While I am not one to keep up with the entertainment news in India, I gotta say that its a fascinating world (at least the little that I know about it)! There are dozens of Indian television channels that show varieties of different programmes that keep throngs of fans worldwide glued to the telly. Whenever I channel flip, my attention is always caught by those overly dramatic soap operas – if only just to check out what everyone’s wearing (who knew that housewives looked so festive just having dinner with the family!).
Yeah, we’ve passed the games show phase, “Kaun Banega Crorepati (Who wants to be a millionaire)” was big way before Slumdog Millionaire came about, but now its all about those reality tv show. The one that got my attention was the finale of “Rahul dulhaniya le jaayega” (Indian version of “the Bachelor”). Yeah, the US version alone was bad enough but the fact that this show has actually made it to India and has high rating is well both alarming and confusing! As I watched the run up to the programme my eyes kept popping out of the socket with all that i saw, the 16 contestants within the age range of 19-34 (most of them in their early twenties) trying to win over this “Bachelors” affection so that he could marry them? (Seriously – thats the prize?). The bachelor this year is Rahul Mahajan who is no stranger to reality tv in India after having a stint on Big Boss 2 (Indian version of “The Apprentice”) and a celebrity judge on a kids show and he’s also the son of a slain politician. But all that aside, what really got to me was this guy was ….. not attractive at all……not in looks, not in character….nothing. His previous marriage to a friend of 13 years was one with serious allegations of physical abuse ended and in divorce, he was hospitalised after an alleged cocaine overdose, that too just a month after his father’s death and did i mention that he is just not good-looking? And honeymoon plans are a bit if-y coz although Rahul has plans to go the Maldives and Ireland, it depends if the court allows him to do so as they are holding his passport as he is facing charges of using prohibited drugs.
For this finale, the remaining 3 contestants all had designer sari’s and had already gone through the pre-marital hindu rituals. The parents of all 3 girls were supportive and were encouraging Rahul to pick their daughter. Hence my confusion, most Indians are prudes and they take pride in it – my family included (till date, I cringe and blush if there is a kissing scene on tv and my parents are in the same room!). And here am I watching something that is totally contradictory to what I was raised to believe. And it was not just the RDLJ that got me in a tizzy. All that I was watching – the ads, the movie trailers, all screamed “sensuality”.
It got to a point that I couldnt watch anymore and I didnt end up watching the actual programme…..but did google to find out who won this show. Turns out, 21 year old Dimpy Ganguly from Kolkatta won the show and is now married to Rahul Mahajan. hmmm….uh…I wish the couple all the best. Btw, this is season 2 of the show, Season 1’s couple are no longer together…sigh!
Yeah, its popular belief that most of these shows are scripted but they are shocking nonetheless. Just goes to show that in the entertainment world – Scandal sells. And how.