So Mr. Khan steps into Mr. Bacchhan's shoes and the result was there for everybody to see. Now I just chanced to catch "Kaun Banega Crorepati"'s inaugural episode in its third season. I stayed away from work with a bad case of gastritis. For the unenlightened, the distance between my workplace and my residence is worthy of being covered by spaceships...hence catching prime time television is a luxury I cannot afford.
Anyway, watching KBC in its new avatar...was I pleased???? You bet I was!
Now, I really don't go all gaa-gaa over the "King Khan", mind you but there indeed was the curiousity like everybody else to see whether SRK manages a disaster or as his fans would've expected, finish the job with panache. I had no expectations...good or bad.
The 4-minute intro music video was a total let down. It dawned that the mother of Indian reality show (really?) finally gives in to commercialism and loses its sophistication. Did I ever see Mr. Bacchhan jump around before he donned the anchor's role? There you go, the inevitable comparison and I swear, I tried hard to stay away from the same.
The show began and there was the same ol'-all recognisable Shahrukh Khan dimpled ear-to-ear grin. The man won the war before it began. He's a charmer...he's the Devil himself! And then poured out the words. Suddenly, "Who Mr. Bacchhan?"!!!!
The roll over contestant tried hard not to be intimidated by the host's presence while the host tried hard to seem one amongst the lesser mortals for an hour. Both failed!
The words have changed. By now you all know! Nevertheless, the all favourite "Computer-Jee" has become "Mr. Computer" or "Compaq-da" or "Compaq" followed by the equivalent of big brother in any language belonging to the "hot-seater", answers are "freezed" now and not "locked", "Devion aur Sajjano" is "Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls".
"Compaq-da" killed me though. Which computer does Mr. Khan endorse again?????
The man's command over languages besides the same over everything else is enviable. And his pronunciation (atleast I'd vouch for Bangla) is almost impeccable. One more home run!
The fact that the man is larger-than-life is not unknown to himself either. Didn't I always think of him as a megalomaniac? I did. His several attempts at hiding this "virtue" was not successful. There were the inevitable punned one-liners. What about that question to the Rama dude from Andhra Pradesh?
"In a game of carrom, what is the red disk called?" The options were King, Queen, Bishop and I forgot the fourth one. When the contestant appeared a bit dazed, SRK while he suggested him to use his "lifelines", delivered this "blink-and-you-miss" liner....."Ab King to nahi ho sakta because King sirf main hoo!" Again, what?
Mr. Khan has brought in one more slight change, which totally bowled me over. "KBC contestants do not quit. Aapko jab bhi ye game chhod ke jaana ho, aap mujhe kahe, Shahrukh main tumhe gale lagaana chahta hoo". Munnabhai anyone? And didn't that sweetheart of a movie thank Shahrukh Khan in the end credits for his "valuable inputs to the script". Hug-o-mania!
In all seriousness Shahrukh Khan has brought a sense of liveliness and many smiles to the show that to me was all about the much touted "General Knowledge", big money, big TRPs and Amitabh Bacchhan; with his tinge of humour (almost sad most of the times) and his attempts at making the people around him feel at home.
As he promises, the guy is giving the contestants more than money and cherishable moments. He is planting a genuine smile in their hearts.
And what has he done for this small-time blogger and his family? As if the spell doesn't quite suggest itself, Mr. Khan has given me a reason to catch the 7-30 fast out of Mumbai CST. The family will sure be happy to see me home much much before way beyond midnight.
"Woh Hain Na" - the man for all seasons, the dude with all the solutions!
Whoa! I seem smitten but did I mention that charming smile? Did I mention he's the Devil? Maybe I should unjoin the "I hate Shahrukh Khan" community that I am a member of on Orkut!
And the man offers to give massages on the show too. Says he's a professional masseur who acts part-time. Talk about being multi-talented!
All things bright and Biprorshee