First there were soap operas and now there are talent hunts. Result? Perpetual headache. While soap operas meant seeing scheming women perennially in a wedding saree and characters, who die and come back at their producer’s will, talent hunts almost compel you (since they are now on every channel) to follow the lives of a set of youngsters who cry at the drop of a hat, jump with joy the next moment and keep thanking the channel every second for giving them the opportunity of a lifetime.
Now there are talent hunts for almost everything under the sun – singing in movies, singing as part of a pop band, acting, dancing, fashion designing, making others laugh and also for becoming an “idol” for people who are basically “idle”.
And the worse part is that switching of your television sets is not a solution. There are people at bus stops and market places discussing the fortunes of their favourite wards more than what they will do even for their own children’s exams. And the trick is to keep an underdog contestant, who has struggled a lot in his life, till the last round. He will eventually lose but keep the audience guessing. Recently, in one of these shows a participant even confessed of having a boyfriend much to the amusement and ire of her parents. And I am yet to figure out as to what has that got to do with her talent. May be she wanted public support for marriage plans. And how can we forget the judges - not all of them though - who get filled with a false sense of honour when these contestants make them feel like God. And most of them even throw lifelines at the struggling contestants as if they are one Sultan of Brunei. At this rate I think time is not far when the heir to the Prime Minister’s chair will be decided by a talent hunt. The advantages are many. No horse-trading, no money being spent on canvassing and equal opportunity for almost everybody who aspires to be the PM. And if rural background is a criterion, who knows Laloo might just steal the show with his confident village bumpkin act on the stage.