Posted by: akilamoni | March 11, 2006

Indian Idol!

Have been in Mumbai for the past two years. In this time span I have had a variety of experiences….ranging from falling off running trains in Bandra station to wading through knee deep water to witnessing gigantic human pyramids…….

But I never even thought i would be party to an event which defines Mumbai- the tinsel town….
ya thats right- a tv show shoot!!!!

I have seen shootings before in Mumbai, just one of those passing by shoots which happened to happen in front of my fieldwork office, which happened to have naseeruddin shah, who happened to look delicious in his salt and pepper+ and cargo pants look. I am digressing from the main topic or rather getting distracted;)!


Well, this was, i should say freak of an incident. I had already made plans of watching syriana with a friend when my cousin priya(who is as crazy is as me) called up and asked me

” hey akki….where the hell are you??(thatz the eternal question all my local guardians ask me the minute they pick up the phone)

after all the niceties etc, priya asked me if I wanted to accompany her to see the shooting of Indian idol. She had a couple of passes for the shooting(thanks to some phone in radio show) and wanted to know if i was game,………

hmmmmm indian idol vs. Syriana

One was a show which i hardly followed, while the other one was a political thriller, a movie i had been waiting for, and well, had george clooney in it…do i need any other reason to even think twice…..Syriana I thought….

Suddenly there was a thought triggerred in my brain. “I am going to be in Mumbai for hardly another 10-15 days,…and where the hell am i going to see a shooting again???”

so making a mental note to say sorry to clooney and then to sushant with whom i was supposed to watch the movie with, I agreed to go with priya!!!!!!!

We agreed to meet outside pheonix mills the next day.


Me outside phoenix mi(a)lls:…..had missed breakfast, had caught the bus just in time to reach the mall…was famished…..

Priya,the loving gal that she is,had packed aloo parathas for me(wah…..made another mental note to be as nice as she is when i become a mum)! We found out way to kamala studio and said “phew, here we are at last…now some entertainment”!

We joined the bee line to get in…..I was pretty surprised that the whole set up was pretty well organized. We were taken into another waiting area. There was water passed around for all of us. We waited for an hour before they opened the door. But in this one hour, it was pretty good fun to observe people.

The first thing that i noticed was : I and priya were blushing!!!

the second thing that i noticed was : everyone who walked in after us was also blushing….

third thing: there were people who were as vela(vetti, job-less) as I and priya were !!!!

think they were also shooting virgins;)!

Both of us were startled to know that they even served lunch for all of us: roti, dal, sabji and rice and it tasted pretty good too(i just tasted a morsel from priya’s plate)

After about 45 minutes, they let the extras in…these are the guys who get paid for being in the audience!!! what a nice way to earn some pocket money huh!!!

finally after almost 1.5 hours they let us into the main shooting area. God, decently dressed uncles and aunties surprised us by rushing to get the centre seats!!!! I also met a lady (who i think does no work apart from visiting shootings) who knew how everything worked. She had come in with her sons(who also dont go to school and accompany their mother everywhere;)!) and a neighbour(i assume;))!
She said that for a half hour serial with dialogues it takes four hours to shoot…when i heard that i started regretting my decision!!!!

Me and priya got a decent view from were we were…..We were passed on some placards and photographs of participants. Both of us completely avoided that and even coaxed people sitting next to us to not get it so that the camera does not loom anywhere near us.

One of the organizers went on stage and asked audience to hold up its placards for each participant and cheer and this was recorded……

After all the tamasha….the hosts mini mathur and aman varma walked in with the least of fanfare…

Then came the judges– anu malik, sonu nigam and farah khan and special judge Dia Mirza…

Being the cynics that both of us are …we were quite sure that the whole show was rigged. But were pleasantly surprised to know that the whole thing was almost seamless except for a few breaks…..

The participants were mediocre except for one guy, who was too good!!!

To our delight/discomfort, this was a special show where all the participants sang two songs…

The crowd was divided into halves: the ones who were sitting behind the judges and the ones in front of the judges….
the ones in front of the judges did all the hard work….they had to stand up everytime the singers came near by. Sit at the cue of the directors, have fun when the directors asked them to……..

I bet if anu was there she would have dragged me to the front area!!!!

Before the show started I asked Priya…” priya I want these boards which say applause….silence, awwwwwwwwwwww…. for me to emote”!!!! priya just silently pointed to an electronic board nearby which blinked applause every time we had to behave like the audience!!!!

I mean just applause???…..just plain calpping of hands???,……is that all that was required of me????!

anyways….the show got over pretty quick, but they had forgotten to shoot Dia Mirza’s entry scene….and this being the holi episode, there was the chewed and flogged to death idea of men with dhols to accompany dia’s grand entry. Just when i thought that, the dhols went off and the men started dancing with such amazing grace, i couldnt help but sympathize why the directors fall prey to this idea time and again!!!!

There were some technical snags and the shoot was getting delayed. Audience started getting impatient and there was this husband and wife who started shouting at the organizers. I had been noticing them. They had come with friends of theirs(couples again)…

Suddenly this lady got angry and dragged her husband till the exit point and started fighting with the organizers…..she reasoned that she had a kid and so did the other woman and she was getting worried about the kids and the husband said that “Mera kudh ka dhandha hai…Indian idol mera kaam nahin hai…aapne bola 3:30 aur ab che bajh gaye hain…hamey jaana hai!!”……

I found it extremely funny. here was this guy who had left his Dhandha to come and watch a stupid shooting of Indian idol with his friends and didnt have a problem till the minute the show was officially over and he couldnt wait because his kid was waiting…???! the shoot was already delayed by almost 3 hours (although we were not told any timing, we just assumed 12-3) and suddenly he realised his kid was alone????????!!!!!!

and the uncle in question a few paragraphs back, was suddenly impatient to go home….and started enquiring” all the judges have gone….all the participants have gone…why should i stay back?”….I thought to myself “you fool….at 12… when none of the judges were there….none of the participants had arrived why did you arrive “

The crew members were really nice and thanked the audience….Me and priya found our way out. abandoned our shopping plans and just decided to go home……

When we got back home, priya and me had dinner and she dozed off immediately on the couch. On being questioned by uncle(priya’s dad) i said ” oh uncle, me and priya are very tired” and he looked at me quizzically and said” what did you guys do…just sit and watch right???”!!!!!!!

Well that brought us to the end of an interesting day, I did one other thing that was not in my list of things to do before i left mumbai…(btw i have progressed quite a distance in that list)!!!!

Will miss my arbit life in Mumbai!
Good night and Goodluck!!!!!!!

Btw the show happens on sony Tv on monday evening at 9:00 plz…watch…and vote for K-A-R-U-N-Y-A to 2525…..




  1. Hey
    thats great writeup on ur experiences with shooting. coolll!!

  2. Interesting..But must have been a bit of a torture right? or ok for once?

  3. hahahhahahahahaha…
    Yes Indian idol.. yes.. a show which never took much of my time, but your blog was worth the read… much better than an hour of the programme…
    let me sms AKILA to be the favourite at this point!!

  4. hahahhahahahahaha…
    Yes Indian idol.. yes.. a show which never took much of my time, but your blog was worth the read… much better than an hour of the programme…
    let me sms AKILA to be the favourite at this point!!

  5. ardent george clooney fan i guess..good night and good luck…:-))

    anyways..simple and effective…nice way to reflect the thoughts…keep blogging..i will keep commenting…

  6. as good as it gets..:)u get to go to interesting places i c…

  7. saw/heard the latest dope on Indian idol?

    judges walked out of the show..viewer protest…

  8. u sure it was not rigged… jus happened to see the same episode and had a strong feeling that it was rigged.
    BTW pretty nice way of putting things. keep blogging.

  9. The things nice people get subjected to!! Tsk tsk
    My condolences. *wink*

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  12. Indian Idol 4 was awesome….

    Btw, i agree with ur views on Karunya….damn awesome

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