If you’ve had your fill of American TV soaps, here’s a chance to look closer home when you’re flying at 35,000 feet above sea level. TV show hosts Durga Jasraj and Annu Kapoor, who shot to fame with Antakshari in the 1990s, are soaring high as their latest music show, Idea Jalsa, is among the first to go on ‘air’... Literally. The show, which started in 2008, is among the first Indian television series to be streamed on all Air India flights.
From Jagjit Singh to the Wadali Brothers and Pandit Jasraj, flyers can now choose from different genres as they travel. “We have a rich repository of works performed by musicians from across India. The show is not a competition; rather live performances by India’s talents, and works as a quick introduction to the country’s rich heritage,” says Jasraj.
And while city club Blue Frog was a forerunner in getting local indie bands on the airwaves, what makes this worth a browse is that the show comes refurbished— sans ads and breaks, making the in-flight performance uninterrupted. “The Jet Airways–Blue Frog programme is just one channel on the flight, featuring only audio tracks. Our show will be featured on all five channels on Air India’s flights,” Jasraj says, adding, “There is a dearth of quality videos on Indian music channels. And since we shot these performances for a television show, it makes for great viewing.”
Insisting that their target audience is not just the senior crowd, Jasraj feels they have a good mix to choose from: “People can pick from genres — Hindustani classical, Carnatic, Bollywood, Sufi — so we have covered the tastes of pretty much everyone.”