Asha Bhonsle, Krishna Deva Raya & Tenali Rama

D.P. SATISH writes from New Delhi: I don’t know how many of you watched Hampi Utsava live on Udaya Varthegalu, last night. I did. The quality of the telecast was terrible. All the frames were shaking and the cameras fixed to capture the event live were swaying from left to right and right to left.

But, that’s not the real story.

The real tamasha was Asha Bhonsle‘s musical night.

It was a complete disaster. The two comperes Aparna and a person whose name I couldn’t catch were dressed up like Sri Krishna Devaraya and his queen. But, in reality they were looking like extras of the now defunct Jamkhandi drama company.

Asha Bhonsle sang three Hindi hits. There was no response from the moderate mostly local Kannadiga crowd. Perhaps she was expecting the thunderous applause she usually gets everywhere. The visibly angry and upset queen of Hindi film music stopped singing and asked the audience:

Aap kyu silent ho? Aap ko Hindi aati hain yah nahin? Thoda claps, whistling keejiye.’ (Why are you people keeping quiet? Do you understand Hindi or not? Please whistle, clap and encourage us).

Again there was no response. Not a single person from the crowd was shaking a leg or whistling. She sang one more song, asked them the same questions again, and got no answer.

Angry and devastated Bhonsle left the stage in a huff.

Her juniors continued singing some recent hits for one more hour. Even they failed to get any response from the sleepy, non-Hindi speaking/knowing crowd.

The entire musical night was looking more like a comedy show. Naturally Asha Bhonsle felt insulted because of the cold response.

I want to ask just two questions to the government/organisers of the much publicised Hampi Utsava:

# Why did they invite a Hindi singer to a 99% percent Kannada land/Utsava?

# Why didn’t they invite local Kannada singers? It is a known thing that Bhonsle and her team charges a seven-digit amount for such shows. The govt could easily have got 10 local troupes in that money.

L.K. Advani who inaugurated the Hampi Utsava and his Man Friday, Ananth Kumar, were also wearing a huge crown like mundas/peta over their head. A friend of mine sent me an SMS later saying Ananthkumar was looking like Tenali Rama!

After all it was Adhvanotsava, not Hampi Utsava!

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

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