Illa Arun, the mentor alias judge of NDTV Imagine singing reality show Junoon, is quite happy with new format of the show which pits 3 different genres of singing namely Sufi, Folk and Filmy songs against each. "Here the audiences need to be matured and accept original folk numbers, and not just filmy number like Nimuda Nimuda. For, if that happens, my protégés will get discouraged and start to experiment with rhythm and beat, which will be against the folk culture. When I will have to eliminate any of my folk team contestants, I will just be looking for natural feeling, you either have it or don’t”, asserts Illa.
Recalling her Fame Gurukul mentoring days, Illa says, "All these current reality shows’ mock fight stem from the arguments between Javed Sahab and me on that SET show. But they were genuine. Then I felt he was unnecessarily attacking my team, so I hit back.” Coming back to her Junoon, Illa adds, "Let’s hope that given the massive difference between the 3 medium (Sufi, Folk and Filmy) we will again have real creative causes for friction.” She further defends the drama that abound such formatted presentations, "Everything is done for TRP, right? If news channels can exploit the recent Arushi and Grover murder cases, why blame talent hunts alone!”
Illa further adds that reality shows were fulfilling yearning demand listening to new voices. "I come across many youngsters who are just waiting for that platform to showcase their talent," says Illa.
On the question of doubting the public having adept enough to choose the winner of reality shows, she just echoes anchor Annu Kapoor’s comments that how can you trust the public which has not been able to choose the right leader for the past 60 years to find the correct singer.
Asked about Fame Gurukul winner, Qazi Touqeer, Illa says, "That Kashmir lad was an actor first, who could also sing. You can’t compare Touqeer with a real singer like Mohammad from Pakistan. His over all packages drew in the votes for him.”
This actor turned singer rejects argument that her Mahamanga role in Jodha- Akbar was inconsequential. "The massive adulation which I received for this role was bigger than what even Choli Ke Peeche drew. My character was not negative; she was just displaying different
Illa is also doing Shyam Benegal’s upcoming comedy, Mahadev Ka Sajjanpur which stars Shreyas Talpade and Amrita Rao.
Anil Merani (SAMPURN)