name: that girl in pink
location: Somewhere, India
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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

Everyone has secrets.

Some are the big-turn-your-world-upside-down kind – the child I’m carrying is not my husband’s, but really his best friend’s. I’ll just have to create a fictitious aunt to attribute its grey eyes to.

There are others that are equally big and while they may not lead to a divorce court, you’d rather they stay under wraps – the name of that weight loss program I went on is not really Weight Watchers but Liposuction. But I’m finally thinner than my best friend and I’ll be damned if I ever let her find out the truth.

Then there are the itsy-bitsy ones you wouldn’t really give your life to guard - that night you got drunk and sang, that cool space pen you stole from your boss’s desk – little stupid things you don’t really care that much about.

And then there is that other category of secrets. Things you do that are well within legal and moral guidelines and yet you’d rather die than have anyone find out about them. Little indulgences that give you so much happiness, but alas, come with a warning label: DO NOT TRY THIS IN FRONT OF PEOPLE. Little things you also refer to as guilty pleasures.

Fortunately for me, I have the shroud of anonymity; so discussing them here is really like confessing at church. And like all those do-gooders who come on Oprah and spill their guts in front of millions of voyeuristic viewers, I too am doing this for the betterment of mankind. Who’s to say, maybe some other miserable soul stuck in a similar prison will find solace in my company. And if that’s not a good deed, I don’t know what is.

Let the catharsis begin.

Guilty pleasure #1. Watching Colgate Maxfresh Antakshari on Star One.

I’m not a snob. I have nothing against film based singing competition with Anu Kapoor as a host. But if you’ve ever watched this particular film based singing competition with Anu Kapoor as a host you’ll understand why I always make sure to keep the drapes drawn and volume at a minimum while I watch it.

To begin with the teams are called North ki Shaan, East ki Aan, West ki Jaan and Central ka Maan. Cringe.
Then, there’s the matter of Anu Kapoor’s co-host. To be cruder, louder, uglier and more overbearing than Mr. Kapoor is theoretically impossible. And yet the good people at Colgate Maxfresh and Star One have managed to comb the nation and find a woman who fits all the above criteria. My brain has blocked her name out (I guess the human body has its own tools of dealing with trauma), but her face and costumes are tattooed in there forever. It’s possible that her god given features are tolerable but on Colgate Maxfresh Antakshari, it would be impossible to comment. On this show, she comes dressed as a swatch card for every kind, size and colour of sequins known to man. Sometimes her outfit will combine sequins with beads, feathers, ribbon and yards of velvet. My contact lenses have been known to mysteriously jump out of my eyes and not be found until the end of the show. Like I said, I guess the human body has its own defense system.


You force yourself to tear your eyes from the hosts, only to be thoroughly confused by the participants and audience. This show evidently gets its jollies by dividing the nation into four regions and pitting them against each other. In all of this, the south has been ignored. I suspect the south Indians had too much dignity and politely asked to be excluded. Because really, the rest of the country is just out there making a complete buffoon of itself. They sing, they dance (yes dance. On a singing competition. They do choreographed dances.), the cheer, they boo, they even ask for instant replays to make sure a competing team didn’t cheat. Criiinge. One time, the zone captain went up to her team to whisper a strategy into their ears. What strategy could you possible need to win at Antakshari?!? Either you know a song starting with the letter P or you don’t!

Although I must state that Colgate Maxfresh’s take on Antakshari is very different from the pastime the rest of the country indulges in on long train journeys. As far as I remember, there is no round where you start a song with the letter P, Q or R. This version is a complicated mix of recognising songs based on which actor’s mother was in a movie and the game taboo. It honestly is beyond my comprehension, which is fine since my method of watching it includes hiding behind and mutilating any cushion that had the misfortune of being in my vicinity.

If this show is as shitty as I make it out to be (and I promise you, it is), why do I watch it?

Because I enjoy it intently. I rub my hands in glee as I wait to see what “crude female co-host” will wear this time. And she’s so crude, I can’t believe someone put her on TV. Once they even staged an inter-host fight where one of them waked off the stage! I didn’t catch that episode and will never forgive myself for missing it.

I must also confess my awe for the sheer knowledge of the contestants. Do you know a song from a movie directed by Jaikishan Ludhianvi Sehgal’s brother-in-law’s daughter? Well, they do and they deserve to be on TV just for that.

If you’re as intrigued by Colgate Maxfresh Antakshari as I am, you can catch it on Star One. It’s on all the time and I recommend it as an excellent cringing past time. Do watch it, at least my poor maimed cushion and I will know, we’re not alone in this humiliating, but oh so pleasurable, guilty pleasure.



The rest of the guilty pleasures will be put up very shortly. I have to watch TV now. A favourite show of mine is about to start.

Posted by that girl in pink  | 12:22 AM  |  28 comments