “This is not a song. This is a voice the society should hear and be an eye-opener to them”
See the other performaces :
2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDIohd59R30 – Chaman Lal and Family
Another speciality I have noticed in the show is, the judges (rather celebrity guests) or the anchor are not downgrading the term “street singing”. Instead, they are considering it as a job, a platform for delivering the artistic skills of the singer. It was kind of amusing.
In Kerala alone, if we take 5 mainstream entertainment channels, there are atleast 20 reality shows going on. Senior singer, Junior singer, dancer, dance troupe, genius, show for moms, cookery contests, adventure contests, competition for colleges and what not.. If all the 5 channels host one reality show like this, and participate 17 contestants, 5 * 17 = 85 people are going to get houses in an year!! And, all the saregama’s going on for many seasons, imagine a “street light” show running in every channel for 4 seasons. 85 * 4 = 340 houses in 4 years…!! Now, multiply this number with the number of Indian States and the number of all the regional and national channels who host reality shows. What a beautiful dream!! :-)
All reality shows are imitations from the west, or from another channel in the same region. Hope the imitations happen for good. Let the above number multiply and multiply, for a prosperous country of our own.
“Little drops of water, Little grains of sand
Make the mighty ocean, And the beauteous land
Little deeds of kindness, Little words of love,
Make our earth an Eden, Like the heaven above”
- Mrs. J. A. Carney