Big Boss and the Potato Lady

While watching the over-long introductory episode of the new season of Big Boss last night, I was forcibly reminded of these lines from Karl Bartos’ ‘15 Minutes of Fame:

Stars ain’t what they used to be:
They are average people like you and me.

You and me and Jaya Sawant – whose only claim to fame is that she gave birth to the baby who went on to become Rakhi Sawant, and who today finds herself rubbing shoulders with a clutch of B-list ‘celebrities’ in the Big House on the strength of that regrettable accident.

[To make matters worse, the ‘Big B’ – while on which, I didn’t realize till now that the ‘B’ stands for bullshit – suggested repeatedly that we the audience had overwhelmingly voted to chose the inmates of the Big House, a libelous accusation that deserves that we file a PIL against Bachchan and everyone else associated with the show].

First, we had ‘celebrities’ who owed their 15 minutes to having done something or other worth noting.

Then we had ‘celebrities’ who owed their 15 minutes to having done someone or other – think Paris Hilton.

Now we have ‘celebrities’ who – heck, where words fail, a recent example should suffice.

So that’s what we have come to: Potato Lady. Who, because of an aberrantly shaped spud, found herself on Letterman. And because she was on Letterman, everyone else had to have her on their show.

And lo, another ‘celebrity’ was born, and the media managed another 15 minutes of run time.

“…I thank the general public for understanding me. I am confident that I will be able to handle everyone on the show,” Jaya told Bachchan before entering the “Bigg Boss” house.

Incidentally, I’m not singling out Jaya Sawant for dumping on — that House contains as sorry a clutch of non-entities as any you’ll find. And to add insult to gratuitous injury, the people behind the show claim they are there because we want them to be.


11 thoughts on “Big Boss and the Potato Lady

  1. I agree completely with someone who pointed out the Arshad Warsi was the best host for a reality TV series like Bigg Boss. The host of the ‘subject’ TV series is not meant for someone who is perceived by many to be bigger than the show itself. I am a big fan of AB Sr., but he is going to show up once a week and half of the time he talks in the so called “shuddh” hindi, which is not suitable for this show’s format. You know that once a week or 2 passes by, the profanity language index inside the house is going to go up. I can’t understand why the host cannot talk in normal language that people can relate to.
    Arshad Warsi has the sense of humour, the spontaneity, the casualness, directed the attention towards the contestatns, which AB does not have. Shilpa Shetty had that to some extent but you can’t ask for everything. At least, she had the ‘ogle-o-meter’ running high whenever she was on TV.

  2. Atleast Sawant mam took pain of ’embryo’ing another Sawant mam.

    What about Vindoo Dara Singh? We get our 4th category: ‘celebrities’ who owed their 15 minutes to someone else having done something or other worth noting!

  3. I do not watch reality shows however I like to follow the controversies surrounding it.
    So I willingly take the task defending the choice of Jaya Sawant for BB.

    Celebrity is relative term. For example My young cousin and his friends were once infatuated with girl who happened to have won a local beauty contest ‘Miss Dombivilli’ ( I am not making this up). To people (esp the boys) in Dombivilli this girl was a Celebrity, even her family was sort of celebrity in the area. But this girl in Bombay or even in Thane would have just another nice looking girl.

    Or take the example of this blog Prem is a celebrity as compared to rest of us.
    Similarly Rakhi Sawant’s mom is a celebrity as compared to you and me. Celebrity should not be equated with achievement. Food scientist Dr Norman Borlaug who died recently has been credited for saving at least half billion lives thru his breakthrough research (no other person in history has been credited of saving so many lives). I did not know about this until read his obituary. Dr. Borlaug was hardly a celebrity as compared to Paris Hilton. You may think this is not fair. But that’s how cult of celebrity works.

    Jaya Sawant in this show b’coz show creators hope just like her daughter she will throw some tantrum that would generate some controversies . Only then a person like me who does not follow reality shows would look it up. Its all a ratings game.

    • With due respect, may I reject the example that equates me with Jaya Sawant on the basis of this blog?

      This is my personal space. Anyone has the option today of owning his or her space on the net, and using that space to talk about whatever concerns him or her.

      If what the person says in that space is interesting, people will read. If not, not. So if this blog has any readership at all, it is not because I gave birth to someone or am someone’s father or whatever, but because what I write is potentially of some interest to you.

      I’ll agree with your point that Jaya is on the show because the organizers look for some controversy, but with due respect, I’d like to dissociate myself from that particular club. Also, I am not a ‘celebrity’ — I could walk up to you tomorrow, and you wouldn’t know me from Adam. What is known about me is my byline — in other words, I am known for the work I do, not the person I am.

  4. Well, my way of getting back at them is to not watch any TV whatsoever 😛 so no recognition from me in any case. Also, I’m clearly clued out on most of the happenings on Big Boss that you talk about…but for what is mentioned on blogosphere.

    Good luck suffering through what seems to be a new low even for reality TV =/

    • Oh no worries — I have no intention of watching the thing. Too much else to do: movies to watch, books to read, friends to meet and have fun with. 🙂

  5. I couldn’t agree more.

    I guess Viacom spent all the budget on AB and was not able to muster enough credible B list celebrities. Somehow Does not make economic sense as AB is going to be present only on Firday’s and if yesterday’s introduction was any pointer he is going to be awfully boring but the inmates are daily dose. The list is definitely C or D not B.

    IMHO Arshad warsi was by far best suited for format with mischievous tone and I feel BB2 had a decent mix of entities.

    On Jaya Savant I guess she must have been a last minute replacement for Sidhu , Puneet Issar or Kaka (

  6. In the case of the potato lady, its the strange sight of real life imitating fiction (screen fiction at that). The scriptwriter of Chandni Chowk to China (easily one of the most appalling movies of all time) had contrived a Ganesha shaped aaloo which then became the subject matter of the worship of millions (ok, hundreds if you really must know).

    And, Poonam Dhillon is not a non-entity 🙂

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