'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' judges lose cool
The flashpoint was reached during the show's recording when Durbar made snide comments on Aadesh's knowledge of classical music.Updated: Aug 30, 2005 16:43 IST
Temperatures on Zee TV's talent-scouting contest "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge" have been rising by the week, what with the judges forming their own caucuses, or gharanas, as they are politely called.
But politeness was thrown to the winds during the shooting of the popular show when two of the judges lost their cool and hurled abuses loudly and strongly, horrifying and embarrassing producer Gajendra Singh and others.
Confirming the verbal scuffle, composer Aadesh Shrivastava said: "The confrontation with Ismail Durbar had been building up ever since we started judging 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge'. His attitude is high-handed and arrogant and completely unacceptable to the other judges.
"He has no respect for anyone, not even those boys and girls who come from far-flung places like Assam and Manipur with dreams of becoming singers. Ismail addresses them so rudely on camera that many contestants are reduced to tears. I told him to be more considerate. But he's beyond reason," Shrivastava added.
The flashpoint was reached during the last stint of the show's last recording when Durbar made snide comments on Shrivastava's knowledge of classical music.
"He implied that he was the master of the ragas while Himesh (Reshmmiya), Jatin, Lalit (the other judges) and I were just novices who knew nothing about classical music.
"He forgets I'm from a musical family. I've used classically trained voices like Richa Sharma and Hema Sardesai, and used ragas in my tunes whenever possible. When Ismail made snide references to my abilities I couldn't take it any more," Shrivastava maintained.
"I ticked him off good and proper. We'd have probably gone further in our fight. But I don't come from the same background as he does. I somehow held my peace. But we all decided we'll not sit on the same platform as Ismail Durbar. Thank god the camera wasn't on when all this happened," Shrivastava added.
Pausing to control his temper, the composer continued: "I felt he insulted Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia when he commented about one of his students: 'Yeh sab ki bansuri bajaa dega' (He will best all flautists). Wasn't that a dig at the famous flautist? Ismail is always making such comments.
"His war cry, 'Yalgaar!' (attack) makes him sound like someone from (Pakistan). I told him that. And what are his credentials?
"He played the violin in the third row of Jatin-Lalit's orchestra before Sanjay Leela Bhansali discovered him. His only claim to fame is Bhansali's 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' and 'Devdas'," Shrivastava maintained.
"The worst mistake he made was to fight with his mentor Sanjay Bhansali. All his other scores have failed miserably. He bragged that he discovered Shreya Ghosal when everyone knows Sanjay Bhansali found her," he added.
Shrivastava is unsure about returning to judge "Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge".
"I've other commitments. I'm supposed to sing my own composition based on the Vedas at the opening of the Berlin Film Festival on Sep 21. I can't be frittering away time in fighting over lost causes. I firmly believe in the power of a music contest like 'Sa Re Ga Ma' to foster new singing talent for our film industry.
"In fact, I'm using two of the voices - Himani from Faizabad and Rajiv from Chamba - I heard during the contest in Kalpana Lajmi's 'Chingari'. Though the soundtrack is done, I felt it wasn't complete without a thumri," Shrivastava maintained.
"I'd rather concentrate on my music than on people who spread negative vibes," said the composer, who has just completed his 60th album.
First Published: Aug 30, 2005 16:43 IST