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Tilak Rishi, born in India, has been working as a career corporate executive, after doing his MBA. Passionately pursuing his hobby for writing, he also remained a regular contributor to newspapers in India and the U.S. Many true happenings and characters he came across in life, including interaction with former president Bill Clinton, inspired Paradise Lost and Found, his first novel. A family saga, it starts from Kashmir, when this paradise on earth is lost for the tourists who thronged in thousands every year to enjoy its scenic splendor. Terrorists have turned it into one of the most dangerous places in the world. The family is not only a witness to the loss of this paradise, but also to another tragedy of much bigger magnitude. In the aftermath of the partition of India, along with millions uprooted from their homes in Pakistan, the family leaves behind all that it has in Lahore. Starting from a scratch on the difficult path to progress, it still has many joyful moments when along the way it makes a difference in many a life. The survival-to-success story climaxes in California where the family finds the paradise that was lost in Kashmir.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

How Real Is Reality TV?

Reality television has the potential to tern its participants into national celebrities, at least for a short period. This is most notable in talent- search programs, which have created music stars in many countries in which these have been aired. Millions watch reality for the fun of it. Which other genre can encompass unscripted dramas, makeover sagas, celebrity exposes, talent extravaganzas and just about any kind of competition you can think of, and a few that you probably can't. Come finale and your heart starts beating faster and faster till at last, after a lot of dilly dallying, the celebrity chief guest announces the winner. For a moment your heart stops beating. The winner's name spells shock for many. How come it is not the one who was a winner throughout the contest. Judges had always put him on top and he consistently remained ahead with viewers' vote -count. Then what went wrong ? No one can give a clear answer. You have to content with the vague one – luck was with the winner. And that is when you start analyzing the reality show you really loved.

Just how real is reality TV. While it certainly varies from show to show, consider this: All of the concepts were created by someone (usually the producer), the people who participate in the show were auditioned or hired in some way, and while the footage may be real, it is unusually extremely edited. Reality shows typically don't have scripts, but there is often a shooting script or an outline that details aspects of an episode or part of the show. Ultimately, reality producers and editors have a lot of control over what happens on the show just by the sheer fact that they have put the people together in certain situations, and they are controlling what footage gets aired and what doesn't. Reality TV shows are supposedly populated by real people, not actors. But in reality, a lot of real people auditioning for these shows are out- of- work or would be actors trying to get screen time. You can go on and on with your analysis till you come to the conclusion that reality shows are in reality a hoax on reality and the winner of the last show, who shocked many, might not have been the real winner. Even many of the contestants, eliminated earlier in the show, could have lasted longer. And much of the fight amongst the judges during the show might have been fake and staged as per the invisible script to push up the ratings of the show. Even their rebuke of the participants might not have been real nor an imaginary triangular affair amongst the participants in one of the most popular shows, which was played up by the judges for the same purpose. But as long as it's interesting, no one seems to be complaining – people will keep coming back for more. Love them or hate them, reality shows are here to stay, and growing in number each year, it seems.



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