Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Prashant Tamang at Indian Idol 3

By Avash Karmacharya

When weekends arrive, I forget all my works and then prepare myself to sit in front of the television. And why wouldn't I? After all, Prashant Tamang has reached the Top Ten finalists of the Indian Idol 3,” shares Nita Sharma, a local resident of Anam Nagar in Kathmandu.

Not only Nita Sharma is waiting for the weekends to come. Today, almost everyone loves watching the reality show, Indian Idol. And when a contestant of Nepali origin, such as Prashant Tamang, is competing in the finals, the number of viewers of the reality show has considerably gone up — even in Nepal.

When “Idols,” the hugely popular worldwide phenomenon was brought to India as Indian Idol, Sony Entertainment Television promised the nation that it would forget everything else — and India surely did!

In the span of merely two months, Indian Idol took millions of Indians to towering heights of sheer frenzy, propelling them to live their dreams and becoming water cooler conversation topics across the nation. Indian Idol experienced viewer engagement as never before, truly cutting across all boundaries of castes, creeds, social status and geographies to witness people from every walk of life turn up in full strength, not only to participate and make their dreams come true but also to religiously cast their votes to choose the “Indian Idol” of their choice.

With its immense popularity in India as well as overseas, the judges of the third series of Indian Idol are the reigning melody king Udit Narayan Jha, the Kajra Re girl Alisha Chinai, the sharp critic Anu Malik and the acclaimed lyricist Javed Akhtar.

With that, audience vote has already declared the top ten finalists of the groundbreaking reality show.

And one amongst the ten finalists is Prashant Tamang. Belonging to Nepali origin, Prashant's melodious voice has made him one of the heartthrob contestants of the international show.

Prashant, who is a resident of Toong Soong, a suburb of the town of Darjeeling, has been working in the Kolkata Police Force since 2002. And now he aims to become a successful singer.

With his progress to the finals, even the jury members have been supporting him throughout so as not to demoralize this talented young man from the Darjeeling hills. Instances:

During the piano round, when Prashant sang Ya Ali Reham Ali from the movie “Gangster”, Javed Akhtar asked him which language he spoke at home. When he replied “Nepali”, the lyricist complimented, “This is amazing. Despite Nepali being his first language, his diction in Hindi is impeccable. Every contestant here should look upon him. He's a gem of a personality.”

Similarly, Alisha Chinai quickly added, “I like your rough voice. You're an uncut diamond.”

Likewise, Udit Narayan — himself being the Nepal-born hit maker of the Mumbai movie empire — also made his prompt comment, this one in Nepali: “Tapain bada ramro gaunu hunchha. Tapain lai mero shubhakamana chha.” Translation: “You sing superbly. My best wishes to you.”

With such accolades, and with the particular episode declaring the Top Ten slot, the young man from Darjeeling received the second highest votes amongst the fourteen aspiring contestants and succeeded in attaining his place at the finals of the show.

So now, as Prashant Tamang is all set to compete in the finals, get your close and dear ones to sit beside you and just tune in to Sony Entertainment Television every Friday and Saturday night at 9:15 pm.

On our part, we at City Post shout our own loud and clear “Right on, Prashant!” for his sure success.

We are together “I often watch this reality show. And it really feels good to see a contestant of Nepali background doing so well in the competition. His performance is fabulous though he still needs to enhance his voice quality. I wish him all the luck and success. I wish we could vote for him from Nepal too.

l Ram Krishna Dhakal, Singer

“Prashant has shown that Nepalis too are no less competitive, even in international scenarios. Despite Hindi not being his mother tongue, his pronunciation is still so clear. It feels awesome for a Nepali to get such a grand opportunity. In addition, Udit Ji and Javed Ji have been guiding him throughout (the episodes). Though he still needs to work out with his presentation, he needn't worry about anything. He deserves to win, and I wish him all the best.

l Alok Shree, Music Composer

“All Nepalis should be proud of Prashant Tamang. It's not a joke to reach that level of competition and that too on an international platform. And I'm so thankful to all the Indians who've been sending votes for him even though he doesn't belong to their communities. Without any formal training in singing, his voice is still so mature and he looks so genuine. I really wish him to become the next Indian Idol.

l Sugarika KC, Miss Nepal 2005.

Interesting facts

From schoolchildren to officers and from police officials to politicians and elderly people, most people in Darjeeling and Sikkim have been sending as many votes as possible for Prashant via SMS. Last week, Pawan Chamling, chief minister of Sikkim publicly urged all the citizens to vote for Prashant as many as they can. Banners displaying his pictures have been placed in various places of Darjeeling District. Even taxi drivers have posted Prashant's photos inside their vehicles so as to support him. People have started gathering on the Chowrasta public grounds in Darjeeling to convey their best wishes to Prashant via various banners being exhibited. Last week, when their SMS votes failed to be delivered, the people in Darjeeling and Sikkim protested against the Reliance and Airtel mobile services and even vandalized their branch offices. New fans have even started buying new mobile cards just to vote for Prashant. While visiting her hometown Darjeeling, even actor Niruta Singh continuously voted for the man from the hills until she was back in Kathmandu.