Rakhi Ka Swayamvar is starting on NDTV Imagine on Monday night.
So far we’ve only seen the promos where Rakhi Sawant — trying hard to look demure and failing spectacularly — does her best to convince us that she’s genuinely looking for a jeevan saathi. I’m sure she is — but along the way, if she gets to play the starring role in a primetime television show, I don’t quite see her shrinking delicately at the prospect.
As for the men who have apparently applied in the thousands, could it be that they are smitten by Rakhi and nurse this burning desire to marry her? Or could it be that they are smitten by the idea of being on national television and have this burning desire to make it in the world of glamour and showbiz?
Many years ago, Fox TV, the fountainhead of America’s most tasteful productions, ran something called Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire where 50 odd women competed to marry a man called Rick Something who was only ever shown in silhouette.
It was telecast on Star World here and if I remember right, this shadowy silhouette not only asked the women various idiotic questions (to make sure that their ideas matched his, after all, this was a question of his entire life, wasn’t it), he also viewed (and no doubt reviewed) their physical assets as they paraded in front of him in different outfits (including a swimwear round).
To say that Fox outdid itself in terms of trash-as-entertainment would be the understatement of the decade. Unsurprisingly, the aftermath of the show was equally trashy — Rick Something turned out to be a fake (he wasn’t a multi-millionaire at all), his former girlfriend accused him of violence, the marriage lasted the duration of the syrupy wedding ceremony on TV (the couple shared separate rooms during the honeymoon and separated for good immediately afterwards).
But yes, both Mr Shady Millionaire and Ms Gold-digger got what they wanted — fame. What kind of celebrities they became is another matter, but that’s irrelevant. The important thing is that they were no longer either anonymous or ordinary.
I’m not suggesting that Rakhi Ka Swayamvar will be like Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire? Rakhi is certainly not a shadowy silhouette (sometimes I wish she were though), and I’m sure the show will have a full desi flavour. But at the heart of it, the idea is as bizarre and cringe-making. Allegedly, the show is about someone looking for a life partner; in actual fact, it’s about a bunch of people’s driving need for fame. Even the descriptions ‘finalist in Rakhi’s swayamvar’ or ‘rejected suitor on Rakhi’s show’ will do quite nicely as an identity tag, thank you.
I watched 10 Ka Dum on Sony the other night and I have come to the conclusion that Salman Khan is completely mad. He’s crazy. But boy, is he entertaining!
He keeps the show buzzing with so much energy, Sony could probably generate enough electricity to power the entire set. In the first season, he appeared more restrained and actually came across as rather endearing, unlike his bad boy image. But in the second season, he just comes across as mad.
One of episodes I saw featured girlfriend Katrina Kaif and Neil Nitin Mukesh (who came to the show to promote their new film, New York). Katrina had clearly under-dressed for the show (she was in jeans and T shirt), plus she had this long-suffering why-do-I-have-to-be-here-and-listen-to-this-rubbish kind of look on her face all through. There were a few tight smiles, but on the whole, she didn’t look like she was have a good time at all.
Quite unlike the viewers!