the live telecast of Punjabi Beats from Amritsar was announced by
Zee Punjabi, one wanted to yawn. However, one watched it in case
something new was being offered. There was Navjot Noor compering the
show which had singers like Mika, Nachattar Gill et al belting out the
usual stuff. When the show began, there were only a handful of die-hard
enthusiasts at the venue. But as the evening progressed, the audience
swelled several fold as did the decibel level.
Every time a crooner, I couldnít get her name, asked whether anyone would like to be her Ranjha, there was a sea of raised hands accompanied by affirmatives-in-chorus. Obviously the show was a hit. Beating the heat with music? Only Punjabis can do it.
One was taken aback by the change, in a popular anchorís hair colour. Her fetching light-brown tresses had suddenly turned garish gold. It hardly suited her typical Indian looks. Brown-skinned blondes look as bizarre as dusky redheads. Somehow the desire to be different often tempts artistes to do weird things.
Now one finds "artistes" with
weird hairstyles and get-ups; hair sticking out like bunched-up
porcupine quills, beards trimmed to look like shoe-polish brushes and
moustaches resembling criss-cross of bruises. As for their mannerisms
ó the less said the better. When content is absent, zany form becomes
the norm. An epitome of this trend, Jazzy B, candidly recalled how,
while he was walking down a footway in Canada, a group of Punjabi
rustics, visiting the country for the first time, commented on his
appearance, "Oye, Kanedda vich aih kee turya awnda hai?"