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    Dec 2009

    Default The curious 'case' of Rakhi Sawant

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    Anything can happen on TV. An item girl can enter a reality show ‘cleanse’ her image and then find herself a husband. And now the same item girl will dispense justice on yet another reality show. Wow whoever had it so good!

    As oomph queen

    Rakhi Sawant readies herself for yet another appearance on the small screen viewers have begun to smirk, ridicule and even dismiss this latest initiative but no one has ignored her next big thing. As the drama queen (she is more known for her off screen and on screen tamasha) is once again all set to milk primetime and change her image(yes, one more attempt to whitewash herself) I try and decode the person behind the persona.

    Let’s go back a little in time to recall her debut TV appearance. She entered the Bigg Boss house to cleanse her item girl image and did she succeed! She strolled in as an item girl and walked out with a ‘pristine clean’ image. She earned so much sympathy from audiences across the globe that though she didn’t win the moolah it paved her way for other shows. Not to forget, her well-written script! Her tragic childhood, her even more disturbing adolescence, her so-called hidden love affair which was revealed for the first time on national TV, her seeking refuge in religious scriptures and even her jhatkas and matkas as she grooved to hot numbers was enough for the hungry viewer to return the next evening.

    The show wound up and Madame Sawant emerged a bigger celeb than anyone else on that show. News channels begged of her to give a quote or an opinion. She was the toast of talk shows. In fact the show meant for the classes…Koffee with Karan Johar too couldn’t resist inviting her over. After having interviewed the likes of Amitabh and family, SRK, Hrithik, Kajol, Kareena it was Rakhi who took the hot seat. Clad in a Manish Malhotra sari which she proudly showed off the item girl thanked Johar profusely for having called her on ‘such’ a show. It was on this show when she made her by-now famous statement –what nature doesn’t give, doctors give! This appearance catapulted her into the exalted league of A-listers.

    And don’t forget in this process of revamping her image not once did she forget that she had to keep her home fires burning. So she continued to do what she did best, dance in a dance reality show (Nach Baliye) with her boyfriend.
    It was now time to legitimise relationships and the lady demurely moved on to seek a groom.

    And she did this with equal aplomb. Rakhi Ka Swayamvar had the nation in a tizzy and the channel too had never seen better ratings. They had struck gold with Rakhi and didn’t want to let go of the proverbial goose that laid golden eggs. Though she very cleverly stayed away from her promise of getting married on the show she went on to play patni on Pati Patni Aur Woh where she was paired with her then fiancé Elesh. Here too she ensured she didn’t damage her by-now cultivated image and played the wife and mother to near-perfection.

    And in-between shows she kept herself busy -- after of course ensuring the mike pushers were always around her -- on national TV by either slapping her live-in boyfriend, making a brouhaha over the Mika kiss etc etc, she also did damage control by donating computers to jails and cleaning up the garbage on the streets and even berating those who exploited women. Rakhi Sawant is the classic case worth a study. I don’t know if all this is the handiwork of a master publicist or whether she herself is the brain behind each cultivated mannerism, look and gimmick. The strategy has never failed. She has systematically lifted herself up and leveraged her image to what it is now. And see how she has been rewarded.

    She is now going to dispense justice. Almost a la the very respected Kiran Bedi. In a show titled Rakhi Ka Insaaf, she will be seen solving social issues. The show will provide a platform for common people to voice their issues and look for a solution. Whether the show clicks or not is not of relevance here…but what really matters is that Rakhi has yet again moved way ahead of her peers. Branding, publicity, public relations may be alien terms for many but for Rakhi it’s a way of life.
    ...being a human...



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