What chance does an average homemaker have to explore life beyond her family, kitchen and house? Little, one would imagine. But these three homemakers from Punjab got a rare opportunity to not only steal moments of pure fun for weeks at a stretch, but also earn wide fame and recognition through it. As leading contestants of a unique talent-based show for ‘housewives’ of Punjab, named Big Punjaban, these three women say they experienced on the show what they had long given up hopes for, and believe they are now changed persons.
Ritu Alipuria, Monika and Amarjit Kaur Mann, all mothers, have danced, sung, acted, dodged tricky questions and handled stage fear up their way to emerge as the top three finalists on the show that has been on air on Spark Punjabi for over two months. The three are still incredulous about it. “Who would have thought that we could take our hidden talent to the stage and face an audience of thousands?” says Monica, a mother of two. But she really understood her achievements’ worth when she, on Children’s Day, was invited as a chief guest to her alma mater in Phillaur following her success at the show.
Similarly, Amarjit Kaur Mann, 25 and married for four years, also graced a public function as a chief guest in her hometown, Amritsar, last week where she was introduced as an ‘inspiration to the youth’.
For Ritu Alipuria, who has been married for 27 years and is a mother of three, the newfound fame has satisfied her growing urge in her to become a public person. “To an extent, now I am. I am a fun-loving person who is considered a star at kitty parties and family gatherings. Throughout my life, kind friends have compared me to humourists and suggested I somehow entertain a large audience. Then the show happened,” says this Jalandhar resident.
Had it not been for their supportive families, the three firmly add, they wouldn’t have managed to travel frequently to Chandigarh and shoot for long hours. Expectedly, the support
didn’t come instantly.
“It was when my husband began to be flooded with questions about me that my achievement made sense to him,” shares one. The best part, however, remains the enhanced respect for their talent in activities they love. “I love to dance, and was a star performer in school and college. Though a male relative suggested I join an orchestra given my natural talent at dancing, he now speaks with extra caution in front of me,” says one of these participants without wanting to be named.
Various challenges came in the forms of rounds such as Bill Da Mamla, where they were to guess the exact price of different products; Tu Te Main tested their compatibility with their husbands, Zaraa Nach Ke Dikha and Virse Di Rani.
The three will now battle it out for the grand finale to be aired on November 29. Besides the title of Big Punjaban, the lucky homemaker will be richer by one lakh rupees awarded in cash.