Time for a break

Geety Sahgal

Amitabh Bachchan, the dignified figure, and Salman Khan the playful prankster, both worked hard to give their shows deftness

Last week, Amitabh Bachchan's Kaun Banega Crorepati 6 went off air, and before that it was Salman Khan's Bigg Boss. Both Bachchan and Khan worked hard to give their shows a particular edge and I watched both the shows with great interest...Crorepati was compelling not only because Bachchan is terrific at his job as a host, but the smartness and grit of the contestants who were not part of mainstream identities, touched a chord. In this season, issues like gender bias and caste were also touched upon, adding depth to the show. But, sadly the good intention was hobbled by lame praises. Though Bachchan handled it deftly with smiles, it perplexed me at the way the adulation was lavished upon him by doting women contestants. No doubt, he has a huge following and showering praise on him was expected, but when young married women went into raptures, it proved to be an embarrassment, both for the host as well as for the tele-viewers. A young married woman in her twenties even said that he looked more 'hot' now, while another said that she often dreamt of him, while her husband smiled from the sidelines. Some serious rethinking needs to be done here.

A fortnight before that, Khan bid goodbye to the viewers of Bigg Boss 6. As silly as it may sound, I watched the show with great interest. I found both the premise intriguing and the set up good. Like any other daily soap, the contestants brought attention to seemingly petty everyday conflicts by what appeared to be 'mock' shouting, conspiracies and at times, non-stop banter. What caught my imagination, though was that it was the first time that a couple who had been divorced for two years (Delnaz Irani and Rajev Paul) lived together in the eye of public scrutiny. In another first, participants Imam Siddiqui and Sapna Bhavnani had a face-off, and host Salman. Khan shed his macho image in films to being the fun host it was a delight to watch the transformation.

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