What is with Bhangra Pop, that kindles a primal urge in every human being, across class and race, to pump one’s fingers towards the sky, while shimmying our legs in random directions? And make it seem like the most enjoyable thing on earth?
You say, primal urge, eh? What bakwaas, eh? I can prove it too.
How did Malkit Singh, of all the musicians in the whole wide population of musicians from India and its diaspora, manage to get a knighthood?
Answer: That’s right: Bhangra (pronounced as: Bh-AN(as in the article an)-GRA(Rhymes with Zebra)) Pop.
How did Madhu Singh, and his Pakistani friend, Suleiman Mirza, almost win the reality-TV talent-show, Britain’s Got Talent?
Ans: That’s right! Mix in a good measure of Bhangra Pop, with liberal doses of moonwalking and pelvis-grabbing a la Michael Jackson, so that you have got everybody covered, as far as entertainment spectrum is concerned. Then do the same thing again, and then again, … as many times as you need to get to the trophy.
Of course, none of the producers will ever be quoted saying that the only reason they made the on-screen judges let the duo go from round to round, is because of the TRPs they were getting, (there are some advantages to pandering to the huge Indian diaspora) inspite of the shitty stuff Signature, the moniker the duo go by, kept dishing out.
Ok, I am being a little harsh. They were good in the first round. I actually smiled.
Their performance in the semi-final.
But putting the same inane stuff again and again, was admittedly a little boring. Even then, I can still understand the producers’ reluctance to give up the moolah. (Which would explain, why they were the last act in the series.)
What I can’t understand is, the completely white audience going stark-raving mad everytime they played the Bhangra beats during the show. Then I heard about Malkit Singh in his regalia getting the knighthood. (Link to his interview where he says: “You will not believe me but everybody goes crazy when they play Punjabi music.” We believe you, Malkitji. We have video evidence here.) I knew Prince Charles talked to his plants, but I thought his mum was definitely a chip of the good sort. Maybe I have to revise my thoughts. (Ok, I know that honours lists are decided by Whitehall dummies, and I don’t need frothing Monarchists on my blog, spouting comments questioning my IQ.)
The icing on this mouldy cake was that at the end of each round, they would become all determined to put up an even better, an more mind-blowing act in the next round. And preceding each act would be a black-and-white, non-linearly edited, presentation on their practicing while going to work and studying, and how they were motivating each other, on how to come up with something better.
Their performance in the final.
Guess what, they did the same thing again everytime. Either the other contestants were pretty bad, or, the audience memory was quite a bit short.
Of course, as a veteran of many an L-square, I can vouch for the fact that doing the pump-and-kick Bhangra jig, is oodles of fun. (More if you manage to get in the odd poke in the eye, and kick in the groin.) But watching it from the sidelines, does a wonderful job of making you feel short of a few IQ points. Definitely, not a suitable entry for a talent show.
But you know what, inspite of all that, Signature still could have managed to clinch the title, if they had just done something different in the final round, like maybe swap the characters. In my opinion, that would have the audience in splits, and crawling over each other to vote for the duo.
Ah, well, for every suggestion like this, if I had a penny, Bill and Melinda Gates would have some serious competition w.r.t. the Forbes list.