Oprah’s Next Chapter
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Made in India
Discovery Channel, TLC, Friday - Saturday, 8 pm
Host: Oprah Winfrey
Rating : ****
American chat show host Oprah Winfrey made a short visit to India in January this year. While her mingling with Bollywood celebrities and shopping at Sabyasachi's store was talked about, part of Winfrey's agenda was also to shoot her new show Oprah's Next Chapter. The two India episodes bring Winfrey out of the confines of her studio. It aims to showcase the contrasts of life in India, from exploring the poverty-stricken slums of Mumbai to attending a star-studded party thrown for her by Parmeshwar and Adi Godrej, one of the episodes explores the quintessential Mumbai. Through this show, Oprah also tries to understand the basics of arranged marriages and joint families in India. She meets the widows of Vrindavan, dines with Jaipur royalty and talks about spirituality with Deepak Chopra.
Gregory David Roberts, author of Shantaram, guides Winfrey through Mumbai's slums. The show also features the who's who of Bollywood — the Bachchans, A R Rahman, Anil Kapoor — who attended the high profile party hosted by the Godrej couple. Winfrey is also shown meeting Aaradhya Bachchan, although the cameraman keeps the lens away from the baby. She then travels to Jaipur, where she is shown around by Chopra and welcomed by Princess Diya, Kunwar Narendra Singh and Padmini Devi at Chandra Mahal.
The series is full of touching moments. The segment where she visits the Hegdes at their tiny South Mumbai home is heartwrenching. At their home, she is welcomed with rose petals, after which she meets the three daughters. The family of five explain how they live in such a small home, using community bathrooms and when the father talks about his dream for his children, he breaks down; a scene that's sure to bring tears to your eyes. However, this is no Slumdog Millionaire. Happy moments too find their space on the show. One such moment is when Winfrey is trying out a crimson-pink sari. She looks at the mirror and admires herself. "I have a sari body," she says with a laugh. Also, Rahman talks about his views on marriage and traditions. Winfrey makes a great effort to live the Indian life and that's what makes the show endearing.