Swayambar is a Sanskrit word, Swayam in Sanskrit means Self and Vara means choosing or wanting. It is a practice in which a girl of marriageable age chooses a life partner amongst a list of suitors. In an epic like Ramayana in Hinduism, princess Sita chose her life partner Lord Rama out of hundreds of other eligible bachelors (prince or kings from other kingdoms) by subjecting them to take a tough test.
Recently the reality show by an item-girl (weird nomenclature, means an actress who dances on cheesy songs in movies) Rakhi Sawant brought back memories of the hundreds of years old tradition. She confidently hosted the show – subjected each of her suitors to tests, and finally chose one of them to spend her life with. I was impressed to see the audacity of a relatively new actor to sell an idea like this which has been long forgotten. She impressed me in her honesty and integrity in reasoning to reject many and then finally select one.
I do not deny that the show was a bit dramatic at times – but surely not as dramatic as some other Indian soaps are (i.e., the K series). I do not deny that she might have used this serial to improve her image from an item-girl to a girl dipped in Indian values – but what is wrong in that. I do not deny that nobody used to consider her seriously until this happened and this too people brushed off as a publicity gimmick – but what is wrong if she showed us that we can come up with hit serials on indigenous ideas instead of always copying what exists.
She impressed me by bringing forward something we had not thought of. You may agree or may not agree, but you simply cannot ignore.
Just now I saw a news clipping on Rahul Mahajan, the son of the late Pramod Mahajan, a well respected politician going to kick off a similar concept. I know I was impressed with Rakhi, but somehow Rahul embarrasses me. I foresee that we will now start making movies / serials / shows on this same concept until the concept rots and begs to be forsaken. People out there will keep showcasing dummies to exploit this idea as much as they can until somebody like Rakhi breaks the chain and brings something new to the platter. However, I will be keen to change my views on this.