Friday, March 28, 2008

Judge not lest thou be judged.

Why am I in a frothing-at-the-mouth Old Testament rage? Well, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of watching the antics of the so-called expert judges on the countless musical and talent contests that try to elbow one another for TRP, you’ll know the reason. I have nothing against the poor contestants many of whom are brimming with talent. I’m annoyed by the judges. Most of them are lapsed or out-of-work cine artistes. They’re delighted to get paid to be in the limelight once again and hear the sound of their voice as they mouth inane, infantile comments and hand out credits mostly based on their prejudices and personal whims and fancies. I shudder to think what would have happened had Baby Noor Jahan entered one of these contests and sang her high-pitched, slightly off-key hit “Shala Jawaniya Mane Afsaana Meri Sun Le” from Gul Bakawali (1939)? All hell would have broken loose, I’m afraid. The venerable judges would have brayed for her blood because she sang shrilly and off-key reducing the poor girl to tears. If you ever listen to the song in question, you’ll realise that its charm derives principally from the singer’s style. I’m looking forward to the day when one of the contestants slaps the judge instead of abjectly touching his or her feet. Do it, baby. Make my day.