Friday, October 05, 2007

Amit Paul puts Shillong on a high

Amit Paul- Indian Idol 3 runner-up wins hearts as fans dance to his tune

PHOTO: Amit Paul performs at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Thursday.

Shillong, Oct. 4: If there was ever a need for a symbol to understand the phenomenon called Amit Paul, it was flying in the air this afternoon — a pink, heart-shaped balloon.
And as nearly 40,000 screaming — almost delirious — fans trooped into the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here for a public felicitation of the Indian Idol 3 runner-up, there was no doubt left in anybody’s mind. Amit is well and truly the king of hearts.
All the controversies preceding the function were pushed to the background and the clouds overhead only threatened but did not rain. But Amit Paul lived up to the hype he has managed to generate — he simply had Shillongites dancing to his tune.
Imagine a packed stadium, which has an official capacity of just 20,000, singing in unison with a young man who has made the state so very proud. So much so that even the bitter animosity between the tribals and non-tribals evaporated at the altar of music. No wonder, elderly Khasi women were dancing in a daze as Amit belted out one hit number after another in a very interactive performance.
Not to mention the fact that nearly 75 per cent of the people in the crowd were women and young girls, some of them screaming and begging Amit to marry them! Seated in the front rows of the VIP enclosure — and close to the screaming girls — were Amit’s proud mother, sister and a visibly embarrassed grandmother.
Learning the art of how to be politically correct, Amit did not forget to thank the Shillong Art & Music Lovers’ Forum which had led the vote-for-Amit campaign but boycotted today’s function accusing two MLAs of trying to gain political mileage from his show.
The forum’s allegation is a matter of debate but there was no confusion about two other persons who had used the function to gain mileage of a different kind. They are selling cheap audio and video CDs of Amit’s performances, recorded during the course of the Indian Idol 3 contest.
The footnote of the remarkable saga of a self-made musician is simple. Amit the brand has arrived.