"Namma Singari Sarakku Nalla Sarakku
Chumma Gummunu eruthu Kicku enakku"
- blared our television in our living room.
I'm sitting with my parents, grandfather and an elderly uncle visiting us, watching a popular television show, when this song sequence made me squirm uneasily in my seat. I'm not uneasy only because of the raunchy (is it the right word?) lyrics, but also because of the person singing them. The song is being sung by a small kid probably about 7 or 8 years old. He has still not shed his baby talk and is not even able to pronounce the lyrics clearly. But here he is, on stage, in a popular musical contest singing this song. Only a few minutes back, another small girl sang, "Sorgam Madhuvile..."
I really like this show. It is really nice to see young kids sing so beautifully, with such a great understanding of the nuances of music. The show goes on for months and the contestants are tested in all genres of music - classical, western, folk etc.
On the other hand, I also see very young kids singing songs like this on stage as part of the various genres. I don't think they (at least the really young ones) really understand the meaning of the lyrics. But as my father points out (repeatedly every time something like this comes up, making me even more uncomfortable), how many times would that kid have practiced that song over and over again in order to prepare for such a tough contest ! How many times would he / she have heard the original and probably even seen the video of the song !
I do not want to sound so old school, rigid and boring. But is this a right thing to do? There are number of good fast numbers in our movies, which are perfectly fine. But the most TV shows have rounds such as the 'Kuthu song round' etc. where the contestants specifically choose such songs. The live audience in the shows consist of the parents of the kids and well renowned musicians as judges. All of them give a standing ovation and shower gift hampers for the kids for singing these songs.
Agreed, the standing ovation is for the music only. But I still feel, that is no reason for exposing the kids to these things. They're already exposed to all sorts of things through our movies and TV shows. I think we can at least avoid giving intense focused training in these things.
The other day, I came across a dance show, where another really young contestant was dancing. He too, was dancing to a raunchy number, dressed in a lungi, cut baniyan and a kerchief around his neck. Once again, how many hours would he have spent watching the original video, studying the moves of the actors ! And I'm sure even outside the show, his parents and friends are going to ask him to dance to so many such numbers. I'm pretty sure that this exposure will have a deep impression on him.
I'm not sure if this is a healthy way of nurturing our young geniuses.