Indias got talent…really?


“Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work.” 

 ― Stephen King



College fests form part and parcel of my job at DhinchakMumbai.

Two years after graduating, colleges mein press ke haisiyat se jaana garv ki baat hoti hai, but, if you had to ask me what the experience attending these fests was like, I would simply choose to ignore the question.


Kyu? Because honestly, being part of the organizing team is much more fun. Wanting to enter the college as a crowd is like calling for uninvited embarrassment of being thrown out. But press ko toh all access card hota hai, toh fir crowd kyu?


Let me explain. I wouldn’t take the names of the fests, but in the last two months I’ve had two experiences that will take me time to get over. Jo events humne sponsor kiye, unhi events me humko khudka branding karna pada + volunteers remained clueless about events and blaaaah. So yes, that’s why I feel like the crowd.


One thing I’ve noticed across events is the talent hunt. Mr.and Miss Malhar, Mr. and Miss Enigma and all that jazz. Almost every college fest tries to compete with the other on this major ground, getting the who’s who to judge events like this. But to the very least, the talent on display is DISAPPOINTING.


Ladke sirf rap karte hai aur ladkiya sirf dance karti hai. Which makes me wonder, is this all the talent that we have? Like me, if you have attended these talent hunts too, I’m sure you will agree. I mean seriously, aur koi talent nahi hai hamare paas? Everyday reality tv churns out new talent shows, kabhi singing, kabhi dancing, kabhi cooking, until the audience got so bored, tv producers had to actually put together India’s got talent for some talent display that was out of the box. This went on to assure tv audience that yes, talent does exist beyond the traditional song and dance.


But then one visit to talent hunts at college fests, and you are bound to be left wanting to see something new. For some reason the audience only goes ‘oooooooo’, ‘wooooooah’, ‘once more’. When I attended an event recently, and the audience asked for an encore, mein wonder karne lagi ‘what, why again’ aur jab tak ye khatam hua tha, the music played once again ‘Apsara aa li’ and the girl started dancing. Ufffooo!


I decided to finally think this through. Here’s what I found:

Most people cheer because cheering ke points milte hai.


Most women think, dancing will make them display their feminine and hot side. Ladke cheer karenge, judges impress ho jayenge. Besides, dancing toh easy hai. You do it in the bathroom, you do it in your room with the door closed, and you do it in the train with all the pushing around and in the club when the lights are low. So yes, talent hunt mein latke jhatke toh bante hai boss.


Most boys think rapping and beat boxing is cool. A little wooooah from the crowd and almost everyone wants to do it.


So why are we trying to be a ‘wanna be’. Why are we trying to be all cool? It’s probably because we fear that if we don’t possess a talent that is not ‘popular’ we will not be accepted and downright rejected. In this ever Americanizing society, I won’t be shocked to know how true that is.


At the same time, let’s not forget that talent is much more than dance and music. It’s never about being cool. It’s always about being different. It’s never about the crowd chanting your name; it’s always about the silence after your performance that indicates an awestruck audience. Thats the power of a talent, my friend.


What is actually remembered, even if you put together a dance, is not how well u danced, but how different your dance was from the rest. Sticking to the same old routine is not going to make you standout. If you’ve followed what everyone else does and have won the competition, you actually haven’t won my friend. The judges chose you because they had to make a choice, not because you were outstanding.


What does dhinchakMulgi say? Grow up and grow up to be different. Apne andar ki talent ko khoj nikalo. You can and I’m sure you will. 



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