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Useless TV trivia will win you money

tv Updated: Jul 17, 2010 00:54 IST
Poonam Saxena
Poonam Saxena
Hindustan Times
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In the final episode of the dance show Zara Nachke Dikha (Star Plus), we were shown clips from previous episodes. My vote for the single most memorable soundbyte of the show goes to Rakhi Sawant's statement (delivered in a befitting tragedy queen manner) that if her confidence was continually dented in this fashion (presumably by adverse comments), "main toh coma mein ja sakti hoon." (I can go into a coma). Rakhi in a coma? Er.

Since Zara Nachke Dikha was a girls versus boys (‘Masakalli' girls versus the ‘Mast Kalandar' boys) contest, there was a great deal of ‘we are better than the girls' and ‘we are better than the boys' kind of banter. The hosts (Mantra and Jennifer, not the best hosts you're likely to see on TV) did it, the two teams did it, even the celebrity guests in the final episode (cricketers Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh) did it. The judges were Shilpa Shetty, who turned up for the finale in a strange green lehnga which did double duty as a jhadoo every time she walked, Arshad Warsi in yellow-tinted glasses and dance choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant in, well, nothing very memorable.

And it is a judges' comment that gets my vote for the second most memorable soundbyte of the show. Many viewers would have noticed that during pretty much all dance performances across all channels, the dancers constantly pull the most weird faces. But apparently these are not "faces," these are "expressions." The dancers who pulled the weirdest faces received fulsome compliments from the Zara Nachke Dikha judges: "Aapke expressions bahut achche the!" And ones who didn't contort their faces were told severely, "Aapke expressions itne achche nahin the."

But as is usual in these shows, the dancing was quite amazing and I watched wide-eyed as some dancers set fire to their legs (encased in fire-proof suits, I hasten to add) and leapt about energetically; while others hung from the roof on ropes and twirled about with equal energy.

You wouldn't know but there are many advantages to watching TV shows like Zara Nachke Dikha (after you read a little further, you might consider taking detailed notes while watching such programmes). Imagine's latest quiz show – Big Money – is about how much useless TV information you can retain in your head. Contestants (always a family) have to answer questions about television shows and if all their answers are accurate, they can win up to a crore. Examples of the questions (I'm not making this up):

What is the name of the protagonist in Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo?

Why did Rahul Mahajan marry?

Which country does Elesh Parujanwala come from? (If you have no clue who this Elesh person is, you will never win even a few lakhs on this show. But look at the bright side — this means you never saw Rakhi Ka Swayamvar).

Now imagine the plight of the host of Big Money — he has to ask all these questions without even the hint of a giggle (and he has to keep the mood jolly and light-hearted). But actor Madhavan actually manages to pull this off. "What is Ben10's watch called?" he asks gaily. (Ben who?).

The family that appeared on the inaugural episode (the Mathurs from Mumbai — husband, wife and their two children) actually won ten lakh rupees — for knowing the answers to questions such as the ones listed above.

Parents, urge your children to watch TV more attentively; make sure they do their revision thoroughly ("again you've forgotten the winner of Pati Patni Aur Woh?! Very bad!").

Coaching classes, anyone?