Cashing in on emotions

Aspirations

Cashing in on emotions

Paid for : ‘Shaadi 3 Crore Ki’ made Inderpal and  Jasmeet’s dream wedding  come true.

Indian reality television has always something new or rather quirky to offer. First came these musical talent hunt shows where the contestants crooned and the judges did the nitpicking. Later, reality TV was presented in a whole new avatar with shows like Bigg Boss or people like Rakhi Sawant — on one show, she was a lovelorn woman looking for Mr Right, while on another, she played an agony aunt and delivered justice to the common man. But now, television is ready to give you real characters with real emotions.

Be ready to experience Imagine’s latest reality show — Shaadi 3 Crore Ki — where two families are given a shared budget of a whopping Rs 3 crore to organise a lavish wedding. For the average Indian middle class family, this is what dreams are made of. Or, are they?

The show focusses on the lucky couple — Inderpal Singh Sehgal and Jasmeet Kaur Gaba — who have the opportunity to make their dream wedding a reality. This, the producers are claiming, is the first televised wedding in a middle class Indian family. But isn’t getting married on television a mere tamasha? How does one get married when a dozen cameras are pointed towards you, capturing your every move, every emotion? Ask Inderpal Singh Sehgal about it and he is quick to respond — “Ever since I saw Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayega last year, I dreamt of a similar extravagant wedding. I wanted to be a celebrity and I must admit that the show and the televised wedding is making me feel like one.” Interestingly, the whole idea of coming on television has become aspirational for the common man. So much for the wedding being a private affair!

But, on the other hand, Sehgal’s aspirations are justified. Why wouldn’t he want to have a wedding worth Rs 3 crore? His family was initially planning on spending around Rs 10 lakh for his wedding but after they won the Shaadi 3 Crore Ki contest, Inderpal knew he could now have the wedding he always wanted. The result? A buffet of 25-30 items metamorphosed into a lavish spread of 250 items. The wedding card is now being made at a staggering price tag of Rs 5,000 each while the bride would be wearing no less than 25 jewellery pieces on her wedding day.

And if you thought that Shaadi 3 Crore Ki is the only wedding related show on television, think again. The Swayamvar series will be back soon with Ratan Ka Rishta (of Agle Janam Mohe Bitiya Hi Kijo fame). She is all set to get married on television. But, why does she want to get married on television? Isn’t she a celebrity in her own right? Why would she need such a show for publicity? Ask Ratan and she replies, “Before I started working in the television industry, I used to love watching shows related to Indian weddings. Somewhere, deep down my heart, I feel that there was a secret desire to get married on television!”

Imagine seems to be a hotbed for these wedding extravaganzas. Have they run out of ideas for other reality shows? Or, is it that Indian marriages are too lucrative to be ignored by production houses and entertainment channels? Explains Nikhil Madhok, “I agree that at one level, Shaadi 3 Crore Ki is voyeuristic and lets viewers witness an extremely opulent wedding where each function and ritual is larger than life. On another level, it gets viewers thinking about how they would have spent the money if they had received it. There is a universal connect and an inherent stickiness in the concept and so it will be really entertaining and fun.”

Madhok and Imagine are not alone. There are other broadcasters who also believe in cashing in on the trend. NDTV Good Times already covered extravagant or rather ostentatious weddings and now it has another show on air that gives Indian brides the perfect makeover — Band Baaja Bride.

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