Friday, December 26, 2008

Girls should not participate in Indian Idol at all

When Ananya came to Indian Idol, it was with a lot of responsibility on her shoulders. Not only did she have to keep up the good name of her family, but she also had to make a name for herself—so that people would know her not as Pandit Birju Maharaj’s pothi, but as Ananya Mishra the singer and performer.

And with standing ovations, exemplary comments from the judges and a flawless gala performance under her belt, the last thing on this 17-year-old’s mind was an early elimination. I caught up with Ananya soon after her vote out and she talked about her journey so far, the friends she will miss and her future plans—all through a veil of tears.

Were you expecting such an early vote out?

Never. Definitely not so early on in the galas. If my elimination had happened during the piano round, I would not have been so upset. My third performance was not so good, it was not my kind of song either.

But my first gala performance was one of the best. Everyone—the contestants, the judges, the Idol crew—they all told me that. The song Hum dil de chuke sanam was such a difficult song to sing live on stage.

Who did you think would get voted out?

When Mohit and I were in the bottom two, I thought he would go. Not because he is a bad singer, but because in the gala my performance was far better than his. When Hussain and Chang had asked us to choose a side, I chose the safe side because I was so sure that I would be safe.

How do you feel now?

I feel bad and angry. I don’t think I deserved to be voted out after such a good performance. I’m also angry with the janta because I don’t know what they are looking for in a singer. Whom do they want as their Indian Idol? It doesn’t look like they want good singers. Now I’m worried that they will vote out good singers like Bhavya and Shini, too.

I’m also feeling very sad that I cannot perform in the next gala. I have not danced on the Idol stage so far and I was going to surprise the audience with three dance performances.

Did you talk to your parents?

Yes, I called up my father immediately. I am very close to my father. I share more things with him than my mother. And he was very, very shocked. He was like, ‘Hello, what happened.’

When I had decided to participate in Indian Idol, my dadaji and nanaji were like why is she doing this. Why does she have to go participate in a reality show. But I wanted to make a name for myself—not as Birju Maharaj’s pothi or Om Prakash Mishra’s beti, but as Ananya Mishra.

Did the judges talk to you?

Yes, they all talked to me off stage. Annuji even pushed the camera people away and said, ‘I am not saying this for the camera. Tu che mahine rok, mera call ayega. You’ll sing for me. You and Bhavya are two of my most favourite singers.’

What do you plan to do now? Will you continue to sing after this?

Yes, I will definitely continue to sing. I am a trained gazal and tumri singer. I used to do performances with Gulam Ali Khan saab and others. I am a professional singer.

I had come to Indian Idol because it was a completely different platform. And you also gain fame really fast here. But it’s ok. Agar yeh nahin, tho kuch aur sahi. Now, I’ll go back and get on with my life, my singing and my dance. And I am sure the fame I’ve gained here will help me with my future, too.

Will you come back to Indian Idol or participate in any other reality shows?

No, I won’t. I feel in reality shows, ek kalakar ki koi izzat nahin hai. I don’t know what the viewers are voting for. In fact, I think girls should not participate in this anymore. The first three Idols were boys and I know for certain the fourth will be a boy, too. So if the janta only want to see boys winning, then why should the girls participate at all?

What will you miss the most in Indian Idol?

Remo and Bhavya. They are my best friends here. I’ve shared so many good times with them. Remo, who is older to me by two months, was crying like a baby when they announced that I was voted out. I will not lose touch with them. I will call them up everyday from now on.