AK and his SMJ

In his better days (?)
I’m gonna turn cynic for a day—which is kinda sorta outta order for me, but oh well. I’ll admit it, I found myself totally and completely bowled over by Aamir Khan and his Satyameva Jayante. I knew the otherwise rather shaant Khan was going to take on rather iffy subjects and attack the Indian sentiment in hopes to awaken their otherwise asleep conscious. So it started with a bang and most of us went on taali maaro and seeti bajao. Yes, we knew about these burning issues, female infoeticide, dowry, domestic abuse and so on, but via SMJ, we were forced to take a deeper look at these issues at 11 AM on a Sunday morning—provided you were awake and not sleeping off a wretched hangover. But then something happened. It went stale. Here were are a few weeks later and when SMJ time comes around every week, SMJ cynics go haywire while the cheerleaders find themselves pasting last week’s tweets but not before they change the hashtag.

But did Aamir just fool us all this while? Were we just excited at the sheer novelty that it presented to us, Indians who are always on the lookout for something zara hatke. In reality, if you think about it, SMJ screamed tai tai phiss from the get go. For starters, that sorry set. How Aamir Khan, who is otherwise well known for putting together everything with perfection, manages to jut out such a dreary dull set which looks like it has depression issues, is beyond me. The set in itself asks for sympathy; can you really blame us for feeling like we really must shed tears every Sunday?

This may sound rather awful, but SMJ is not path-breaking television. Such formats are currently ongoing on a number of alternate Hindi channels. The difference? None of them have the backing of a well-known celebrity playing host or the backing of any big Indian companies. And the subjects chosen are often ones we’ve been told about repeatedly. This doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be handled but at least tell us something we don’t know.

And before you think I’m all about being a Debbie Downer, let me tell you I don’t think it’s all that bad. I like the fact Khan has taken serious panga with the local doctors and the panchayat. That was cool. And I absolutely love the music of the show—Sona Mohapatra rocks every week as does the title track which provide more inspiration on days that the show fails to do so. Oh, and I love that it's all in Hindi.

Aamir has announced a season two for SMJ and here’s hoping that he will change a few things and mix it up so we’re not as inclined to troll the show. And while he’s at it, can someone please get him a new stylist? His clothes make me cry.

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