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Mother, writer and daydreamer. Also chocoholic and chick-flick lover. But mainly mommy. To two boys, at that! When not escorting my Elder One (EO) to karate class, I'm trying to get in as many cuddles as possible from my Younger One (YO). And when not doing either, I'm hard-at-work trying to maintain a steady relationship with my laptop. And as for the Man I Married (MIM), well, let’s just put it this way – even though we share a bedroom, our most meaningful conversations are held over the cell-phone!

Monday, June 29, 2009

And Let The Games Begin

Move over ‘The Great Indian Laughter Challenge’. A new reality, comedy show is here and it promises to be funnily dramatic and dramatically funny…"Rakhi ka Swayamvar."

And so it started. Rakhi’s search for her soul mate. On national TV.

With picturesque backdrops (a palace in Udaipur, no less!), filmi songs as well as shaadi ke sangeet making up the background score, costumes straight out of a Bollywood wedding movie, oh and not to mention the Bollywoodish dialogues, the show promises to be, what else, but entertaining.

Rakhi had clearly practiced ‘giving those shy ones’ in front of the mirror, because she had the shy-Indian-bride-to-be look down pat. The intro between her and host Ram Kapoor was so obviously scripted, that it made for absolute uneasy listening.

Each of the hopefuls (dressed either in satin shirts with contrasting suits or heavily embroidered sherwanis/kurtas) made their entrance via a limousine or horse-drawn carriage, with the title track of “Om Shanti Om” playing in the background. Each worthy swaggered up to ‘Rakhiji’ urf ‘Ma’am’ and handed over a gift with a flourish; whether a kangan from ‘aapke honewali saas’ or an intricate symbol denoting the bonds of lasting relationships or a huge pink teddy bear or painted portraits of the lead heroine in this scripted fairy-tale.

The guys took my breath away, but not in a good way! They were all court jesters trying to be princes so that they could aim for the princess’ heart. It made for painful viewing. What weren’t these guys willing to do?!? Dance like an animal, roll their eyes and make snide comments about each other, run each other down in front of the garishly made-up prize, and all in the name of winning the said prize’s hand in shaadi. And they call women catty and bitchy?

But horror, aghastment and absolute entertainment value aside, why do the producers expect this show to do well? Simple…because cynical as we are, we are still romantics at heart.

Fed on tales of happily-ever afters and princesses garlanding a handsome prince from amongst a sabhaghar full of hopefuls, a certain ideal of love-choice-marigolds-and-gold is encoded into our very dreamy, desi DNA.

Remember the success of ‘Hum Aaapke Hain Koun?’, also known as ‘Two Weddings, a Funeral and Fourteen Songs’? The garish wedding finery, the shaadi ke rasme, the chup-chup ke pyar karma and the ‘maine aapko apni jeevan saathi maan liya’ type dialogues...oh! we were flabbergasted and begging for more…and Bollywood was only too happy to oblige. Wedding extravaganza after extravaganza followed, each Bollywood shaadi more elaborate than the last. Whether it was the triple shaadi in ‘Hum Saath Saath Hain’ or the runaway bride act in ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’ or the second-time happy in ‘Kuch Kuch Hota Hain’, we did lap them up.

Then, take a look at our TV serials. There’s an average of a wedding a fortnight per story. That’s a lot of haldi, chandan and kumkum, isn’t it? No wonder the wedding industry is thriving and flourishing in our country. Whether real or reel, weddings provide mucho moolah for all the other businesses associated with it, such as the floral, jewellery and bridal wear industries.

But back to our dear Rakhiji? Will she find the man of her dreams in this badly-scripted pot-boiler? Only a true-blue romance-junkie and wedding addict can hope so.

Meanwhile, I think I’ll place my bets on the Canadian guy


Aparna said...

I can't believe they actually found some men to participate in the show.What were they thinking? At times I feel this is just a con and at the end of the show, she will walk out with a lot of money and no man. And the men will end up with some 2 bit part in another reality show.

richajn said...

haha... i guess this is one of those times when not being able to watch TV is a blessing in disguise!

SD said...

oh God! It was such a laugh riot, but nauseatingly so. The Indian television industry really does find new lows to hit. I always associated NDTV with Pronnoy Roy, and I really liked him, now I don't know what to think!

Monika said...

Oh I missed it yesterday :(

But is she really going to marry one of these guys?

Mystic Margarita said...

I tend to agree with Aparna. These are most likely all staged and scripted. Brings to mind the Bachelor and Bachelorette shows here. These reality shows are probably the most unreal shows on television! :p

AnjuGandhi said...

Hi, came via IHM to ur blog
talk about Raakhi ka ------/. its just hillarious.
I just could not help and stop laughing. seeing raakhi giving all those coy looks, smiles behind the hands. and my God what make up and what jewellery ( I just fell for her earings. so very pretty)
and all those clowns standing in line for raakhi
the whole thing is so scripted.
I wonder how the parents of the so called suiters will be feeling.
although i laughed a lot in the beginning, towards the end it became very "Pakau"
and I am confued whether i want to follow this program or not.
lets see how it progresses
one thing sure this program has definetly generated lots of speculations, expectations and curiosity. i am sure the TRP for the first episode was the highest and that was what the producers wanted.

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

@ Aparna: I know! And these were the best of the lot? I can only imagine what the remaining thousands must have been like!

@ Richa: True! But this is so good for a laugh!

@ GM: I know! I used to really admire Pronoy Roy too! In fact, I even wanted to join NDTV because of him! *Sigh* I guess it's finally about money, honey!

@ Mon: Do watch! Really good to get your happy hormones swinging!

@ Mystic: Oh undoubtedly! So obviously scripted, right down to her 'shy giggle'!

@ Anju: I so agree with everything you say. It was all so obviously got-up. Right now, this has my attention, but let's see how long that lasts! Until then, hahahahooo!!

Anjaan said...

Ive always wondered who watches these... NOw i know! *grin*

Mama - Mia said...

thank god i dont have cable TV at home is all i can say! hehe! and you must be the only one who might be watching it thinking about romance!

most are watching it for standard cheap trills that any reality show showing discomfort of others! :(

and your earlier post about the guys and their aspirations was howlarious!

Sparkling said...

You're one emerging critic I'd love to read in all newspapers and magazines alike! :D

I just saw one of the episodes y'day and I know why the channel is having a show like this! Simply b'coz NDTV Imagine needs these TRP's to survive, their last hope! :p

Doli said...

heheeh i actually watched all the episodes of this show online! i feel so funny while watching it.. though my vote goes for Manmohan, Eleesh and Luv. Hope either one of these three win hehehhe but it's an all in all comedy show for me