Monday, January 05, 2009

'Soap' Opera

I switched on the information feeding machine(aka TV) on sunday and everywhere i could find only reality shows. I kept flipping channels and finally got tired and settled down on one of the numbers. Now there is this particular show(name of the show not mentioned because i dont want folks pelting stones on my house!)in which a host(lets call him AB) goes round to folks' houses and chats with the family(with neighbours peeking in from doors and windows(aka-'the great indian bystanders')). Now here is a slight variation from normal 'Saas-bahu' serials, in that this is a 'reality' show, even though we have saas & bahu here as well. Now, AB is quite sober-looking-intelligent(read-cunning)fellow who could do really well in journalism. He asks something like-(this is for the mother-in-law),'Do you feel bad if your daughter-in-law doesnt listen to you?'. Now tell me is there a single mother-in-law in india who can keep quiet after being asked this question?. So the show goes on with these question-answers and whirling on tiresome household topics with AB going round to number of houses(after maybe he himself cant take it any more!).
If you watch this regularly(if you are a housewife or a monk yourself) you will find that AB always goes to only indian middle class houses('flats' they are called in general and 'blocks' in mumbai, and i am really curious to know how these two words got invented). I never saw him in slum areas(counting UN statistics about indian poverty, there is a good chance of going there) or even the super rich ones(this may agree with UN statistics as india is a 'poor-turned-developing country'). There may be reasons for not going there(mainly TRP, because indian-middle-class population is more than combined population of US and Europe), but if we are not showing reality, why call it a reality show?
Now, a few days back there was a contest in this show. Contest of finding a 'super-home-maker'. Here,the plan is, many indian (middle class) home-makers come togather and they take part in games and quizzes ultimately to find the super-home-maker. In the episode that i watched, there were two ladies, with napkins over their eyes so that they cant see anything and their aim was to walk 10 meters straight and then put one vessel on top of another! now, someone will ask, what on earth has this got to do with being super-home-maker? maybe they want to prove that if the super-home-maker goes blind someday, still she can do household chores? (remember Neo, the Matrix superhero, who fights even after going blind?). But fortunately, those who watch these shows dont ask such questions and those who ask questions dont watch these shows.
One alarming observation i had here was that on an average, housewives in india are thin. I dont really know why this is the case(unless AB deliberately chose thinner ones for the contest :D) and another is that when asked,'are you happy?' all of them say,'yes', but strangely, none of them really looks happy. Now if this is the reason we are quite high in the 'happiness index', then maybe we are not happy really but rather we have tailored down our expections.
Anyway, i hope no one from WHO watches this show otherwise there will be another report on malnutrition in india(because when it comes to WHO, the word "thin" translates differently depending upon the region. If its USA, "thin" translates to "fit" and in india "thin" might mean "undernourished").
One good thing about indian media is that most of the channels are not being used for political propaganda. If it were communist russia, then i am sure they could have used it so effectively!( Imagine a saas-bahu serial, there is a noble-minded-bahu and evil-bahu, the noble-minded-bahu makes her husband join communist party, the evil one makes her husband join democrats...and...well...we all know what happens ultimately). There are few channels i know that are being used for political reasons but most of the channels are currently focusing on advertising(and they are damn good at it, if you see that, beauty and health products are selling like soaps now a days!(yes that quote used to be,"selling like soaps" earlier and later on some american authors made it,"selling like pancakes". Anyway, i guess soap is more suitable, being another beauty product :D))
Anyway...the pic is a butterfly on some weed-flower :D, n yep, Happy New Year!!


chitra said...


Happy New Year to you!!!

Nice template. i liked it.

Pri said...

ahh i know u talking about 'foam sinister' :p

its a silly show but then it must be one with the most viewer audience..imagine..even YOU watch it!! hahaha!

Pri said...

lovely pic as usual btw...
keep clicking! :)

Prasad :D!! said...

same to u!
its a custom template, i modified colours suitably :D

'foam sinister' hehe :D
yea, its gud to watch everything u know...a good learning experience :D

onlyshruti said...

Hey P! This was an enjoyable post - direct dil se!
You have given the matter of reality television heaps of thought and it has all come out in a very genuine, funny and interesting way!

Prasad :D!! said...

hehe thanks!

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