The pursuit of Rakhi

Rakhi Sawant-4

All right! We accept it. This blog is crazy about Rakhi Sawant and can’t help but write about her inanities and overtures ( btw, who doesn’t? ;)).With her swayamver coming to a ceremonial end, and the rejected string of suitors, packing their bags and leaving (with  their respective barats in toe), we really can’t wait to know whats up Rakhi’s bejeweled sleeve next.Apart from the humongous public response, her swayamver set a record of sorts.  It has breached all previously set records of feigned affection (and other related plastic emotions) on national television,  so much for the much –touted  “reality” of it. The way a bunch of people came together and made up for the apparent absence of rakhi’s family was indeed laughable (personally I laughed my heart out at ram’s (the muhbola bhaiyya, who stood by Rakhi through all her stupidities and was an inspirational source for half of them) portrayal. What was even more amusing was the way well educated, phoren bred grooms queued up and jostled for space to court the elusive Rakhi, leave alone the bhangra and grooming sessions for the shutterbugs. How desperate could one get??

Jokes apart, Rakhi has  given Indian television a new style of programming to play with. Who else could pull off a show like that? Rakhi has monopolized this style, which for a while will remain restricted  to herself .The TRPs (which went through the roof on the D day) stand testimony to the fact that love or it loath it, we all watch it (yes intellectuals, pseudo intellectuals n wannabes included). N boi, does it sell !

[Note: Rakhi Ka Swayamvar was watched by 15.8 Million users on D-Day. Source- aMap]

BIG.. high on cricket!

Heard the latest… ADAG, (The Reliance-Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group) – owned Big TV has tied up with sports broadcaster ESPN to launch an interactive channel ‘iCricket’ on its DTH platform. The new service from the DTH service provider will enable the subscribers to watch all sixes, fours and fall of wickets at the click of a button. Wow, sure sounds exciting…eh..?! don’t we already have that in Tata Sky..?? well, sources say that Big has primarily planned the new service to rope in more viewers for the on-going ICC Twenty 20 World Cup at England.
According to a statement from Big TV, with the help of the iCricket service, the viewers will be able to change different camera angles for watching the matches. In addition to this, the viewers can enjoy game highlights, updates, schedule and statistics. Speaking about the service, Big TV chief executive Sanjay Behl said that iCricket has been planned to offer the subscribers with the best of cricket, especially during the T20 world cup.
The new interactive service, iCricket will be available in four different languages including English, Hindi, Tamil and Telegu, informed Big TV. Along with this, Reliance Big TV has also recently added 10 new channels to its bouquet, out of which two are international channels and the rest are regional channels. Now.. Now..this is enough proof to show the proliferation that Indian Television would be facing some few months down the line…The question is..are we ready to face such an explosion..?! Time shall tell….. 🙂


circa 2015

With the explosion of DTH in india, many of the broadcasters are in a hurry to introduce international channels to desi audiences with the  latest in line being Big TV, all set to ink a deal with Fox and Warner Bros .As this trend continues Indians would be exposed to a bevy of niche channels from overseas in the times to come. While there is no dearth of options available currently, niche channels have been gaining ground fiercely over the last two years.and to my idle mind this provides food for a lot of thought ! wonder what this would mean for indian audiences 5 year hence…as more and more international channels queue up to make an Indian debut. while this is great news for the ones seeking variety, many feel it also aggravates the problem of plenty. Heres a take..fancy this…

MAY 7th, 2015    20:00 hrs

Just back from office, Amal Bhatnager wants his dope on the stock features on fox finance, and also a look at highlights of the day’s match on channel Football( yeah, we have a channel for every sport now ) while Mrs Bhatnager is clamoring for the remote to check if the oriental cuisine she was preparing is going well or not ( she is a regular viewer of the various gourmet channels, and devotes at least one hour each viewing thai chtaka, the French channel crème’ brue ley, and her favorite the Italian connection.but neither met success as Nupur, the little Ms Bhatnager wont budge and let go of the remote.She is too busy watching one of her favorites pet care channels, dog’s life, with the Chihuahua huddled in her lap ,making sympathetic noises.

Lets take the fantasy a little further…Master bhatnager, Ayaan barges in and snatches the remote from his elder sister (he is the only one in the family who gets away with this kinda audacity:) ) ,for his daily dose of jhupla, his favorite kids adventure channel 😛 (well, if you had any thoughts that gen ‘z’ kids would settle for those outdated cartoons, brush them away right here!)..Others had no option but to look on (coz somethings never change ;))

While you ponder over what more could be coming your way,I will quietly slip back to the present, where my mom is busy in an animated discussion over the sari Sonia was wearing at a rally and how she looked oh-so-graceful :), while simultaneously lapping up every word Sanjeev kapur utters on khana khazana……


A day back, while passing by the famous capitol chauraha in lucknow ( home for protests, rallies et al ) I took a min to listen to this gentleman blasting into a microphone to a handful of bemused people in his front, not knowing exactly what he was lookin at. Till I realized ..the speech was not for the people standing or the passing traffic ,it was for the shutterbugs!! Indian politicians, taking a cue from their American counterparts, have finally embraced TV full on and accepted it as a potent force in furthering their motives.

And all this for a billion watchful eyes,people ready to lap it all up. When scrutinized closely, It becomes abundantly clear that elections 2009 has been fought on two fronts…one on the grass roots and one on television…and we cant take the television bit casually.

Picture this. Six tux- clad men, sitting with a serene smile on their faces and the energy of a 100 watt bulb, ready to discuss/analyse /dissect every info that comes their way…don’t mistake it for a corporate boardroom, coz Rajdeep sardesi is chairing this meet ,in the glitzy studio of CNN IBN. Shoe throwing aside, elections 2009 have had more than its share of theatrics ,verbal duels, hate mongering, animated discussions, round the clock rallies, and a lot of audacious oratory. Be it the hate spewing varun gandhi, the recluse-turned-media savvy rahul or the ferocious mamata, we have weathered them all, and with great willingness. Its election time after all! elections 2009,the biggest reality show of the season( IPL 2 comes a close second) underway, Indian TV is flooded with polling bytes pouring in from all over the country, vying for our attention with a substantial chunk of our population sitting to devour every word.For some its serious business while for many (like my neighbourhood aunty )it is about what priyanka came wearing to the poll booth that makes for interesting tea time discussions. and amidst all this hullabaloo, one cannot help realize the drastic change which has occurred over the years because of news proliferation. Even though turnouts have remained elusive (with the bourgeoisie clearly not inclined to leave the comforts of their homes for a walk in the scorching sun to the nearest polling booth), there is no denying that there has been a steady rise in viewership of news channels, with an average family spending no less than an hour swinging between English and hindi news channels. Elections have become the biggest media extravaganza with viewers consuming more news than ever before. with each passing incident be it 9/11,26/11 attack on mumbai, the average man’s appetite for news has only risen further .The fourth phase of polling coming to an end, and channels bombarding images of celebrities/politicians/junta flashing that scarred finger at you( an obscene, offensive gesture in most parts of the world ;)), its only a few days more before the exit polls galore( another poll exercise minting a million TRPs for ever y channel worth its salt) kicks in.Whatever be the outcome, the news channel wallahs are certainly going to enjoy their ride to the bank 🙂

Excesses of reality

Such is the tragedy of the Indian tv viewer that if u too are fed-up of the reality tamasha happening on the Indian screen , believe me, you are not alone.

Reality shows started with a bang and as they were a welcome relief from the mind numbing saas -bahu serials, they became the flavor instantly. People loved the idea of watching others in real life situations and how they deal with them, enjoying their misery and happiness at the same time.

Its been found of great use , especially in India and the subcontinent where the emotional quotient is quite high. So you are sitting on a goldmine of an audience,if you make something which emotionally charges up people and gets their tear gland working over time.

Then all hell broke loose, and came the era of post-teen, youth based shows in India .at once, obscenity, brutality and self centeredness gained a whole new meaning, diametrically different from the earlier ones and the gang of bachhas ( clueless bunch of 20 somethings ) got the entire nation hooked to it.

This concept is usually explored by channels like ‘MTV‘, ‘V‘, ‘Bindass‘ etc. Currently the only form of this show is ‘Splits villa ‘ in MTV, which itself seems like a spin-off from the immensely successful ‘Roadies‘.

Though the earlier versions were still bearable ,The current Indian television screen is swarmed by content hardly fit for most audiences .So you have a makeup- disaster- gone- bad Palomi, whining away to glory on a roadies show, while a sadomasochist- of- a- chic hurls the choicest of expletives at the contestants with gr8 fluency in Dadagiri .One show which had me particularly troubled was the latest offering by a certain lady. Rakhi sawant , the actress known for her bold overtures has her “swayamver ” in the offing where she plans to “test ride” 15 men( whatever that means!!) ,with rakhi gyrating bootyliciously at them , i wonder how many of the 15 men will actually survive to put up with their uncertain future.Though the fate of the show is still to be sealed, the sensibilities of a huge section of the population have been challenged yet again .Wonder where we’d go from here. .hope we are nearing the end of the dark tunnel…

WANTED: A solution for television clutter

The online television information/content space has witnessed a lot of activity off late. with the recent launch of the new site by star, the fact that people like to collect information about television programming content over the internet has again been acknowledged and has gained even more momentum .

Though it  seems like  a commendable effort on the part of star to get in touch with its online consumer base, the financial viability of the project still seems hazy. Several thoughts randomly puzzle me, for eg. In this time and age, where a market like India is crowded with  almost 5-6 prime GECs, and the concept of consumer loyalty fast diminishing ,why would viewers want to go to a site where there is information/content  available for just one, or say a couple of channels? Would’nt it be so much better and worth the viewer’s while if we could have a platform common to all channels where there is info available for all the shows we really want to watch ,and not tons of info bombarded on us sans reason? A lot many sites like burrp, zipazap have come to the fore ( burrp has been particularly good with its service) still a lot is left to be desired. The recent launch of real has only enhanced the clutter in the viewer’s mind, and apparently the situation would only aggravate hereafter, until something revolutionary comes across. Is there an end in sight to television clutter?? I’d certainly like to hope so …..