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No child’s play

Most parents feel that their children conducted themselves well on the small screen.

tv Updated: Mar 07, 2010 18:45 IST

Emotional Atyachar on UTV Bindaas recently became one of the most-watched reality shows on Indian television. Before that, Sach Ka Saamna on Star Plus brought out home-truths on prime time TV in an adapted format of the International show — Moment Of Truth.

Rakhi Sawant chose a groom on the Imagine TV show (earlier NDTV Imagine), Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, and then dumped him on another show called, Pati Patni Aur Woh, on the same channel. And now, a movie called LSD — Love Sex Aur Dhokha, is expected to unleash a new form of cinema in theatres on March 19. Aspects of the film highlight the dark truth behind reality televison.

With so much action unfolding on non-fiction shows, no one really knows whether the participants’ parents feel comfortable with what their children are doing. Or do they simply comply with their kids’ demands to be on a show? Five parents speak up:

I think parents will have to learn to cope up with ideals that youngsters have.
- Yogendra Lonkar, Resha Konkar, Emotional Atyachar contestant

Contestant: Priyadarshini Singh
Show: Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega, Imagine TV
Parent: Lalli Singh (mother)

I’m proud of the way my daughter has conducted herself on the show. She didn’t act. She was just being herself. Not even for a moment, did I feel that she was going overboard with her reactions. She got angry and fought with her co-contestants, but only to stand by what she believes was right.

If you ask me whether I care for what my neighbours and relatives think, I would say I don’t care. My daughter left the show with dignity. I’m quite happy that she didn’t stick around for longer. If she did, she would have got intimate with Rahul Mahajan on national TV, after which I don’t know if a decent boy would ever marry her.

Contestant: Resha Konkar
Show: Emotional Atyachar, UTV Bindaas
Parent: Yogendra konkar (father)

With Resha, it was a sting-operation, which none of us knew about, but I am proud of the fact that she came out clean. We couldn’t do much about the spying. I think we parents will have to learn to cope up with new technology and ideals that youngsters have. If my parents had a spy cam in my time, they might have chased me too, who knows. I have often also seen a lot of abusive language being used on shows.

Some boys and girls even fight with one another physically. Ideally, they should not show such things, but then, that’s the channel’s call. It just leaves a bad aftertaste. When my wife saw Resha’s episode, she was upset. But then I explained to her, that this is how youngsters work today. We both know our daughter is young and attractive. We have to take such episodes with a pinch of salt.

Contestant: Nauman Saith
Show: Roadies 6, MTV
Parent: Irfan Saith (father)

These days, people know me as Nauman’s father. My son didn’t disappoint me when he participated in the show. In fact, I wasn’t apprehensive about him taking part in Roadies. It’s a physically challenging show and Nauman is trained in sports, he’s played cricket professionally. He was, in a way, prepared to take it on.

I have all the episodes of the show at home and whenever I put them on, I feel a sense of pride, because the show took the contestants through the worse circumstances: extreme physical challenges, emotional bonding with co-contestants and broken friendships. Not once did my son break down or resort to physical violence or verbal abuse. That assured me that he would sail through the worst situations in life. His mother and I are always going to respect his decisions, because he didn’t disappoint us by making this one.

Contestant: Siddharth Bharadwaj
Show: Splitsvilla 2, MTV
Parent: Anuradha Bharadwaj (mother)

Using abusive language and indulging in fistfights is a characteristic of the current generation. But I think my son’s generation is a lot more honest about the way they conduct themselves on and off camera. All the children who I see on reality shows are from decent families. But they still fight among themselves at local nukkads (around the neighbourhood corner). I don’t understand why there should be a fuss about them fighting and abusing on TV then?

As a parent, I have to evolve with the changing times. I can’t expect my son to behave like someone from the 16th century. He was quite well behaved on the show, even though his co-contestants were being nasty. He has returned a learned boy. He’s more independent and has given himself direction in life. And I am the happiest about that. Which parent wouldn’t be?

Contestant: Mohit Arora
Show: Dare To Date, Channel V
Parent: Kamlesh Arora (mother)

My son only wants to become a popular personality, though I don’t know what he really wants to be. His father says, that whenever he goes to our dukaan (shop), he just sits around glancing at magazines. He doesn’t bother helping his father, which wasn’t the case before he went on the show.

However, I feel that he was a very confident first-timer on screen. He took on tasks sportingly and did justice to them. He became popular for the time he was on the show; he conducted himself well and didn’t resort to any abusing or violence. But now that the show is over, he is struggling to find work. I’ve told his father that even if he wants to be an actor tomorrow, we should support him because he shouldn’t blame us for not helping him in life.