My Kids’ Grouse with Mr. Anu Malik’s Rudeness!

During dinner last night, my kids and my nephew starting discussing the Indian Idol eliminations that are currently being aired on television. This was the first time that they were watching these early Indian Idol episodes and the main topic of discussion was the judges’ rudeness. They felt that Mr. Anu Malik and the other two judges, Ms. Sunidhi Chauhan and Mr. Salim Merchant were being unnecessarily rude to the contestants, especially those who were singing badly.
One example they quoted was of a contestant from Kolkata, who sang so badly from the start that all the judges, in a synchronised manner, just put their heads down on the table, in disgust. The contestant was very upset and expressed this on his way out. My kids were surprisingly in agreement with him.
I had watched the first two episodes as well and knew what they were talking about. I find these early audition episodes quite entertaining, especially because the judges are not politically correct, even though they fall far short of Mr. Simon Cowell’s insults on American Idol.
I was a little surprised at my kids’ thinking. I presume that this is probably related to the way things have changed at school with respect to competition, because of which they truly believe that everything and everyone should be fair and should be given an equal chance, irrespective of the presence or absence of talent and ability.
I think its time I make them read the “Eleven Rules of Life”, apparently ascribed to Mr. Bill Gates in circulating emails, though in reality excerpted from the book “Dumbing Down Our Kids” by Mr. Charles Sykes.
Rule 1 – Life is not fair – get used to it
Rule 8 – Your school may have done away with winners and losers but life has not. In some schools they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
I’m sure you get the central theme.
The kids need to realise that that hard work is important, that talent is important, that if you don’t do well, your parents won’t always be there to mollycoddle you, that you won’t always get what you want, that ventures may fail, that you usually need to work like a dog to succeed.
And that’ where I have a problem with Indian Idol; that the judges are not rude enough and should perhaps be more like Mr. Cowell and less like Ms. Paula Abdul. If someone thinks he can sing and turns out to be “besura”, that person should be told the truth, straight on his face, without mincing words. And those who try to win sympathy by coming up with hard-luck stories, like the Army gentleman, who couldn’t sing, but who played on his cancer-struck sister’s recent death, should be torn down even more, rather than be hugged for being brave enough to come to the audition. The cynic in me refuses to believe that this was not an attempt at getting into Indian Idol on the back of a dead sister. Honestly, if you are willing to try anything to get your 10 seconds of fame, you should be willing to take your 10 seconds of rebuke as well.
Anyway, I wasn’t able to convince my kids that it is acceptable to be rude if the context demands it. So, I just hope that they learn fast, that in the real world, people will be rude and horrible and unpleasant and that they they will have to face these people and situations, eventually on their own.

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