Away from the three biggies (Amitabh Bachchan with Kaun Banega Crorepati, Salman Khan with Bigg Boss and Akshay Kumar with MasterChef), there are also a few minor celebrities hosting TV shows. Such as Rakhi Sawant with Rakhi Ka Insaf on Imagine (I'd rather call the show something else, but never mind). Or dance choreographer Saroj Khan's show on Imagine called Nachle Ve. When Imagine had launched in 2007, it had introduced this show, in which the viewer was supposed to learn dance moves to popular Bollywood songs from none other than the woman who'd choreographed Madhuri Dixit's sizzling screen numbers. For some reason the show went off the air, but now it's back with one more minor celeb on board – choreographer Terence Lewis.
I caught a couple of episodes and from what I could make out, the show is still pretty much Saroj Khan teaching you how to dance. She coaches TV actresses and actors in the studio and you are supposed to watch and do likewise.
It is, I am sure, a most excellent idea and it's quite fascinating to watch Sarojji (everyone in Bollywood is a 'ji,' especially when they cross 30 / become super successful) moving her considerable bulk / batting her eyelashes coquettishly ("Expression is everything!" she admonishes her students, demonstrating her point by simpering bashfully "Technically you may not be perfect but if your expressions are good it doesn't matter." Right).
The only problem is that Sarojji tends to speak in slow motion (too many dance numbers filmed in slow mo?). By the time one set of instructions have been given you feel as if a veritable age has gone by. The minute the dancing starts, things perk up a bit. But the moment the next set of instructions are delivered in that slow mo style, you tend to slump again. Maybe all those viewers desirous of learning Bollywood dances would be better off just watching the actual dances again and again and practicing them again and again (on second thoughts, who on earth would want to do that?)
I also chanced upon a new-ish serial on Sony called Saas Bina Sasural. The name wasn't very encouraging — any title with both the words 'saas' and 'sasural' in it has to be avoided totally, as if it's a contagious infection. (If anyone did a poll on the most used words in Hindi serials, these two would win hands down, closely followed by 'bahu' and 'shaadi').
Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that the serial is actually a light comedy about a young man who wants to marry his girlfriend but is faced with a big problem: there are five other members of his family and all are men. Not just that, they are all highly eccentric and regard the arrival of a woman in much the same way they would regard the arrival of an unknown and dangerous creature never seen before by human beings. The girl's family is equally aghast at the idea of her being married in such a home. And so the comedy unfolds – it's a bit laboured in parts (there's a very long, allegedly funny sequence that spills over into several episodes about a thief who steals the milk from the 'bina auraton waala ghar' every morning), but still, it's sweet and different (was Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi an inspiration? Except that here the all-male family doesn't own a garage but a sari shop).
And finally. Karwa Chauth was obviously all over the place in all the serials — with bahus of every variety peering at the moon through chhanis. But did you know that the sighting of the moon that day was Breaking News on many of the news channels?