Category Archives: Television

Swayamwar

This week saw yet another reality show coming to an end.

There are reality shows created to attract family audiences. There are some that aim to pull at your heartstrings to send SMS. There are some that are mere clones of international shows.

And then there are those that are created so that you can laugh and have a good time. A show with so many morons, you are spoilt for choice. Swayamwar is that one show.

I try to catch it whenever I have the time, it’s that good. So, here’s the concept. There is one celebrity, and he/she/it is wooed by suitors, who get eliminated week after week, till the celebrity chooses her life partner. It began with Rakhi Sawant.

Are you kidding me? Rakhi Sawant and marriage are parallel lines. However, I was surprised that the channel found enough such guys, to make a reality show of. I didn’t expect much from the contestants. If you are on a show wooing to marry Rakhi, I wouldn’t expect you to be a Noble laurete. They did their bit, sang and danced for her, and ran errands and did cute things, and finally she chose this bald guy called Eelesh. This Eelesh guy had a business in Canada, and probably loads of cash. After marriage, there were reports that the dude had defrauded loans in Canada. To the shock of the entire nation, the two of them split.

Then came Rahul Mahajan. Whose claim to fame was being caught with cocaine, beating up his ex-wife, and featuring on Big Boss. I was not very surprised that there were women wanting to marry him – rich, dumb guys are a lucrative lot. Rahul Mahajan clearly loved every minute of it, his smile betraying the sheer joy he received in seeing ten girls woo him. He finally married some chick called Dimpy. A few months later, there were these totally shocking reports of Rahul beating her up and kicking her out of his house.

This time, there was Ratan. I don’t know who she is, apparently some famous TV actress. She is not hot, not even close. Dressed awkwardly and blessed with histrionic abilities of a peepal tree, she looks like the last person one would want to marry. But then, there are the suitors.

All of them from UP and Bihar, each of them looking like pedophiles or closet serial killers. They went about the motions, singing for her, and dancing for her, and digging new depths of tackiness with every episode. There is so much dumbness flying around, it is impossible to miss. Finally, she chose one of the guys, and they smiled as flowers fell from above.

I wonder who they will take next season (Oh yes, there will be another season). Barely being able to conceal my anticipation, I have made a list of eligible bachelors for the next season, and duly mentioned why their candidature deems your kind consideration.

Baba Ramdev: Firstly, there is the R factor (Rakhi, Rahul, Ratan, Ramdev) that works in his favour. There is no doubt left in anyone’s mind that Baba Ramdev is in for the big things in Indian politics. A teetotaler devoid of any bad habits, Baba Ramdev is an ideal candidate, a person deeply rooted in our rich culture. The girl marrying him is ensured of a long, fertile life, thanks to the cures Baba has for cancer, AIDS, homosexuality etc. There’s no need to cook regularly as well, as Baba has shown he prefers ‘fast’ food. The recently purchased island in Scotland is yet another clincher.

Ravinder Jadeja: In the dowry market, a cricketer is a BMW. The bride is ensured of lot of time spent together, as the groom will be busy for only a month a year (and max two months, if the team qualifies for the Champions’ League). He has shown he has a keen head over his shoulders, as the bargaining for higher pay episode showed. Firmly committed and grounded, Jadeja is not the kind to run away from responsibilities. He never runs. Not even when there are three fucking runs needed when India is chasing Australia.

Rahul Gandhi: A few weeks back, just while Manmohan Singh convinced the nation through a press interview that he was not a lameduck PM, Digvijay Singh announced that Rahul is ready to become the PM. If being a cricketer is a BMW in the marriage market, being a Gandhi family son is Ravana’s Pushpa Vimana itself. Impeccably dressed in white, Rahul is no stranger to the camera. He is on the TV everyday, entering homes of the poor, wiping their tears and hugging them – a reality show producer’s wet dream. It could also be the perfect platform for the 2014 Prime Ministerial candidature, and the Congress party could sponsor the show, changing their election symbol – to make it a hand, with mehendi applied to it.


Santhakumaran Psychopanth:
Our own Sreesanth needs a homely girl from God’s own country. He needs someone to tell him to relax, someone to tell him that sledging at the batsman, even if he is from Bangladesh, could result in 24 runs an over. He needs a calming influence so that he doesn’t blow away matches with his weird antics. As a person, he is first rate, albeit a little over-enthusiastic. But that can be controlled, as there have been instances when players got irritated with him, slapped him, and then called him their brother the next week. Nothing serious.


Mukesh Khanna
: Way back in 1989, a 27 year old Mukesh Khanna stormed into the lives of Indians as the 137 year old Bheeshm Pitamah. While in the serial Bheeshm swore to the heavens never to marry, Mukesh Khanna, known to be an actor who took his roles seriously, did not marry in real life. It would be the ultimate scoop if the channel could get Bheeshm himself to a Swayamwar. They could get him to dress up in his Bheeshm attire as well, for that added effect. Here, one must not forget that Khanna is more than just Bheeshm – he is Shaktimaan. India’s first superhero, and the world’s first Superhero with a paunch. As Shaktimaan, Khanna protected the nation from missiles, evil emperors, and natural disasters every Saturday at 11 AM. Surely the man needs to settle down with a homely wife, it’s about time.

Lalit Modi: Lalit Modi is a total dude. He floated the IPL singlehandedly, earned billions, and when caught, flew to another country, and sent a 10,000 page reply that was carried in four huge cartons. From there, he formed the Sri Lankan Premier League, forcing the BCCI to piss in its pants, and ban the tournament from taking place. Modi guarantees a life of extravagance, and his love for fast cars and exotic ties makes him a valuable candidate. But more than everything, if he is signed for the show, he could do the organizing himself. Get each suitor sponsored by a corporate houses, and introduce Karbonn Kamaal Catch and DLF Maximums in the show.


Kamaal R. Khan:
(Link to video) Having nothing else to say, I rest my case.

MTV Rowdies

This week saw another season of Roadies come to an end. I thought people had gotten tired of the show by now, but I had underestimated the tolerance to bullshit that we Indians have. Year after year, Roadies has come up with new concepts. Hell Down Under, Seven Sins, Hell in Africa, and what not. I am waiting for the 10th season when they’ll call it Roadies Dashavatar and call Kamal Hasan as a judge. Kamal Hasan of course, will use prosthetic make up and look like Raghu, Rajeev, Ranvijay, and three of the contestants – two boys and a girl.

And people will still watch it.

Over the years, Roadies has become a phenomenon among the youth of the country. Raghu is no idiot. A pass out from IIM Ahmedabad, Raghu has packaged and marketed the most fashionable item to the youth of the country – coolness.

The youth of India are as such a confused lot. We are confused about whether we are proud or ashamed of our country. We are as confused about our future as about our past, confused about the wide vista of options that liberalisation has laid down in front of us. For such a generation, anything that sets standards of coolness is immediately lapped up. After all, nothing is cooler than cool. And this is where Roadies comes into the picture.

The contestants on the show, are a disillusioned lot. The constant references to the entire country watching the show, and dying to be a part of it, is something I find laughable. I have found this with other shows as well. There are shows called ‘Indian’ Idol and ‘Voice of India’ that do not have auditions in the South of India. Which is understandable, considering they are not a part of your target audience. But stop saying things like the ‘entire country’ and crap. You think the college going Mallu gives a fuck about Roadies when he can ask his friend to hide in a cupboard to shoot steamy MMS with his girlfriend? He doesn’t.

I remember watching a few parts of the first season on the TV and there was nothing special about it. It was just a show about a group of guys on a Karizma who seemed to be running around as if the sky was falling on their heads. Over the years, Roadies grew more and more popular, and very soon became the coolest thing on television.

It’s not that I have a complaint against the show (apart from the fact that it is a brain-dead), but the fact that once there is a Roadies show, there is nothing else on MTV for the following month. There will be reruns, and reunion shows, and chat shows, and remembrance shows, and what not.

But without doubt, I have to admit I watch the auditions when I can. I feel like Rajat Kapoor in Bheja Fry, but it is an enjoyable indulgence for me. Over the years, idiots of different sizes, shapes, and ages have landed up at the auditions and gotten spanked. The auditions have been given the feel of a NASA mission, or like a viva-voce to marry Osama’s daughter. I have had friends who have asked me to fill their Roadies forms. When I have had discussions with people, I have been told, “Saale, hum pe itna chilla raha hai. Jaake Roadies ke auditions deke dikha, phir maanenge ki dum hai.” I think he meant dumb.

Roadies auditions are considered the baap of interviews. I am sure IMS and TIME will start Roadies coaching in a few years. Youngsters around the country line up for days in advance, so they can come on the auditions. Once inside the room, they go to any extent. From dressing up as a girl, to singing and dancing, to acting like animals, just to prove that they have ‘it’.

There may be only seven people in the world who know what is the formula for Coke, but there are only two people who know what is this ‘it’ – Raghu and Ranvijay. ( I know there is Rajiv, but I am talking about individual brains).

I mean, if someone asks you to act like a monkey, and you do it, how does it show that you are tough? How does singing a song show that you are tough? And prepared? Or whatever??

All the contestants are the same. The guys are called Nikhil, or Mohit. They are all Jats who are adept in Hindi and English but choose to communicate in beep language. They look like Salman Khan and sound like him. The dialogues sound the same too: “Usne mere saath game khela. Main beep nahi hoon, maine bhi uska beep maara. Yeh game hai, aur main yahaan rehne ke liye kuchh bhi karoonga.”

The girls are from Delhi or Chandigarh, and all of them are fair and thin. All of them wear huge sunglasses and sound similar. They all talk about the others’ aukaat and izzat and beep each other whenever they open their mouth.

And then there is the stud – Raghu. After eight years, Raghu reminds of those Navketan movies that Dev Anand made till the mid-90s. Most of them had Dev Anand in them, proving that he was still young, and that he was cool. Raghu is the Dev Anand of television and Roadies is his Navketan.

Raghu is so annoying, if he was made to sit on the LOC, Pakistan would surrender and start bombing Afghanistan in frustration. The motherfucker doesn’t know when to shut up, and keeps raising his voice to make his point. Of course, his point is the point – it’s his goddamn show.

As if one bald idiot wasn’t enough, there are two of them. OK, so he has an identical twin. But what is the point of bringing him into the show? And do the two of them have to wear similar clothes and shades and talk in a similar manner? I mean, who the fuck are you? Ramu-Shamu? Seeta-Geeta?? Now they are like Gods, who waltz into the show in slow motion, and blast the contestants, lecturing them about integrity and commitment.

Though much cannot be expected from the viewers of the show, you can always make out a Roadie aspirant. They talk in the kewl language, with status updates like ‘Mohit rawx! OMG, he is so hawt’. Roadies aspirants also think that the entire world watches Roadies. I have met random people who have asked me if I thought it was right that Sonam was asked to leave the show? I have resisted the urge to bang their heads on the ground and run over it with a Karizma ZMR – Above all.

Well, sorry to break the news, morons. Watching Roadies is not going to make you cool. Watching it is not going to teach you how to clear an interview, nor is it going to make you tough in life. It is just a show where two bald pervert guys have fun at your expense. While you sing and dance and do push ups, they jack each other off under the table, laughing at morons like you, who watch it on TV, making them rich with your stupidity.