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Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 January 2007, 11:36 GMT
Indian teenagers get record fever
By Faisal Mohammad Ali
BBC News, Indore

Aditi Gupta
Sixteen-year-old Aditi Gupta danced non-stop for 85 hours
Teenagers in central India have been gripped by an obsession with breaking records in singing and dancing.

The city of Indore is now home to a number of youngsters who are out-singing and out-dancing competitors for a place in the record books and a shot at fame.

The media, talent scouts and many parents have encouraged the youngsters, most of whom lack formal training in their disciplines.

Doctors say enduring marathon spells on stage could damage their health.

'Now I am famous'

Nine-year-old Anushka Singhal began the craze in Indore, one of central India's biggest commercial cities, by singing non-stop for 18 hours for a place in the record books.

I always wanted to do something big so that I would be known by everybody
Record breaker Aditi Gupta

Two local girls and a boy soon out-sang her non-stop for 61, 65 and 101 hours respectively.

Such was the frenzy that Saniya Sayed, who had earlier sung non-stop for 65 hours, picked up the gauntlet again and sang for 130 hours, ignoring doctors' advice that the stress could damage her vocal chords.

"Now I am known and famous," Saniya was quoted in the local media as saying.

Then there are dancers like 16-year-old Aditi Gupta who danced on a stage continuously for 85 hours recently to the beat of Bollywood hits.

"I always wanted to do something big so that I would be known by everybody," she said.

Sociologist Neelam Hingorani says many of the parents of Indore's record-breaking teens are pushing their children.

"Sometimes parents are pushing their children, especially those who want to live their unfulfilled dreams through their children," she says.

She is not far off the mark - Aditi Gupta's mother says her daughter's performance meant a lot to her as it has fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming a famous dancer.

'No value'

Event manager Sunil Jain says the record-breaking mania helps local talent scout agencies to raise money through such acts.

Aakansha Jachak
Aakansha Jachak sang non-stop for 61 hours in a short-lived record

He says these feats are usually performed in well-attended public functions sponsored by local businesses, and often by community leaders.

A local Hindi teacher, Rajeev Sharma, says the local media is also fuelling this trend. He also finds most of these achievements to get into record books of "no value to the society".

"What is this whole business of getting into a book which is known for including feats like growing the longest moustache?" he asks.

But this is not deterring the youngsters of Indore from trying to break records.

Nine-year old Simran Bharti, for example, has concluded her non-stop dance performance to the tunes of 61 Hindi chart-busters.

And a high school student is planning to do a 91-hour marathon dance to out-perform Aditi Gupta.




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