Caught a bit of 'Fame X' on Sab TV. Judge Ganesh Hegde talks passionately about the days when he used to dance on the roads - so people would notice his talent. Motormouth Cyrus Broacha is sitting next to him, with a straight face. The kind you need to practice for several hours...
No, it's not going to make any major waves but there is enough interest in this whole 'mom, watch me get famous' business to produce some TRPs. Maybe not enough though, which is probably why Palash Sen walked out of the show. Blaming it on
However, there's an interesting twist to the 'fame game'. Even as channels produce more singing-dancing-tell a joke kind of shows to uncover new 'talent', there's a parallel route to getting famous. Creating a 'world record'.
Star News had an interesting story on this phenomenon. A 21 year old by the name Sania Sayyed in Khandwa (a small town in MP) is apparently attempting a record by singing for 131 hours straight. She had previously 'successfully' created a record for 65 hours of continuous singing. However, this was broken by one 'Deepak' who did 100 hours. Saniya is now attempting to 'win back' the record.
Simultaneously we have Aditi Gupta of Indore, a class 12 student who is attempting to 'dance non-stop' for 85 hours. Her mother proudly stated that during rehearsals Aditi demonstrated that she could dance continuously, all night, 3 nights in a row. This apparently convinced sponsors that she could achieve the 85 hour record.
Here's the thing: Sania does not sing that well, and Aditi is not a great dancer. I'm saying this based on the clips which appeared on TV. Or maybe by the time cameras captured their performance they were tired and listless, so it's not quite fair to comment.
The point is, creating a world record is not a smart career move which may get you noticed in Bollywood. It's something which, at best, gets you pics in your local paper. And felicitation from 'Agarwal Sweets' or equivalent.
Oh, of course it did get picked up by Star News, which must be the greatest moment in the lives of these anonymous young people and their families. Never mind if the channel did not give a very positive spin. Short of using the word 'shoshan' (exploitation) they pretty much painted a sorry picture of pushy parents and desperate youngsters.
In doing so, they provided the very oxygen that will lead more Saniyas and Aditis to attempt bizarre records. In the hope of creating some kind of unique identity for themselves. Something to be 'known for' even as their lives follow the mundanities of a million others. Something to tell their grandchildren.
At the end of the day we all want to feel we are more than a speck of sand in the universe... That our presence on this planet made some kind of difference. Hota hai ya nahin yeh alag baat hai, but hey - you can't blame them for trying!
It shows some kind of drive and determination - even if misdirected. Which is more than what could be said to exist in sleepy little towns, not too long ago!