Zee Marathi – Kartiki Gaikwad wins and that was easy guess

Nothing beyond obvious. Kartiki wins the Saregamapa Little Champs and I never had doubt that she wont. This is democracy guys. My congratulations to Kartiki. She is a good singer and has great potential. This win will help her reach excellence. I had given some words of advise earlier and I am sure they have not gone well with some fans. Some people have also replied I don’t understand music and so on. One of the harsh realities of life are coming out with this competition. I was moved by the purity of  heart shown by these children and may God keep their hearts as pure as they are. That said still one has to be assertive in life and make judgments and give opinions. As much as we must respect the opinions of the people who made Kartiki win, I believe the opposite opinions should also get respect and the fair comments should be accepted without bias to go forward in life.

The old battle of casts seems to be engulfing us over the internet as well. As soon as the contest is over and news papers are making their pages open for comments, some real nasty comments are visible on the net already. See this link on eSakal giving news of Kartiki’s win. Some people have gone ahead and said that the losers (Is that the right word? No. Runner ups) did not get the trophy because of their surnames and the others have replied in the spirit of तुमचं ते प्रेम आणि आमचं ते लफडं? Now this kind of discussion is not going to lead us anywhere. It is going to bring back the issue of reservation back on the discussion boards of internet and it’s going to turn really ugly fight.

See the system we have here and the kind of arguments we hear. If you are from so called upper class and give comment about someone who is a little less performer but from so called lower class, then you are criticizing just because he/she is from lower cast. If you are from SCUC (so called upper class) and you promote the good performer from SCUC, you are still racists. There is a deductive conclusion drawn here.When you praise SCUC performer, the SCLC performer is bad hence you are racist. Now if you are from SCUC and you praise someone from SCLC, then the SCUC people think this guy is paid to promote. Where the fact could be both – you are trying to promote the candidate and say some good words to encourage OR you are really paid (not directly always… but may be instructed to do so by those who pay you) In today’s world most of the minds pick up the negative option. So whichever way you go you are killed.

Fortunately Zee Marathi has one advantage. The judges in Marathi give detailed comments compared to its Hindi counterpart. Also they don’t give 100% marks to everyone every time. They do grade the performers. My request would be to consider the total marks of each candidate in this show. Whatever anyone may call me, I still believe, Arya is best because of her versatility and Prathamesh second because he is reaching for excellence in his chosen path and has got best scores so far. I would rate Kartiki as third on merit. She definitely has great voice quality. It is clean and her throw is very powerful and the rustic feel is suitable for the songs she likes, but one must remember she was thrown out of the competition once because of poor marks as well as SMSes. The call back episode did the magic for her. Luck by chance? I am clearing all my doubts about Zee Marathi’s intention purely because of the fact that they announced equal scholarship for all these top five candidates.

That said the system for final results was itself faulty. Come what may it was going to chose the popular candidate. Correction… the candidate with most SMSes/ votes. That is the reason why I said it was predictable result. I tried my level best to promote the candidate who was not strong in that area at all. Arya always had some of the lowest scores in SMS/ votes. Consider this… All the judges were going to give marks to the champs out of say 100. So Arya’s gain did not mean anyone else’s loss. So when you compare the marks, the band in which these five champs would have fallen was going to be  narrow in any case. Whereas in the vote side, someone’s gain is other candidate’s loss. This is because it is based on the fact that the pie is limited. Total size of the pie was always going to be 100% and it was going to be eaten completely. So every vote popular candidate got made others go down faster. Now you know how India votes. Don’t you. Most of the SCUC people will vote few times at the most and they will feel that this is fair enough. How much you can bend your principles? (I am not claiming that these are the only people with principles. That would be deductive conclusion.)  Where as the fans of popular candidates use the system and express their emotions full heartedly. For them it is love for their own people. This is what majority of the India is. So the results are not shocking at all. I was shocked only once. Not this time.

Coming back to the ugly discussion on the cast of the champs, the entire system in India is not a self correcting system. It is by default a self degrading system if not maintaining status quo. Just a few days back the leader of a cast group demanding reservations for them was saying that the people of his cast were landlords and rich earlier but now they have gone down from that state and hence need reservation. What an argument. The system which you have is bringing you down and still you want to find a solution within the same system? I had written about this sometime back and I am giving link to that article here. My short solution is that from now on do not ask anyone his cast and abolish the entire reservation system immediately.  All deserving candidates must be given scholarships based on their economic situation and not on their cast. Jobs should go only to the merit where skill is required for low or unskilled jobs once again lower income people should be given preference.

If there is no record of your cast, you don’t have it. Let a person choose his last name whatever he likes. One thing is sure that within few years there is no alternative to merit. If we manage to abolish the cast system or in any case when this system continues,  in few years India will see 97% reservation, the competition will be worse than today and only merit will win. Till date no where in the world a system has emerged which is purely based on merit. So I know it is a mirage but then who stops you from dreaming. The world around me is getting better than tomorrow but I need to keep up hope that in India somewhere something positive is happening. I hope again that Kartiki’s of this world are not surrounded by the “Contractor” kind of characters portrayed by Atul Parchure. She strives for excellence in whatever she does. Maharashtra will get a great singer for folk, semi classical, devotional and gazal music. I also hope that the others do not get frustrated by this result. Kartiki is their friend and she did not consider her to be separate from them. She did not send all those SMSes to separate her from others and all of them strive for excellence and nothing less in their career. All the best to all of them. I don’t want anyone of them to be the lost talent of reality.

Zee Marathi Saregamapa Final – Last Chance to vote for Arya Ambekar

Once again here is the link to vote Arya for free. You will find it in my link list in sidebar as well.

I purposefully did not write about the performances of the Saregamapa Little Champs last week. The republic day episode was not part of competition was first reason and secondly I was waiting for YouTube  users  to post the videos of the program. While he posted the episodes few days back, I did not get chance to write a post. So finally here I am writing about this great season of Little Champs.

While this weeks episode were reminding us about the fabulous time we had with the champs and we really never realized that it was a full six months period since first episode.It was quite amazing yesterday to see the champs in selection rounds and now. I noticed one thing that since the first episode, there is not much change in Kartiki and Rohit in their appearance Both were quite confident, free and with same characteristics as today. Rohit seems to be maturing and Kartiki seems to be becoming performer. Prathamesh was really a konkani bhat with his trademark टिळा from this he has changed to quite a bit. He is more urbanized now and did you listen to him yesterday … He sang गालावर खऴी…  and also managed to say “I Love You”. 🙂 Mugdha was really really young to take part in this competition. I mocked earlier that she is not telling her real age and some readers took it literally. They were angry with me. All Mugdha fans you know… They are of her age only 😉 But she is short to make her look younger.She has changed a lot. These six months have made her more mature and I personally feel that the little girl is stressed too much for her age. Finally my favorite Arya… She was sweet when she came now she is not just that, she is looking beautiful everyday. What has not changed is her simplicity. Despite all the praise she gets, she is still on ground open to criticism and willing to learn. I must say her parents have raised her well. खरोखर सुसंस्कृत मुलगी कशी असावी त्याचे उदाहरण आहे.

One of the readers, fanfare, is claiming that she is pure blue blooded Punekar and she is appealing all to vote for merit. She is favoring Kartiki and repeatedly commenting that I should not support  Puneri girl Arya just because she is from Pune. Well if the judges are getting paid for promoting Kartiki, what is wrong in me supporting Arya for free and if someone feels that I am doing this because she is also a Puneri girl… please excuse me. I am definitely proud about her being from Pune but that is not the only reason why I support her. She is a truly versatile singer and our judges have said so. Had this not been a competition which Zee Marathi is still maintaining and has different prizes for winner and runner up, I would have really chosen these five + Shalmali. But that is not the case. So I am all for Arya as Little Champs winner. I am sure she will be winner by jury votes. Now all viewers need to vote for her. Go online and do it for free or spend money and send SMSes.

One thing I am not sure if you have noticed yesterday… Same Avadhoot who tells Prathmesh about the missing tanpura is not able to make out the faults in pathetic natyasangeet by Kartiki?  Same was the case with Rohit but then no body even slightly hinted at this… why? One more thing I noticed yesterday… Prathamesh was going to sing Swapneel’s song and I am sure Vaishali Samant knew it and still she expressed surprise on how Prathamesh picked up that song just after her comment on Avadhoot and Swapneel’s friendship. Is this an indication of a  scripted episode?

Finally here is something for the supporters of Arya.

1. She is one of the first candidates to have a Wiki page. Click here

2. Mandar Deodhar has created a blogspot post to list all (well… almost) videos of Arya Ambekar here

3. To see all videos of Saregamapa on you tube, visit the user page of ahonkan or search for  Arya Ambekar.

4. There is already some con blogger trying to make money by using Arya’s name. Check this fake blog here.To this blogger I can only say …  Man you should be ashamed of using her name like this. You can be a fan but you should not use her name like this to pretend it is a blog by her. Shame on you.

UPDATE: [9th February] Now we all know that this all effort is gone in vain, please let me know your opinion in single option

Zee Marathi – Finally some sense prevailed

Finally yesterday some sanity prevailed in Zee Marathi Saregamapa Little Champs with the declaration of all 5 little champs going to the mega finals. I was getting nervous and so was everyone in the family when we saw Arya going to number 2. Considering the percentage of SMSes she gets generally. I have been inactive for last quite a number of days primarily due to some personal problems. But I was getting lot of comments on both blogs (blogspot & wordpress). Now for all those Arya fans who are not voting using SMS as they do not want to pay the cellphone companies… here is the link to vote online. Go ahead and vote for free. Don’t just sit and wonder why she is not getting enough votes. I have enough comments on the blog to have a feeling that she is everyone’s favourite but then she needs votes as a proof.  पोरगी कितीही हुशार असली तरी परिक्षा पास व्हायला मार्क हवेतच का नाही? आर्यानी पेपर उत्तम लिहीलाय पण तपासल्यावर आपण गुण द्यायला विसरतोय.

To summarize my comments on last few weeks,

1. Arya is already our superstar. Reasons – sheer quality of singing, choice of songs, versatility, attitude to learn and excel. In fact the lesser number of votes was helping her excel. For her there is no scope for complacency as there was not much backing from judges till last few episodes, the vote count put her on edge making great singing as the only option and she stood up to that challenge. Bravo Arya! keep it going.

2. Prathamesh is not at his best. As AG pointed out, he is passing through the transition phase. He is becoming monotonous and suddenly sings shockingly exceptional songs like the koli song of yesterday. For me he is at number two purely because he has not shown much versatility and we are longing for more. Singing quality is of course top quality.

3. Two statements got my immediate agreement – first one coming from Avanti Patel. She said she would not have done same level of preparation in ten years had it not been for this competition. Very true and same would be case for all participants and it will definitely take them further in life. Second one from Vaishali which seems to be the root cause for yesterday’s decision. All the children are now friends with each other and singing together for so many days but everyone has kept his/her identity. That is simply unbelievable. Think about it. At such a small age when we are imitating everyone we like or find good, how do these children learn as well as not imitate? Off course they have great singers to follow the footsteps but still… I think this is a great attribute to gain and these children are really lucky.

4. I am still surprised how Rohit is getting so high marks. He is singing all sorts of songs and proving that he is jack of all trades but then he is master of none really. He has to focus on getting correct “sur” than focusing on expressions, and emotions. He made a good attempt at “ek chatur naar” but if you listen to the original song after or before his, you will notice that he was out of control in many places and just on sheer energy he pulled it. But that is not good enough at this stage. I hope he takes note of this and improves his singing. Yesterday Avadhoot showed him the real difference and after long time I heard a right comment from Avadhoot. Now that no one is getting eliminated, the pressure on judges to give prescribed comments will go away and we will get more true comments and suggestions.

5. Kartiki is getting unnecessary popularity. She is one-dimensional. She has the folk music in her blood but then she is not working on other aspects of singing. I wonder if she would be trying all Hridaynath and Khaleji’s songs in the finals. All this praise and popularity will make her a folk singer whereas the ease with which she sings she is capable of doing much much more.

6. Mugdha is the little baby and at her age, she is doing great. But this is a competition and she has many years to go in her childhood itself. From absolute singing view point, she has lot more to learn and I believe she is not a candidate to win this competition just yet. She will probably win in another 4-5 years eventually. Let her be the small child she is.

7. The comments I am seeing on the blog… I am unable to read the new lingo. What spellings man…. come on folks… spend some time on typing few more key strokes… better yet type in Marathi if possible but don’t convert the Latin script as phonetic. The script itself is too limited. Devnagari is much better.