Home >Mint-lounge >Features >When Chetan Bhagat plays love guru

Everyone and his mother is on TV these days, so why should author Chetan Bhagat miss out? While we understand that need, what is mind-boggling is why Bhagat would choose Nach Baliye 7, a dance show which promises to be “too much", as his TV-judge debut. Could he not have waited for, say, a game show where people make pots of money, “locking" an answer from multiple choices (oops, sorry, Amitabh Bachchan has cornered that market) or maybe a chat show where we could get all the gossip from the publishing world (uh-ho, is Karan Johar cornering that market too?).

That between the three judges, two (Preity Zinta and Bhagat) will concentrate on the chemistry and love life of contestants and not so much their dance skills, shows where this show is headed. Nach Baliye 7, it seems, will concentrate less on dance and get its couple contestants to cook, fight fire, literally, discuss their love stories in public, bitch about each other and generally try to be part of a reality show that aims at being a mix of Bigg Boss, MasterChef, Jhalak Dhikhla Jaa and perhaps even India’s Got Talent.

Anyway, back to Bhagat. In his opening remarks, in the first episode of the show on Star Plus on Sunday, Bhagat made it clear that he would give points based on what he believes is a “true" love story—throughout, he seemed fixated on the number 8. OK, we get that Bhagat considers himself to be somewhat of a love guru, but really, how do you tell whether a couple who claims to be in love is telling the truth or not on the basis of a 2-minute dance performance, 5-minute documentary-style video and five inane questions about their love life? Sure, we know actors lie to get on to the show and forge relationships, but is there a formula that can tell us who is lying and who is not, that easily?

If yes, do not forget to share it with us, Mr Bhagat.

Chetan Bhagat
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Chetan Bhagat

At one point, Ranka took offence at Bhagat constantly denigrating his choice to marry in spite of parental opposition, Upen Patel told Bhagat to get off with his views on what real love is all about, and even the show’s host actor, Karan Patel, who is heading for an arranged marriage next month with a woman he has barely met, could not resist telling Bhagat that there is no stipulated timeline that decides when a couple is really in love.

But we do wonder how much of this posturing and conflict was rehearsed.

Of course, amongst Bhagat's silliest comments were to Zinta; he possibly believed it to be a compliment. He told Zinta he had been a fan of her works since he was a child. Given that both are the same age (in all probability, Bhagat is a few years older), one really wonders if all Bhagat came to do on this show was to make multiple gaffes and be ticked off by contestants and co-judges alike.

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