Sunday, August 16, 2009


This afternoon we were watching a TV programme, "India's got talent". It is a beautiful programme which show cases the best of Indian talent, in any field. The only requirement for winning is that the act should entertain people. The three judges are Shekhar Kapur, Sonali Bendre and Kiron Kher. There have been many acts performed on this show by people of all ages and from different strata of society - some individually, and some as part of a larger group. The creativity and talent of people from small towns and big cities of India is immeasurable, if only some one goes out and looks for it - this has already been proven in the numerous musical reality shows like, "Sa Re Ga Ma" and others. What amazed one was the creativity of people from relatively deprived sections of society; people who spend their time thinking of the bare necessities of life - roti, kapda and makaan(maybe).

This afternoon was a repeat telecast of a semi-final performance - six acts were performed. Each one of them was brilliant by itself; and it is left to the people of India, through votes, to decide on which two of these acts would propel the participants in to the finals. The act that impressed me the most was the one performed by a group of young people from the construction industry (they did not want to disclose what they did for a living so as not to bias the country into voting for them out of sympathy - these kids actually the know the meaning of hard work and self respect - God bless them). The TV footage though gave one an idea that they were construction workers. This bunch of kids were from Berhampur in Orissa.

The last time they had performed, it was just mind boggling - they had painted themselves with something like lead paint and had depicted the mythological events in Lord Krishna's life, including the famous Mahabharata scene in which Arjuna is on the chariot with Lord Krishna - it was done so beautifully and artistically that one actually felt that the horses of the chariot were moving. They had practiced and perfected this on the beach at Gopalpur, they said, as they do not have a large enough place to practice. The act was exceptional and showed their devotion to the art, their creativity, and rightfully so, they were selected by the judges for the next level. I found this video on youtube - though I must confess that it does not do full justice to the live act that we saw on TV.

In this next level, the semi-final, they performed another act with the Tricolour as their main theme, reason being that this show was being telecast around the independence day. The imagination, the use of colours and the depiction of the human flag(they had painted themselves in orange, white and green), in myriad ways, was so artistic that one could not help but admire them for their talent. The judges, the live audience were all spell bound and so were my wife and I, at home; and so would many more like us who had witnessed it on the TV.

These boys through their act gave many important messages - the most important ones being that, "one can always find the 'how', when one is convinced about the 'why' and also about modern management's bug bear - "teamwork and leadership". (Some of the team members are physically disabled, but are still accommodated in the acts). I do hope that this group reaches the finals and wins - Rs 50 Lakhs would change their lives for sure. The judges were very impressed and their comments were very insightful.

Kiron Kher and Sonali Bendre were impressed and gave glowing comments; Sonali also said that she personally would vote for them; but the comments by Shekhar Kapur had tears in his own eyes and also in those of us who were watching - my respect for him has grown with every episode of this programme that I have watched. His remarks were very incisive and showed his deep understanding of life. He said that each one of us performs, and progresses, in life while standing on the shoulders of the 'Jawan', the 'Kisan', and the 'Mazdoor'. Even our late PM Lal Bahadur Shastri had given us the slogan, "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan"; he had missed out the mazdoor.

This statement by Shekhar Kapur needs to be remembered, and more importantly internalised, so that we feel humbly obliged to treat them with the respect that they so truely deserve. Why?? Simply because they build the firm foundation on which we can grow our personal and professional lives; as also build the India of our dreams. Is this is what is meant by, "dignity of labour"?


Aparna said...

I too had seen this episode and was moved.
When I see the passion of the performers coming from the small cities or villages of India, I realize how much they aspire to be successful, how strong their desire is to be on top.
I can't help shedding a few tears for their enthusiasm and ambition. Wish them well from the bottom of my heart.

Balvinder Singh said...

This talent hunting reality show, most of the participants came from lower income groups of our society. Their very zeal to achieve something in life was really moving. In fact to share with you here, i also had welled up eyes in some of the presentations by these 'down to earth' participants. And this prince group of Orissa had me actually in tears particularly when their leader told the judges that they did not want to disclose their poverty lest the viewwers may think that thaye are taking advantage of that. Such reality shows are class apart from the ones that attract the viewers by adopting different tactics.

Lovely post JP.

Renu said...

Thanks for sharing it, as I am not able to watch any shows..I wish, hope and pray that they win.
I always feel that all the jobs are equally important, for me instead of the post or work its more important how one does it. I always advocate that whatever you do, just give it your 100 percent and do it if a orker doing his job with sincerity is more honourable to me than an officer not working.

BK Chowla said...

I know it is a very good programme.Earlier there were no avenues open to recognise new talent.Now with TV reaching millions of homes and inviting talent, smaller towns have woken up to opportunity.

J P Joshi said...

Aparna: The episode was indeed very artistic, professionally done and very moving too. Who does not want to better his life? It humbles one when you see people with all kinds of challenges in life do something that is generally associated with people whose basic needs are satisfied. Their act must have taken a lot of time and effort, and must have certainly deprived them of some their earnings. I too wish, hope and pray that they do well.

J P Joshi said...

Balvinder: Agree with you that this reality show is a class apart. Every individual or group that performed has brought something new to the stage of 'India's got talent'.

Like you, my wife and I both had tears watching this act and the judges comments. These young kids had done this all on their own, with hardly any resources, I presume.

Renu: This is a beautiful show and is showcasing the lesser known people from all corners of India; some of the acts are really beautiful. These kids are really imaginative, creative, dedicated and understand the word 'dignity'. They deserve to win. I can only wonder what they would be able to achieve if they only had the resources. Agree with you that, "a orker doing his job with sincerity is more honourable to me than an officer not working".

J P Joshi said...

BK Chowla: Agree with you. Technology is bringing about awareness and change in the 'Bharat' of our country. Hopefully it will continue to do so in a positive manner.

Indian Home Maker said...

I hardly ever watch dance and talent shows - seeing this one I think I was missing something!

Loved the show, loved their talent also loved the fact that they come from all kinds of backgrounds... and these men are construction workers.. which makes me feel that there must be so much talent here in India that is never discovered! I am glad we have such shows!

L. Venkata Subramaniam said...

I have not seen this programme so far. I have seen some of the promos and thought it was some freak show. I hate it when people contort and torture their bodies on TV. But it looks like I got it wrong. Your description here makes me think I actually missed something very good?

J P Joshi said...

IHM and LVS: I am no tv freak, but having watched a few of these episodes, I do feel that this programme is different, and showcases real Indian talent from places in India, that we could never get to see in our lives.

LVS: Yes, it does have Malkham and other contorting acts too, but it has dance, music, song, magic, and various other forms of human entertainment and the human quest for fulfillment, despite numerous challenges.

I would strongly urge you to please watch the finals on 22 Aug 09 (Saturday)at 9 PM on colours channel. NO!! I do not get any commission from the channel or sponsors.