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Choosing a life partner on television

July 17, 2009

rakhiThere is this reality show on television called Raakhi ka Swayamvar, where a Bollywood starlet (Rakhi Sawant) and item girl is choosing her life partner out of 16 men that are short listed for the purpose. The show seems to be based on The Bachelor, an American reality show where a man chooses a woman out of the 25 that are short listed. Another U.S. reality show, gender reversed, is The Bachelorette which is currently running in the U.S. The American shows culminate in a serious relationship, not necessary a marriage proposal, but the star of the show does choose one out of the many before him/her after a series of dates. There have been cases where the star feels that no one is suitable and at times the selected person backs out.

Raakhi ka Swayamvar is apparently a hit, although a lot of people wonder whether Raakhi is serious about choosing her life partner on the show. I do not know the facts, although a television sting operation has revealed that she has no intention to marry any one of them. Her not marrying anyone if no one is suitable seems reasonable to me, although I am sure some people expect her to choose someone or the other to prove that the show is real. Even if she rejects them all it does not mean that the show is a fraud because this is what life is all about. There should certainly be no pressure on anyone to be with someone if they don’t want to. However if the ending has been staged as many believe, and Rakhi has never had any intention to marry any one of them, then it is a shame indeed for NDTV Imagine. They should be sued for cheating.

In any case, the show seems scripted although there is a hint of reality to certain scenes.Β  I personally find the show a rather humiliating one for the contestants, but I don’t want to go into the merits of the programme or even talk about the drama on screen. What is more interesting is the question of how one chooses one’s life partner.

How one chooses one’s life partner is critical when it comes to the success of the partnership and when I say How I do not mean love or arranged. I mean what are the qualities that one looks for in a husband or wife? Generally speaking people go about it in a very subjective way, going by their own likes and dislikes, their own needs, attitudes and feelings, and while this is important, there are also other things which are necessary in a relationship. Mutual abilities like mutual respect, mutual love and mutual compromise, regardless of the habits and lifestyle of the person.

When it comes to Raakhi, she seems to have her priorities a little mixed. She keeps repeating that she wants to be loved, very very much. Why? Because she didn’t get much love in her life. If this is really the criteria by which she wants to marry she is going to find it tough, because it is easy to pretend to love, specially for a few weeks. In any case, even if the contestants feel romantic love for her, it is only romantic love after all. Romantic love can turn into real love only with mutual respect and mutual compromise over the months and years that follow. Sure, she does talk about respect, and has kicked out one contestant for daring to question her virginity, but this does not mean that the other contestants respect her. They could be keeping quiet because they want something from her, they are being paid by the channel, or they simply want to stay on in the show for publicity. A TV show is not going to get anyone an ideal partner. Also, Rakhi’s obsession with being loved and admired seems to me very close to narcissism. I sincerely hope for her sake that this is an act and that she is not like this in real life. That a man adoring her unconditionally, whether she loves him back or not, is not the main thing that is driving her to choose her life partner.

The show may be fake, but people are watching it. However, I doubt that they are watching Rakhi as such. They are watching a show about marriage, a subject that consumes most of us Indians. There has never been such a show on Indian television before and it is not going to be the last one either. Madhuri Dixit’s reality show where she tried to get compatible couples together was a flop. This show is different as it has the excitement of contestants getting eliminated one by one. As its American predecessor proved, a show like this can generate a lot of interest if it remains genuine.

Update, 3rd August: Well, it looks like Rakhi is serious about getting married to someone on the show. She has chosen one of the contestants (Elesh Parujanwala from Toronto) and it looks like he wants to marry her too. However as of now they are only engaged, wanting time to get to know each other. I think that’s a wise move. Marrying someone after knowing the person only on a tv show is a huge mistake. They need to know each other in real life. Β TV is certainly not life!

Related Reading: The chances of finding the right partner depends on when you choose
Ways to a happy relationship and a healthy marriage
Arranged marriage or a love marriage – which is better?
The downside of reality shows
Which is worse for a marriage: a physical relationship or an emotional one?
Matrimonial websites get specialised
How Women are portrayed in Bollywood

79 Comments leave one →
  1. July 17, 2009 2:22 pm

    Oh god you too.. !! I aint reading this..

    • July 17, 2009 2:27 pm

      I assure you I ain’t watching the show!! Just saw bits of it. I swear!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

      • July 17, 2009 2:30 pm

        he he he….

        giving your safai…. and doing this post also…

        ha ha ha… πŸ˜€ Nvm !!! lol..

        i read another blogger say… publicity is publicity… bad hai to kya hai…

        Raani rules… !!


  2. July 17, 2009 2:39 pm

    Tried watching the show on a friend’s insistence and found it incredibly fake and boring. Hopefully, Rakhi is not this melodramatic in real life, and of course, what can one possibly come to know about the other person under TV cameras? No, this is just meant to be timepass…

  3. July 17, 2009 2:42 pm

    i watch it… and i do it for the laugh content. Is show mein emotion hai, drama hai, dance hai, romance hai… and a couple of idiots. Total WIN!

  4. July 17, 2009 2:49 pm

    its not that noone desirable for her, its the other way around πŸ˜€

  5. kanagu permalink
    July 17, 2009 2:49 pm

    I never liked reality shows as most of the times they were fake… this show not even generated a curiousity in me to see it…
    and you have said it very clearly Nita.. what requires for a long happy marriage life πŸ™‚

  6. ruSh.Me permalink
    July 17, 2009 2:58 pm

    I saw the episode yesterday for the first time and could not help wondering on the drama that ensued.. I feel, she is not going to marry any one, it’s more like a publicity gimmick both on the part of Rakhi and NDTV Imagine…

    The guys featuring I assume, have nothing much better to do; Neither the guys nor Rakhi herself, seem genuinely interested in getting married or the show itself.. In last episode, Rakhi and one guy were talking…
    “Hum log 3 dates par gaye, physically connect na huye ho but mentally ek ho gaye…”

    I found it really funny, that how mere 3 dates could strengthen a relationship even more without physical intimacy…

    In the next episode, they would be featuring the moms of the guys… That should be a must-watch-episode…

    I used to watch this hilarious dating show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila… Fortunately for her, she is a bi-sexual, so she had the option to date 16 lesbian girls and 16 straight boys and then choosing either one.. In the end she chose a boy(which I had an instinct she would..)

    And it seems Kiss and Rakhi have a bond for the life-time… Kontroversy on Kiss..

  7. July 17, 2009 3:07 pm

    hey nita.. not u plz 😦
    2 b frank, evn i watch it in bits nd pieces sumtimes, just 2 hav a gud laugh πŸ™‚

  8. July 17, 2009 3:37 pm

    I am quite ashamed to say that I watch it – I hardly watch TV – but I watch this inane mindless reality show.
    And more out of pure curiosity- to be honest, to know how someone could select a ‘husband’ on television. As you say, clearly, she has her priorities mixed. Someone who adores her based on what they have seen of her on screen – is just not the basis of a good marriage.. And if we think of it – how many sensible people will even go on such a show.. It is more than likely that everybody on the show has their own agenda. It is more than likely to be a gimmick, which will allow Rakhi to wriggle out of marrying one of the contestants..

  9. July 17, 2009 3:53 pm

    Hitchwriter, what to do! But I have to watch it today to see who is kicked out! πŸ˜›

    apu, much of the previous shows were boring and I could barely watch 10 mins of them! But yesterday’s wasn’t too bad. As you said, fake or not, it’s entertaining.

    Sajesh, Tonigh I’m I watching it to see which idiot is kicked out! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

    Dinu, me too thinking that. I wonder what they really think of her!!

    kanagu, I am not fond of reality shows either, or in fact television, but the this whole man-woman thing is fascinating., I think that kiss thing is staged. You know the history with rakhi when she was forcibly kissed by someone and she hated it and now someone on the show is doing it, again and again! Definitely staged! And it’s impossible that these people think they know each other after a few dates! A gimmick, which is going to benefit everyone. Even Rakhi is getting a good chance to tell the world how “pure” she is.

    Vipul, yeah me too! πŸ˜€ Specially from now on. Want to see the end.

    Smitha, the process is a fairly humiliating one. In real life too one can get rejected, but that’s private. Rakhi actually tells one guy how “thanda” he is!! Another one she tells he is not worthy of marrying any woman! haha. Its funny. If these guys take all this seriously they are going to have a serious problem in their real life relationships!

  10. July 17, 2009 4:24 pm


    All these format shows – for which copyright fees must be paid to the show format’s originator – make me wonder if there is no creativity left in Indian media.

    And if one must really in-license a format, a more appropriate one for India – whose reputation as an IT and BPO company is almost a stereotype – would be “Beauty and the Geek”. I watched the 1st US season of this show and found it hilarious. It exaggerates stereotypes of course, but more often than not you discover how people cannot distinguish between themselves and the stereotype they seem to be fulfilling.

    Shefaly, true, the fact that the producers steal with impunity is a shame. In India no one bats an eyelid. I haven’t seen this highlighted in the media anywhere, that the show is stolen. – Nita

  11. vasudev permalink
    July 17, 2009 4:25 pm

    rakhi appeared apathetic as the suitors walked on ‘supposedly’ hot embers (though none appeared to feel burnt walking on the so-called hot coal…low watt electric bulbs?)

    it was a blundersome mistake asking rakhi whether she was a virgin (but a suitor has a right to ask however much the knowledge is in the public domain). rakhi must have felt the guy was making an open joke!

    vasudev, I guess it can be asked in private, but to do so publicly is rather stupid! From the point of view of survival on the show! And even I wasn’t sure about the hot coals thing, not everyone can do it, but they all did it. Wierd. – Nita

  12. July 17, 2009 5:49 pm

    Oh my god Nita are you a mind reader? I just saw this show in you tube last night and was thinking about writing about it and here you are! I don’t have to write now…you did a great job of it.

    Did you see the last episode where she meets the moms of the guys and they all treat her like she is already their bahu and she has the pallu on her head and calls them all mummyji and all that nonsesne!!!!

    Shilpa, I saw bits of that, and there was one mummy who wants Rakhi to put the ghunghat on her head and cook and stuff. Hilarious!! This is certainly a comedy show. – Nita

  13. Vinod permalink
    July 17, 2009 5:59 pm

    God help those who take away any life lessons from this show.

  14. rags permalink
    July 17, 2009 6:22 pm

    Honestly, people who want to participate in this show should be locked up in a mad house.

  15. rags permalink
    July 17, 2009 6:24 pm

    But then again, that might actually be construed as cruelty to other saner inhabitants.

  16. July 17, 2009 7:41 pm

    I never understand these reality shows either…

    But I can imagine such shows must be quite a hit in tier-2,3 cities since there is a huge attraction for both, bollywood and westernization. People also see themselves in the participants’ shoes and give themselves a moment to fantasize about something that they will never be able to do.

    Apart from that, I think its a bold step to depict Indian women as choosers rather than the chosen.

    Priyank, that was what I found interesting, that a woman was choosing! Also there is no westernization here at all. All contestants except one are very traditionally Indian. She too tries to put on the Indian act! However my reading is that people are watching this show even though they hate Bollywood. That is the feedback I got from some people. Clearly there is something else they are looking for. – Nita

  17. Vinod permalink
    July 17, 2009 7:51 pm

    She rrrrrrrs the r quite a bit, doesn’t she? Is that deliberate?

    You bet! – Nita

  18. rags permalink
    July 17, 2009 8:56 pm

    Most of the guys in the video sound like dorks. Dunno which girl in her right mind would want to marry them…. But then, this is rakhi sawant after all, and no ordinary girl…

    yep, in our society not many guys would be ready to marry an item girl. – Nita.

  19. July 17, 2009 10:04 pm

    I havent watched even a single second on TV or You tube and I intend to keep it that way. I strongly dislike reality shows of any kind.

    You won’t miss much! – Nita

  20. Sundeep permalink
    July 18, 2009 1:00 am

    Aarghh!! Its raining reality shows all over. “Sach ka saamna”, “Is jungle se mujhe bachao” and yeah “Raakhi ka Swayamvar” too.

    Hats off to NDTV Imagine a cheap marketing gimmick. To me it feels like watching a C grade movie, which makes us think, what a waste of time and money, how can people make such things and top of that show it on television. But for sure the channel is minting a lot of money out of it.

    I have a couple of points to add:

    * I was discussing about “Raakhi ka Swayamvar” with one of my friend and he very genuinely said that he loves the show and also he adores all the efforts all the guys make to impress Raakhi. However, I was not very impressed with his view, may be i’m wrong.

    * My bro says, Raakhi’s screen presence is simply superb and who needs brains when you have such a good physique (trust me its my bro’s personal opinion).

    * Rashmi Bansal says, she loves the set and clothes that Raakhi wears.

    * Raakhi has to get full marks for her effort, after all she has made her own place in the industry without having a “Khan-Kapoor-Bachhan” tag.

    So, who cares when everyone is getting something out of the show. I will surely try and hope to find something out of it.

    Seriously, i think my opinion really is important, there are a lot of things that normally are hard to digest. Try watching films like “Gunda” of Mithun da.

    Nita a good post. I ask you all to have your views on “Sach ka saamna”, which at least gives me a very uncomfortable feeling while watching it.

    I agree, everything has a positive and a negative side, but consider for an instance “Sach ka saamna” is all rigged. And the “lie detector” is a hoax. So shouldn’t the channel be at least held responsible for all the questions they put up.

    Read this disclaimer on the “Sach ka saamna” of Star Plus:


    β€œThis program may contain mature subject matter advisable for viewing for viewers above 18 years only. Parental discretion is advised for children. The views, ideas, comments, opinions and statements expressed/made and/or questions asked in this program are solely of the participant(s) and host and are not meant to hurt sentiments of any person, religion, race, society, organization etc. The channel and/or STAR India Private Limited (β€œSTAR India”) do not endorse or subscribe to the contents of the program. Any decision and/or act(s) of the viewer(s) based on the contents of the program shall be entirely at his/her own discretion and free will. The channel and/or STAR India shall not be responsible and/or liable in any manner whatsoever.”

    I am shocked after reading this. Who goes through the disclaimer before watching the show. But i’m sure most of us are watching this show with their families and younger ones around and having a dinner at home. Be careful.

    Thanks for your comment Sundeep. All these shows you mentioned, they are all copies of foreign shows. Sad huh. As you said all these shows appeal to something in us and as long as they don’t get to crass, we keep watching. I have seen about 10 mins of the american version of sach ka saamna, but that kind of show is not my kind of show. I didn’t like it at all. – Nita

    • openlight permalink
      July 21, 2009 9:30 pm

      i do not think rakhi should be given full marks for her efforts but, it was the effort on the part of mika and item girl (read female body show for titillation) that led her rise to the de fact ‘item girl’ and she is still miles away from acting or talent.

      other gyrating or revealing her anatomy i do not think she can do anything else as dance has lost its character with present times what it used to be.

  21. July 18, 2009 1:51 am

    The entire show does look staged, with bad acting on the part of the contestants as well as Rakhi Sawant. I catch it sometimes, and can’t stop laughing at the ridiculousness of it all!
    Who knows if Rakhi will actually marry one of the contestants, or it’s just a sham as the article that you have cited. But it is horrifyingly entertaining! πŸ™‚

    Urvashi, yep, that’s the word, horrifiyingly entertaining! πŸ™‚ – Nita

  22. July 18, 2009 2:18 am

    I swear that I have never watched this show and will never ever watch it. Its brainless.

    Amit, It has it’s moments. But then I often watch brainless stuff in movies too and enjoy it. I guess the child in me raises its head too often! πŸ˜€ – Nita

  23. July 18, 2009 2:31 am

    The devil will haunt you at the last place where you will be planning to hide. Rakhi… the devil.
    And for Nita only 3 words, You too brutus ?!

    yayaver, you hate rakhi huh. actually she leaves me indifferent. I love the subject of this show- marriage. It’s fascinating to me! – Nita

  24. July 18, 2009 3:43 am

    It’s funny you should write this post. I too watched a couple episodes on YouTube just a few days ago (the one with the moms-in-law!!).

    You’ve got to watch some of these American reality shows to see what depths of crassness this genre can hit. You will be ready to throw up, I promise you.

    But but but. Here’s the thing — This is a show, an entertainment show. End of story. Taking this anything more seriously than that is a joke on us viewers. So, enjoy!! Cheer for the best candidate!

    It has all the masala: Rakhi, marriage, tradition, music , and moms-in-law. Aur kya chahiye?

    BTW, it did expose the typical desi mindset in some of the contestants. They have come to marry Rakhi Sawant, but they think she should leave her dancing and entertainment career after marriage! Why the heck are you here if you want a different kind of woman?

    That part reflects a sad reality. I have seen this happen all around me. Some guys want to pick up their girls in miniskirts at bars and discos and then wrap them in sarees and tradition and keep them home after marriage. How convenient. I have often wondered it this has something to do with the basic desi male desire to control….


    • rags permalink
      July 18, 2009 12:15 pm

      Most men have a desire to control. Desi or non-desi. Its just that our soceity is much more permissive of such control while women in Western countries have manged to atleast partially overcome that. Besides men in India are socially conditioned to behave that way.

      rags, true women in western countries will want equality but here in India most women tend to at least pretend to be submissive! – Nita

      • rags permalink
        July 18, 2009 12:51 pm

        Typos.Sould be society, managed… I’m making so many errors, I probably seem like a fifth grader. πŸ™‚

  25. July 18, 2009 6:44 am

    I will not say Et tu Nita, because I have been grabbing you tube clips of this show to keep me entertained. I think it kind of represents, in all its cheesy crassness some kind of a sociological kind of an experiment into the confusion that seems to be India. There is the modernity- woman in charge of her sexuality the item girl, then there is the demure “looking for a good match” tradition. It is frightening almost, not the idea that this is a reality show, but the fact how real this thing actually is- ridiculous music, over the top situations and other idiocy notwithstanding. I cringe even to admit I watch it(the educated elite in me would!) even as I can quite easily follow the whole need for a woman to present herself as “unsullied” and “naive” rather than let other people accept her for the hard driving successful person she is. The emphasis on “respect”, imagined or real slights of self same respect and the entire costume drama of the frivolity of Indian weddings makes me really wonder why things are that way.
    Anyway, maybe ( the inner educated elite is saying this) it should be seen as a good exercise in a form of desi-bred feminism.

    Please take all the above with a huge grain of salt- it was meant to be horibly funny!

  26. July 18, 2009 7:30 am

    Snigdha and Allytude, you have articulated my thoughts! I agree with you, that this show is a kind of sociological statement. You have these guys who come from traditional families and they want to make a slave and servant of a career woman. Most of them don’t say it openly but their moms come on the show and say it without feeling even a little ashamed. This is how India is. Worse, you have Rakhi accepting that she will have to do what the moms want because the sons are controlled by the moms. I remember there was one guy who told her that if (after marriage) his mom had any issue with her, he would support the mom…thank god she kicked the guy out of the show. I guess being abandoned is not her cup of tea! But this show is an indictment on our society where women, whether they are free souls or not, are expected to remain in the house, cook meals, nurse their in-laws, in other words, become chattels, cooks and nurses! The word wife in India seems to mean all this. Wife is not about partnership and love, it’s about being a glamourous servant to the family! Rakhi is a fool if she thinks she can adjust to this, it’s best she doesn’t enter into any such family.
    Allytude, I don’t even think this is feminism, because I think expecting a career woman to stay at home (one mom says Rakhi has to be home and give up her job) and give up her own life, frankly quite sickening. But its Rakhi’s fault. For inviting the stone age people on her show, and the boys are equally to blame, for daring to come on her show and having the cheek to say that they want her to “change” after marriage! Such a marriage can never work, and that is why I think this show is a fake. I can go on and on about this subject, but will stop here!

    • Vinod permalink
      July 18, 2009 11:49 am

      Nita, about sons being controlled by moms, do you think there is any merit to the idea that this is possibly so because of the poor quality of the marriage of the mom. In other words, she tries to derive maximum emotional support from her son because she does not get that from her husband. She tries to compensate for that through the son and ofcourse the society’s norms let her do that by placing the daughter-in-law under her charge.

      There are more factors ofcourse, such as retirement coverage of aged people in India. But do you think that what I’ve said above could be one of the reasons?

      • vasudev permalink
        July 18, 2009 12:38 pm

        vinod…i don’t think so!

        a woman goes through a cycle:

        just after marriage and till first delivery: husband is the love petal

        after child delivery and till children are settled: husband is only the teller (and nothing else)…children, are everything!

        children go away after marriage: the wily woman wriggles back to poor old hubby’s pension purse and acts as if he is the pie of her eye (by now the husband has learned the trick and may or may not ignore if the wife can still make a chai and if she does not nag). if husband is too poor to support the old woman rejects him and goes in search of luxury with children and keeps on nagging bahu till one day son kicks her out. then she approaches daughter and nags son-in-law till s-i-l kicks her out. then she decides her remaining pitiful life ‘can do’ with husband’s depleted purse and she returns back to nag husband (but it is rare for old husbands to kick out old wives and they tolerate for sake of completing ‘karma’…so that’s the life cycle of a woman.

      • July 18, 2009 1:34 pm

        Vinod there are two aspects to this issue as to why sons are excessively attached to their moms in Indian society. One is ofcourse the lack of closeness to her own husband, I mean the kind of emotional intimacy that makes for a good marriage. Another is that the woman who has no occupation of her own, needs to control somebody. Most men have the control in some way or the other, in their workplace, but remember that the home often becomes the woman’s workplace. Every human being man or woman, needs some amount of control in their lives to be happy, and women usually have little control in a conservative society. That is why they take it out in the home. That is why very often you find a woman very controlling in the home. it is an outlet for her. My reading is that the more suppressed the woman (whether being forced not to study, or wear certain clothes etc) the more the suppressed anger and this comes out, often against other women, because in a male dominated society it cannot be expressed always towards men. But there are ways a woman can get her back on men too.

        • vasudev permalink
          July 18, 2009 3:05 pm

          nita…i have many women colleagues who are as controlling in their office space as men. and yet i find most suffer from marriage trauma. why so?

          another point: sons need not feel affectionate towards mother because mother-father equations do not match. sons get attached to anything which can lavish unwanted attention to their every detail and can work as their advocate. mothers overfeed children, especially sons and give them excess calories and a binging habit (to be carried away towards working life so that they get all sorts of diseases). dads are more strict in this aspect. one: they may attend to son’s legitimate needs but they may not spoil their children. two: being worldly wiser, they easily smell the path of the child and correct them in more than one ways, if required. (mothers fight with fathers if fathers scold sons). third: mothers play upon the emotions of the sons. fathers do not bother to tell their sons they should pay them pension supplement.

    • vasudev permalink
      July 18, 2009 12:30 pm

      nita…firstly i don’t think those moms were serious. maybe they wanted to look ‘real’ in this reality show. maybe they were mentally reading pre-prepared scripts.

      in any case, my take is this:

      ‘aaj ki bahu kal ki ma’

      every mom is possessive (like every woman is).

      a son cannot forget his mom and dad of troublesome times. it is for the bahu to adjust. likewise every daughter also cannot forget her parents who brought her up with love and care and gave her a career. it is for the guy to adjust. where both are pulling in opposite directions trouble starts. even now people haven’t realised playing that drama successfully. such a shame!

      vasudev, I do agree that the show was staged so can’t say which was real and which was not. However, I cannot agree that women are more possessive than men. It depends on the temperament. In fact I find that men are far more possessive than women if you have to make it gender based. This is nature, this is what men are supposed to be, for the survival of the race. Men are more territorial too. Its in their genes. And ofcourse a son cannot forget his parents. I just think that the girl’s parents are equally important but the boy has to understand that which in our society they don’t. I am glad you agree here. – Nita

      • vasudev permalink
        July 18, 2009 11:25 pm

        nita…life is relative, no?

        one thing i forgot to mention:

        discipline with a ‘d’ is there where a mom is. dads do badly in that department. for an example, where there is a wife at home the son comes home early, does his homework in time, takes hid food also in time etc.

        dads may not be that efficient in running a house simply becaus they have their own world which they live even at home. maybe women (wives) get cheesed off when they see a hubby who is constantly in touch with the official world even at home.

        dunno! i need to excercise my brain a bit more. your riddle is tough!

      • vasudev permalink
        July 18, 2009 11:35 pm

        nita…btw…did you look at rakhi’s attire? is that the normal sawant bridal dress of maharashtra? looked to me like an over-exposure!

        • July 20, 2009 10:13 pm

          vasudev, a bride in Maharashtra at least in our community gets married in yellow, not red. I don’t know about Rakhi’s community though. In any case, sarees is the attire, not the designer stuff she wears. In the show Rakhi is playing to the gallery, and remember she is Bollywood.

      • Vinod permalink
        July 19, 2009 7:52 am

        Vasudev, dads and moms do what they do more because of the instituted division of roles in the society. Child nurturing and disciplining is relegated to the mom so that dad can happily focus on his career and how can men become child carers!! It’s just not manly! How many men change diapers, bathe their little kids or clean baby poop? It does happen, but only as the exception.

        • vasudev permalink
          July 19, 2009 2:20 pm

          agree 100%! playing a mom’s role is tough!

    • July 18, 2009 9:05 pm

      Nita, that is why this show scares me a little. Not the whole idea of it being so mindlessly crass. But of the fact that it sees a wedding as the culmination or achievement of a lot of things.
      Being married, while undoubtedly a very pleasant state is not something to be achieved.
      Another thing I find interesting is that people are outraged about the show not because it is so ridiculous, but because the idea of the item girl becoming devoted wife seems anathema to them. She does have to “change” to get to the blessed state of holy matrimony.

      • vasudev permalink
        July 18, 2009 9:57 pm

        true! somehow rakhi seems to have got bored of her luxurious life and now wants to settle down into crass reality(only thing…there aren’t ‘yet’ any matured suitors.) .
        maybe the whole show was her own sponsored idea?

        • vasudev permalink
          July 18, 2009 9:59 pm

          you can get an answer by looking into her background and where she would have been and doing what etc if she did not opt for the ‘show biz’. somehow my heart goes out to that petrified soul.

          • vasudev permalink
            July 18, 2009 10:00 pm

            and…i really meant an ‘e’ not an ‘u’.

      • Vinod permalink
        July 18, 2009 10:44 pm

        Allytude, your insights are awesome. Keep them coming.

  27. July 18, 2009 7:33 am

    I have never wanted to see these reality shows! There are some of them that are good which comes with singing talents etc, but even that they spoil with over actions, emotions and everything else. Even if you are acting, you need to make other people believe that you are genuine na?

    Destination Infinity

    DI, yeah I think once you know someone is watching, one’s behaviour changes. – Nita

  28. July 18, 2009 8:03 am

    I agree with you people are watching this show because it is about marriage and not because it is about Rakhi. I watched a few scenes from an episode day before yesterday in which the mothers of the contestants had featured.It all sounded so fake and staged. I am not sure how many Indian mothers would be happy to see their sons make an absolute fool of themselves for Rakhi Sawant. A woman flirting with so many men at the same time professing her love for each one of them doesn’t sound very natural. Rakhi marries or not, the channel is making money, the contestants are enjoying the limelight and the hospitality of a 5 star hotel and Rakhi is richer, it is a win win situation for everybody. As far as the audience are concerned they always have a remote in their hands and can use the power to change channels.

    Prerna, exactly. a woman flirting with so many men at the same time doesn’t seem natural at all. But as you said, it’s a win-win situation for all. – Nita

  29. July 18, 2009 9:45 am

    No way!!! Can’t even imagine watching it!! πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

    Was that a pun on Imagine? πŸ™‚ – Nita

  30. July 18, 2009 10:07 am

    i just cant bear this “actress’s” sight.
    she is too cheap and no wonder only some stupids have turned out in the show

    cheap and stupid made a great combo you think? πŸ™‚ – Nita

    • Vinod permalink
      July 18, 2009 11:51 am

      Although the show is poorly staged, I think Rakhi does a fairly decent job of putting the male chauvinism of the contestants at place.

      • vasudev permalink
        July 18, 2009 12:20 pm

        lol…yes indeed full marks to rakhi for that. i could see some of those idiotic suitors fighting and arguing amongst each other, like a pack of dogs (makes me think…is man a two legged dog?).

      • July 20, 2009 6:47 pm

        Dogs, for example, know what they want in life and just go about getting it! Unlike men!!

        Destination Infinity

        • openlight permalink
          July 21, 2009 9:37 pm

          righto, bingo on the target

  31. July 18, 2009 3:19 pm

    i have never watched this serial and will never fulfill Rakhi’s wish to earn money by exploiting the sentiments attached to a consecrated system like marriage ,at least by my side. i wonder how she is existing and then, everytime i find her with a new controversial or scandalous recipe to show that yes!…she is existing…….

    Amit, I doubt that she is exploiting anyone’s sentiments. It’s all for mutual benefit. – Nita

    • vasudev permalink
      July 18, 2009 9:54 pm

      amit 414

      do you mean to say you won’t marry at all (that you don’t believe in the validity of such an institution)?

      • July 19, 2009 1:44 pm

        sorry, you don’t get my point. i will definetly marry but not in a way, Rakhi is doing. For me marriage is not a election in which people voted for a partner, it is celebration, merger of two beings, an intimate relationship…

        • Vinod permalink
          July 21, 2009 7:32 am

          Amit, good luck with that idea of marriage.

      • July 20, 2009 6:49 pm

        High hopes πŸ˜‰

        Destination Infinity

  32. July 18, 2009 7:40 pm

    So I finally get clued-in! I was beginning to feel left out being the dark about what seems to be the hottest topic around. I won’t even get into what I have to say about this. That Rakhi woman is either extraordinarily conniving or the poor thing has no idea what she’s getting into. Enough said.


    hottest topic huh! Well, this show was in the top 5 last week according to TRPs so I guess its a much talked about show. – Nita

  33. July 19, 2009 1:11 am

    I guess a part of me wants to congratulate Rakhi Sawant on having found a way to make a fortune off of doing something she would most likely have done anyway — that is, find a mate.

    Paul, yeah, I guess one has to admire her for the success of the show! – Nita

  34. July 20, 2009 8:42 am

    Nita,fortunately or otherwise i have not watched any episode since i have been travelling for the last 6 weeks.Personally,i am very fond of RS.She is cute.I wish i could also say that i was fond of NDTV

    Rakhi cute huh! Well, I never knew there were was a Rakhi fan inside of you! πŸ˜€ – Nita

  35. July 20, 2009 6:10 pm

    ok as
    good to see “awakening” among viewers

    a sad situation right? someone can’t escape from this and again channels are nothing good too offer or alternative….
    (“India got talents” seems little good, right?
    as management and judges realized and selected some authentic group participants from India’s diverse cultures)

  36. July 20, 2009 9:26 pm

    top most TRP, most stupid concept, . I think madam Rakhi doesnt want an intelligent or brainy boy. no contests for intelligence, so very superficial
    I like lakhs hate this program and I like lakhs watch this

  37. openlight permalink
    July 21, 2009 9:45 pm

    i have seen clips / adverts but, i do not find any reason to watch. ditto for other such flashes by the channel – jungle survival and truth telling.

    that what spaks out that indians are just copy cats, if KBC is hit so will any such repackaged western programmes. India has become the perfect dumping site for such useless programmes who do not instill or give knowledge or ethics.

    I will recommend ‘Men vs Wild’ on discovery which atleast shows ways to survive and no script erading / useless act or dance stuffs. Viewers are geting fed up of such nuisance.

    I do not think that rakhi show is feminiist, metros have single moms/ single females living their own life and atleast women in metros have their own life.

    Also, rakhi show is an perfect fake show being rotated for TRP / weekly money minting and viewers watching it watch to see the lavish spread (body show by rakhi special empahsis on her enlarged breast) and how the useless drama unfolds amongst perfect fools. sensible indian male will never vouch for an item girl who is a drama in every field of life.

  38. July 22, 2009 9:30 am

    Yesterday HT had breaking news on this subject (lol) .Rakhi is not gonna marry the guy.
    She got pissed off with his family blah blah.

  39. Rachana Hanspal permalink
    July 23, 2009 2:36 pm

    ok ok ok nw plzzz end this drama. Mr. Toronto may be the winner….but the next move i guess will be that somehow their kundali will not match or any other strong excuses like tht……on which Indians believes a lot… another darma (reality!!!!! ma ma)is going to end in fiasco…Anything for publicity!!!!! LOLzzzzzzzzz

  40. July 24, 2009 3:02 pm


    One of your readers left me a comment through my blog to ask me to explain what I meant by saying “…but more often than not you discover how people cannot distinguish between themselves and the stereotype they seem to be fulfilling.”.

    I hope it is ok to leave the explanation here. For the programme, the girls were being classified as “beauty” distinct from being smart or brainy or usefully-skilled. Over the course of the series, it became clear that many girls had probably been told all their lives that they were pretty and therefore must be dumb. Some had accepted it and made life choices that seemed to reinforce that “image” of them. But when the geeks were asked to teach them skills like changing a tyre, or learning the names of capitals of countries, many of the girls excelled and some seemed genuinely surprised at discovering their hidden abilities.

    It was sad in some degree to see how some of these girls had accepted a stereotype foisted on them by society and had never actually questioned themselves or their abilities.

    Thanks for indulging me, Nita.

    You are welcome shefaly. In fact your comment reminds me of the movie Legally blonde where a pretty girl realises her hidden potential. – Nita

  41. July 28, 2009 7:53 am

    Great Post! I’ve never watched the show but thanks for telling us how it is.

    There’s one more of these on Star Plus where Mohnish Behl and and another host interview people who want to be married and basically televise all the info that one otherwise finds on a matrimonial website. Do you think these shows are somehow glamorizing the idea of an arranged marriage? Also, somehow it seems to me, somehow indicative of a very lonely culture (in India and abroad), where one needs to seek a life partner on a television show.

    Sneha, thanks. However I feel that getting married on television has more to do with money and fame and glamour than loneliness as such. Yes, I guess the tv shows do glamourize arranged marriages…and for westerners i think it may be indicative of loneliness (arranged marriages) but in India it is tradition. – Nita

  42. July 29, 2009 10:56 am

    I never watched the show,infact didn’t get a chance πŸ™‚ I just read online that a Canandian NRI is gonna marry Rakhi ,and I got a fair idea about the show and in a few minutes,i read this post..Rakhi-overloaded in my brain now……

  43. July 29, 2009 2:24 pm

    JAIPUR: A local court on Tuesday asked the police to register an FIR against six persons including item girl Rakhi Sawant, actor Ravi Kishan and a
    top official of a leading channel for allegedly stealing the concept of a marriage-based TV reality show from a private portal.

    Judicial magistrate No 27 Shilpa Sameer directed the Karni Nagar police station in the city to register an FIR against the six including Sawant for alleged breach of copyright by lifting the concept of Swayamvar from the portal of a Pink City-based ‘struggling’ writer Gaurav Tiwari.

    Besides Sawant and Kishan, the FIR is to be lodged against managing director of the TV channel, Gaurav Gandhi, the executive director of the show ‘Rakhee Ka Swayamvar’ and two others for their participation in the programme.

    In his complaint filed under section 156 (3) of the CrPC, Tiwari alleged that his concept of marriages through swayamvar was his intellectual property and copyrighted in the year 2008 itself but the TV channel had stolen the idea and concept from his portal and started the show.

    The court directed the police to register an FIR in connection with the complaint and investigate it

    loooooooooooooooooooooool πŸ™„

    • July 29, 2009 3:01 pm

      “…his concept of marriages through swayamvar was his intellectual property and copyrighted in the year 2008 itself.”

      Seriously! Could this be that the young man in question here has never heard of the Ramayan or the Mahabharat?

  44. July 30, 2009 12:41 pm

    Although I haven’t managed to see any episodes of this one, I think this is just a very smart and entertaining way for Rakhi to make money. I agree with everything you have said here and I don’t think hers is a very wise criteria of looking for a life partner… she seems to be saying some cliched lines that she hopes will impress the audience! I wish she talked a little more sense because she might be kind of a role model for many viewers!

  45. August 3, 2009 7:39 pm

    Well, latest goes that she’ll be with guy only for a predetermined period of time (couple of months). There’s a contract that has been formed with the so called ‘groom’. Her contract with the show did not state anywhere that she has to marry someone at the end of the show necessarily.


  1. Choosing a life partner on television Β« A wide angle view of India | India Updates

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