So, most evenings after Sanj comes home,dinner etc done with,we cuddle up on the couch..me with a book in my hand,he with the remote in his..and Aadya just playing around..sometimes,pottering in the kitchen,bringing out pots and pans and pretending to cook..Anyway,not to digress..So Sanj channel surfing and almost every other channel has some reality show on.
I remember when so many years ago..I think 11-12 years ago,when Javed Jaffery started “Boogie-Woogie” it was a novel concept and we used to wait to watch it. That and there was “Saanp-Seedi ” with Mohan Kapoor as the host.These were the first of this new genre of TV shows..The ones with real people participating,acting spontaneously in front of the camera.Then,there was Antakshari..which was a popular show..but it deteriorated over the years.These were shows that people used to look forward to,because there was no continuity-you could start watching from any episode and enjoy it.
After Boogie-woogie,the next talent hunt show I remember watching is “Zee Cine stars ki Khoj”.My neighbour’s best friend was a contestant,and she asked us to watch it and root for him..So, we watched a couple episodes and started following it..staying up till late to watch the Grand Finale! Then SaReGaMa followed,Indian Idol,Voice of India..blah blah blah..I am not saying that these people who participate are not talented..Sure they are.. but the publicity stunts and the sob stories in each show.. that is getting too familiar.
These shows were a welcome change from the Saas-Bahu Sagas,which run interminably,but really,how much of drama and emotions can you take. Its so funny..I am sitting and typing this here,when about an hour back, I was sniffing away tears for a contestant on Zara Nachke Dikha, who was abandoned on the penalty bench by his team mates.We regular viewers get so involved in these reality shows,that we don’t know where reality ends and drama begins.No really I am not kidding..after the show ended, we ended up having a long discussion about how it was not right, who could be responsible for this decision..blah blah.. yeah we are that jobless.. And we are just two people..imagine the number of people back home,in India watching this.And surely there are millions of people..because how else can you explain the number of votes,pouring in ALL these reality shows.
Each talent search show, be it SaReGaMa or Voice of India or any others..( there are so many,I don’t remember all the names) claims to have received so many million votes. So, who is doing this? Who are these people who are voting,regular people like you and me,right? But,these people have the interest and dedication to take it one step forward and actually send in that SMS. We all have our favorites after watching a couple episodes,but do you really take the time to send out your vote,by SMS or make that call?
And speaking of talent shows, how can I not speak of the talent search for kids and the amount of pressure on the little participants. The pressure from parents, judges, viewers..the pressure to excel..is it really necessary? I remember watching one of the episodes of the children’s special SaReGaMa,where one girl,refused to perform.Her reasons being,she didn’t want her dad to fall sick,if she got eliminated. Why?Because,another girl got eliminated the previous day and her father suffered a heart attack! Its sad,but is a competition,any competition so important?? On the same show, in one of the other episodes,another participant’s father got up and challenged the verdict. He refused to believe it that his princess had not made it in the next round, based on audience voting..Why? because he claimed to have spent thousands of rupees to have people vote for her!! What kind of morals are such parents giving their kids?Aren’t they teaching them,to just win..even if by cheating?
And what about a code of conduct? Recently watched on Headlines today, how the contestants, of yet another such show,took pot shots at each other, cussed and even got into fights, pushing and shoving each other..on national television. That is surely uncalled for.So where do they draw the line? Where? Sadly, the more controversies a show has, the more popular it is..
What do you think about this new genre of reality shows and game shows thats come in? How real are they?