Suparna Sharma

Oct 3, 2010

Kya main idiot hoon? Kya aap idiot hain? Nahin. But MTV and UTV people think so. They don’t credit you and me with a single working brain cell. Apparently, we are just eyeballs with an emotional range that begins at amazement, pauses at bewilderment and culminates in delirium. That’s why they have launched shows whose IQ is sub-zero — The Chair (UTV) and Girls Night Out (MTV).

On The Chair, anchor Meiyang Chang arrives in a haveli in Gujarat, proceeds to prod locals to say “ek ladki ki awaaz sunai deti hai… is haveli main bhoot hai”.

Chang then wonders aloud what this ladki’s problem is and summons Psychic Lady. Chang, Psychic Lady and Pendulumji enter haveli.

Psychic Lady: “Awaazain aa rahi hain. Woh yahan aayi thi. Energy. Are you feeling it?” Chang: “Haan, hawa chal rahi hai”. Psychic Lady and Chang enter a room. Pendulumji rocks about and this, Chang decides, is where the chair, Kursiji, will be placed.

Three contestants arrive, are strapped to cameras, mikes, torches and sent off to find Kursiji. Aatma leads just one to Kursiji — that’s the designated Aatma Healer. Next, Aatma Healer is in Kursiji, Psychic Lady is in a studio staring at Aatma Healer on her TV screen, while Aatma is hovering about Aatma Healer, screaming and striking menacing poses simultaneously. We, of course, neither hear nor see Aatma, but are tortured by Psychic Lady and Aatma Healer’s babbling.

Psychic to Healer: “Do you feel it? Where do you feel it?”
Healer: “On my right.” Healer gasps, cries.
Psychic: “Negative emotions bahar nikal rahi hain. She’s releasing her negative emotions through you.”
Healer: “Her name is kkkkkkk… Kokila.”
Psychic: “Kokila, you are healed. You are blessed. Always be happy. Always be positive.” Healer: “I’m cold… meri body main koi aa gaya tha”.

Girls Night Out (MTV), anchored by Rannvijay, is also about bhatakti aatmas. But here, instead of Psychic Lady there’s a two-member Scientific Team which carries gizmos that spot baby bhoots on trees and shadowy entities flitting about staircases.

Scientific Team and Rannvijay walk around an abandoned cinema hall in Jaisalmer and collect scientific evidence — some sounds, some light — and declare the place haunted.

Three contestants arrive in mini-skirts and heels — apparently the mandatory attire for all bhoot-pret encounters. The girls are attached to camera lens, light bulbs, microphones and locked up inside the cinema hall. They have to first find the Book of the Dead, read it and then perform some individual tasks.

All girls, by and by, come across “something” and hear and feel stuff that makes them scream, “Oh! s**t! Oh! s**t”.
We, of course, neither see nor hear any aatma.
But, you know, you never know.
There, yes, just behind you, ya, there, ya, to your left, ya, see, see, an aatma is standing and whispering, “Iiiiidiot!”