20 June 2007

Indian Idol

Season 3 of Indian Idol is running - I happened to catch the wild card round - and before you ask - "if I tell you how I'll have to kill you." OK the videos are online at the official site here.

11 people had already gone through to the finals. 18 people had been voted off. Out of the 18 who had been voted off, the judges picked 6 of the best and brought them back to compete against each other. The audience would get to pick 2 out of these to join the 11 in the finals. The first thing I noticed...

...was that these two are actually not gay. It's absolutely fine for heterosexual men in most parts of India to hold hands, hug, put a hand of the thigh of the other and nobody will think twice about it. Same applies to girls. As long as it's platonic everyone is OK with it. The only problem is that they assume that all male-female contact is non-platonic. That's a fairly silly restriction I think, but then again I keep complaining about people mistaking Victorian England traditions for ancient Indian traditions.

The judges are Javed Akhtar, a famous lyricist / writer, Alisha Chinai, who's probably the Paula Abdul equivalent, and Udit Narayan, a famous film singer. Javed Akhtar is the most Simon-like but he's not as direct as Simon, he'll still use the formal version of the language while talking to the contestants. Udit Narayan seems to want to vote no one off and loves everyone.

The standard of singing was really high. Singing looks like it can be outsourced too, compared to what I've seen on American Idol. And these were the people who didn't make it, they're as good as the top 5 of the American Idol thing. This guy was my favourite as a rock singer, his name is Amit Paul:

Suhit can hold a tune, but his voice sucks compared to the left and he doesn't seem talented. However he's getting by on good looks. I think he's the Malaker of the competition. Alisha is completely bowled over by him and it didn't seem all platonic either.

So after his singing Udit Narayan and Alisha Chinai praised him to the heavens and Javed Akhtar tried to avoid the issue by saying that he respected the opinions of the other judges. He tore Suhit a new one when pressed on the issue (all the time using the extremely polite version of the language):

Alisha: he has a lot of magic, a lot of colour
Javed A: i think that despite all your style and magic ultimately there should be no deficiency in your singing.
As long as your singing is bad, everything else is fringe benefits.
it's like a car, it might have good seats, a dvd player, even a television but if it doesn't run then it is not a car, it is something else.

Now I'm waiting to know who continued into the finals.

One of the guys who's already in the finals is an Indian guy of Chinese origin called Meiyang Chang. He has a blog and sings pretty well. I must say it's nice to hear somebody who looks Chinese speaking /singing in perfect hindi.

Sony's being extremely sucky on the show by pimping sony ericsson phones. There's a cardboard phone right by the judges and the host keeps exhorting people to sms using their sony ericsson phone and the camera focuses in on the phone in her hand. It makes me want to never get a sony ericsson phone.

06 June 2007

No fair!

At dinner:

Scientist 1: I'm so not used to my experiments NOT working. I can't figure out what's wrong.

Scientist 2: You gotta watch your audience before you make comments like that. 'Cos me and Sci 3 are definitely the wrong audience.

Scientist 3: I'm going to blog that.

03 June 2007

News of India, 12 June, 2020

Recent protests by the minority 'Brahmin' community in New Delhi have highlighted the need for reform of the national reservations policy. The Brahmins want to be included in the 'Harijan' or 'Untouchable' category, alleging widespread discrimination against them (Brahmins) in education and jobs. Originally one of the most educated groups in India, today the Brahmins cannot get into the school system after passing kindergarten due to 99.99% of places being reserved for Scheduled Castes and Tribes. They cite earlier incidents such as the 'Kshatriyas' succeeding in becoming Harijans after a depurification ceremony. Since Thursday, Brahmins have blocked major highways in the country by setting up fires. Police had to resort to firing in one or two places to contain the agitators. 2 members of Brahmin community died in the firing and government has announced the sum of Rs. 25 lakhs to their families. The community has rejected the monetary compensation, saying that 'it is not enough to even buy wood for their funeral pyre.' Brahmins have called for a bandh (shutdown) of New Delhi until their demands are met.

The RSS has gone to several people's homes and disrupted their morning showers. They said that taking showers was not part of ancient Indian traditions and warned that people should only take showers once every 5 years. A spokesperson of the RSS rejected allegations introduced in a book by a former member that the group was actually funded by a British society called 'Back to the 1700s.'

Pakistani President General Hadji Omar Musharraf bin Laden-Dawood al Talibani has said that Islamic science of Pakistan from Holy Quran is ten times superior to western science of India and they would soon launch a joint manned mission to Pluto with China. He thundered, "We will have a Pluto shot, even if Pakistanis have to eat grass." Upon being told that all the grass was finished to pay for the nuclear programme, he revised his statement to include 'astroturf' instead. India had thus far only sent a manned mission to Mars, therefore the Pakistani space programme is far better. He added that the people of the disputed territory of North India wanted to be Pakistani and territorial disputes should be handled by talks. He said if India persisted in denying the Kashmiris, Gujaratis, Himachalis, Uttar Pradeshians and Bengalis their right to self-determination then more jihadis would target India and he would be unable to stop them. He also added that he needs 1 trillion Chinese Yuan from India in order to stop the Talibani army stationed in Afghanistan from overrunning Pakistan and stealing the Pakistani nuclear weapons. The Talibanis would definitely target major Indian cities with the nuclear weapons. The president insisted that he was 1000% sure of Talibani nuclear threat to India because his father in law heads the Taliban.

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly say that they have no problems with Coach Gilchrist and Gilchrist's controversial comments to blogger Dr. Mosi about 'old geezers ruining the team with their presence' were not directed towards them. Gilchrist was in fact talking about bowlers Piyush Chawla and Sreesanth. Nevertheless, mock funerals of Gilchrist were conducted throughout the country and even in places such as Dubai and Nairobi. Sachin and Sourav promised to end their spell of ducks in several matches with the next one, due to be played against Papua New Guinea in Chennai. They said that they were very disappointed at India not qualifying for the world cup in 2022 but Zambia had proved to be too tough to beat.

Rahul Bachchan, son of Abhishek and Aishwarya Bachchan, will marry Kartika Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi's daughter. Kartika said, "It was the only way to keep the country in the family. Since Amitabh is President, and my dad is Prime Minister, our family wishes to raise the next generation to serve the people of this country. We have sacrificed a lot. Our family had given India, Pakistan and Bangladesh independence single-handedly. My grandmother made history by running India from Italy. My grandfather and his brother died for India. We will continue to make sacrifices in future also. By the way, this interview was brought to you by Boeing. Make sure your next flying car is a Boeing."

Salman Khan will be in court amidst allegations that he killed a protected bird, the vulture. The miniscule Zoroastrians in the country (all 10 of them) consider the vulture holy and have sued the actor for this breach of law. Rumour has it that Khan offered them 100 billion Yuan to drop the suit but the vulture is more important for the Zoroastrian people. The entire Bollywood industry has come out in support of Khan, while Maneka Gandhi has called for the death sentence. There are only 500 birds remaining in the whole of India, and only 50 of these are vultures.

Sanjay Dutt asked for an extension from the court for the gun-owning case of 1993, in which he was convicted of possession of illegal arms. He had been sentenced to 5 years in jail, but since then has not served his term as he repeatedly argued that he is the only breadwinner in his family and the public will not let him stop working on the next 'Munnabhai,' entitled, "Munnabhai and Cleopatra," to be shot entirely in Belgium.

The end