India’s Got (oodles of) Talent!

India's Got Talent snapshots
India's Got Talent snapshots

At long last, there’s finally an Indian TV show worth watching. I haven’t been following ‘India’s Got Talent’ at all but this morning’s display of…well, talent – had me enthralled for almost the entire duration of the show. Reality TV was never so worthwhile!
Apparently today’s show (a repeat telecast) was some sort of a semifinal where the takings included – sample this:

  • A 20-something deaf and dumb guy who danced the sensuous Marathi Lavani dance without ever having heard a single note of it! What’s more, the dance is traditionally meant for women and includes a whole range of gestures and expressions that I’d never thought would work on a man. Guess what? I was wrong.
  • A Bhangra performance by a troupe of super-enthusiastic guys all from a single college somewhere in Punjab. There was so much zest and energy to their movements that it made people leap to their feet and cheer out loud! But what I admired most of all was their superb coordination. 6 people moving as much in tandem as is humanly possible. It was so good that, if you looked at one dancer’s foot somewhere to the extreme right and then some other’s far away to the left – you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference! Amazing, that’s what it was!
  • A group of kids (evidently from a lower middle-class background) who had such agile and flexible bodies. They walked on their hands, jumped over each other and over themselves in beautiful formations and – hold your breath (I did!) – even managed to thread a needle with their bare feet. That’s right – they supported their bodies on their heads and threaded a needle with their toes. If I had just about 1% of their flexibility, I’d be a prize-winning famous contortionist!

There were 6 other acts as well but I was only watching off and on. Apologies if I missed mentioning some gems here. Still, watching this show was perhaps one of those very rare moments when you actually feel something stirring inside you, a feeling of supreme pride that you – like all these shockingly talented people – are an Indian.

I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised then to see Siddharth Basu’s name among the quickly-rolling credits at the end of the show. The man has always managed to do one up over whatever the current trend might be.

Move over ‘Moment of Truth’, ‘Bigg Boss’, ‘Fear Factor’ and (ugh!) MTV Roadies/ Splitsville/ random show where surprisingly young and supposedly innocent people bitch/ carp/ crib/ politic against each other to win some obscure bike or some-such prize (?) Mr. Basu shows what reality TV is – and should be – all about: A platform for true talent, nothing more, nothing less.