Holi with Little Champs
It is 5 pm on the sets of Zee TV’s shooting of Saregama’s Holi episode at Famous Studio in Mahalakshmi and I have been invited by the mahaguruAlka Yagnik of Little Champs to watch the Little Champs perform live. The last time I visited Famous Studio was decades ago when it was not centrally air-conditioned and there was plenty of parking space in the compound. Today, cars block the passage as all the three floors of the studio are blocked for an advt/ TV and film shooting.
An assistant leads me to the set sprawled with wire rolls running all over the set. In a corner is a Ganpati idol with flower garlands and a lamp that lasts till as long as the shooting packs up. From where I’m seated I can watch Alka Yagnik and the other jury members get ready for the take. All the contestants and the jury members are dressed in Indian clothes for the occasion and the contestants I’m informed actually played holi on the sets before the actual shooting began.
The set is dressed in flowers and vibrant colors to match the mood of the moment and the songs that the contestants are to sing are chosen accordingly as well.
Contrary to what I had imagined the contestants are far from tense or competitive with each other and treat the exercise more as fun filled experience rather than as competition. They are laughing and playing with each other moments before their names are announced to come on the stage particularly little Aishwarya who is just five years old.
At 7pm and the episode is canned and the unit packs up for the day. As I’m leaving the Little Champs come and colour me, say ‘Bura na mano aaj holi hain’.
Bhawana Somaaya/ @bhawanasomaaya