Sunday, October 28, 2007

Antaragni Woes

Before I start this post, let me point you to this excerpt from his novel that Neil Gaiman shares and to this 30 second scary story that he did for radio. Do listen to the recording on the site. Right, to Antaragni now.

The way the tents and lights were all up even on Tuesday this week had made us all think that Antaragani '07 would start and end with a bang. A lot of things were amazing, the POTF show and the Kavi Sammelan being two of them, but overall Antaragni this time wasn't all that fun.

The biggest disappointment, I believe was Atif Aslam's show. As many people have pointed out, calling a singer for a live performance is always a bad idea. It is much better to call a band. But Atif was worse than anyone's worst expectations. When you pay some one money of the order of a million rupees, you expect nothing less that a scintillating performance. However, the performance turned out to be insipid at best and horrible at worst. Atif lacked the lustre to hold the crowd, his repertoire of songs was limited and if a male singer needs to resort to a remix of 'Babuji zara dheere chalo' in his show then not even God can save his career.

And all this after standing for hours in a long queue, being harrased by the security people over the strange rule of no-cameras-allowed inside the Audi grounds and then the entry itself having been stoped since there were just too many people wanting to go in. That's ten lakhs of Indian National Rupees down the drain.

Why were no camera's allowed? I'm still puzzing over this stupid rule that the Antaragni security team came up with this time. What could be the possible rationale? Is it possible that they wish to increase their sales of photographs from the official photography cell?

Even worse was the cutting down of prizes in various events. For example, prize for India Inspired essay writing was slashed down by more than 80% this time. I met a girl who was given two 'Classmate' registers as second prize of a Hindi Lit event. I mean, that is shameful! Even school events have better prizes than that! I've never known an Antaragni prize to be anything less than a thousand bucks. The look of disappointment on the participants' face was evident. We may not think much of Antaragni (ghar ki murgi daal barabar) but the participants who come in have been preparing for months for some of the events. We should learn to respect their efforts and talents. Giving away decent prizes is the least we can do.

I also noticed an overall lack of creativity in Antaragni this time. I distinctly remember events like Karaoke and decors like the ones put up by people from Shantiniketan over SAC crossing. This time, as someone aptly put it, there were a lot of people around but nothing was happening! Antaragni '07 was all gloss and little substance. None of the standards have really gone up except for the budget and the average height of skirts that the girls wore.

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  1. dus lakh!
    iitk could have seen two Shaan(s) or one sonu nigam, given that kind of money. I understand no one would have thought of Atif putting up a dull show but they could have settled for nothing less than sonu nigam if the money was not a constraint! And to add he does not come alone but with a full '10 member orchestra team' and you can imagine that could have been absolutely fantabulous!
    And I observed the same fact over the years that the crowd is increasing in number but the crowd is losing the glamour as it used to have.
    dukh! but nice to know that POTF rocked...oh how i wish i was there!

  2. @ Shobhit - We also wished you were here! :)