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Anu uncut!

Ace music composer ANU MALIK pens his experience as a jury member of the talent hunt show "Indian Idol" beginning on Sony TV from this Thursday.

Anu Malik... in search of an idol

NO MATTER what culture we're from or which part of the world we are in, everybody loves music. Music is in our every breath, in our every heartbeat. And Indian Idol, the talent hunt show that premiers on Sony TV this Thursday, is all set to bring music alive with that one voice which will make the nation sing with it. That one voice which will shine like the brightest star for years to come.

As a music composer, I believe and know that music surpasses boundaries of social status, caste, creed, religion or nationality. It is for everyone irrespective of any manmade notions and inhibitions. And I agreed to become one of the judges of Indian Idol because this is a show that recognises true talent and is `By the people, of the people, for the people'.

The sheer enthusiasm that I have seen, as I travelled the length and breadth of the country to unearth voices that would move the nation, has shown me the love for music and the hidden talent in India. But of course, we are looking for the best of the best who not only has the talent but also has it in him/her to make the nation sing along. As a music composer, I want to find that voice that can emote, a voice that can move the audience to smiles or tears.

No imitations

Some of the most memorable experiences have been those when I had to be brutally honest and ask those Enrique Iglesias or Asha Bhonsle wannabes to leave. The Indian Idol is not going to be someone who can imitate another singer, but someone whose voice truly shines through. "You are here to showcase your own voice and talent and not someone else's," is what I heard myself constantly repeating throughout the selections. And sometimes, I even had to be extremely blunt with contestants to save their time and ours. This is serious stuff and giving somebody a false sense of direction is not my way of motivating aspirants.

We were never given such a big platform to start our careers with. We all slogged our way up the hard way. I for one had to really work very hard to make a mark in an industry which already had stalwarts like R.D. Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal and others.

Today, people have to realise that an opportunity to participate in something as big as Indian Idol is serious business. This is a platform that will catapult them to instant stardom and riches beyond their wildest dreams. Also, it is not just the Indian Idol who would be showered with all the prizes, assignments and contracts but through the journey, the show will create many more celebrities out of the final few contestants who will become superstars in their own right!

This show is all about discovering oneself, finding inner strength to accept defeat or victory - whatever comes one's way. This is a show about triumph over adversities. A show where the nation will choose the one they want to hear... the one who will be their first ever `Indian Idol'.

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