Cupid strikes on TV

Cupid strikes on TV

Cupid strikes on TV

perfect match Rahul is looking for his ‘dulhaniya’ on television.

If one had to write a book titled the Metamorphosis of Matrimonials, the idiot box in India would definitely play a key role in it. Time and again it has come to the rescue of couples, jilted lovers and even bachelors and spinsters wanting to get married.

The last couple of years, the award for the best cupid cradle undoubtedly goes to the John L Baird’s invention - television. Be it shows like ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ or ‘Shubh Vivaah’ (remember the one on Sony that was hosted by Madhuri Dixit?) or the innumerable on and off screen couples, the Indian television industry has always been a good hunting ground for potential partners.

Look at the popular couples who were blessed by St Valentine while they were working in long 16-hour shifts. Gauri and Hiten Tejwani (they met while doing ‘Kutumb’), Varun Badola  and Rajeshwari Sachdev, Mihir Mishra and Manini De, Manish Goyal and Poonam Narula, Manav Gohil and Shweta Kawatra (they met while acting in ‘Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki’) Yash and Gauri Tonk. They turned from on screen to off screen couples.

As Kirti Gaekwad (married to actor Sharad Kelkar) of ‘Sinndoor Tere Naam Ka’ fame says, “For most television actors, there entire life revolves around the serial. You tend to spend long hours on the sets and many a time develop a romantic relationship with colleagues.” Shweta and Manav also agree. They say, “We knew each other for a long time before we realised we were in love.”

But all’s not lovey-dovey. There is the dark side to relationships which involves lies, deceit, aptly captured by the popular television programme ‘Emotional Atyachar’. The show acts as the protector of all good and dedicated lovers and tries to expose the issue of infidelity among couples.

Searching for your future life partner has raked in immense TRPs for channels. One of the earliest attempts made was ‘Shubh Vivaah’ hosted by bollywood actress, Madhuri Dixit, which unfortunately had to go off air within a few months as it couldn’t garner TRPs. But today, shows of similar formats are breaking TRP records. ‘Rakhi Ka Swayamvar’ is the perfect example. In what was definitely a first, Rakhi Sawant announced and almost floated a ‘tender’ for her marriage vowing to select her perfect groom from a televised show and also getting married to him. However, towards the end of the show she chickened out and ‘clarified’ that she would get engaged to the person and after an off-air courtship tie the knot. However, in what looked like a scripted ending, she selected Elesh and parted ways with him within a few months. Elesh was not to be seen anywhere thereafter.

If this was not enough, the makers of the show have come up with its second installment — ‘Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayenge’.  Television has given Rahul Mahajan, a divorcee, alleged wife-beater, drug addict without any focus on career, a chance to get married on national television. Rahul Dulhaniya Le Jayenge is nothing but that for Rahul Mahajan who can be a nightmare for any parent wanting to get their daughter married! But television has given him a chance to mend his ways and prove to the world that he can be a good human being and husband too. Hoping that makes good use of this opportunity.

Also, success of these shows is not just limited to celebrities. The recently concluded ‘Perfect Bride’ saw a group of common men searching for their brides from a group of girls, was a big hit. It had all the masala of a big fat Indian wedding – families, mother in laws, huge sets and a wedding conducted with all customs and rituals. And of course, with the blessings of Indian television! Says Rumpa, who won the contest and got married to Hitesh on national television, “I had been thinking of getting married for some time and had posted my profile on some sites. That is where the producers saw me and asked me to participate in Perfect Bride. I am glad that I did because it is a very honest show. It is a great feeling to meet my husband and get married to him with millions watching you on television.”

The medium has also given us a programmes like ‘Dare To Date’ where two completely different individuals are packed off to a romantic weekend, where they get to know each other better and decide whether they can move on from there or not. Talk about speed dating! Television has gone all out to appease cupid and seek blessings of St Valentine for anyone and everyone even remotely connected with it.

However, the television has also given us a programmes like ‘Splitsvilla’ where the objective is to tempt people and break an existing relationship. Exception proves the rule, did we hear someone say?

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