The Exchange6 mins 688 6 mins 688
Loki, the God of Mischief was flying over the streets of Mumbai one night. He sprinkled a little magic powder on two of Mumbai’s well-known personalities and flew away awaiting the mayhem that would ensue the next day.
The next day, on the sets of Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) :
The producers are shocked, the contestants are shocked, the audience is shocked as they watch Mr. Arnab Goswami walk onto the sets and confidently take his seat on the host's chair. The producers are scrabbling around wondering what has happened but are secretly happy about the effect of this impromptu visit on the show’s TRP ratings. Last night’s roll-over contestant who had finally got a little comfortable on the hot seat is once again feeling the heat. He is frantically trying to recall if his intro video had anything incriminating, which this new host is likely to question him about. He quickly drinks some water to cool himself down.
And Arnab, being Arnab is super confident that after hosting News Hour, KBC is going to be a piece of cake. He begins thus, “ I, Arnab Goswami, after 24 years in the media, after having given his life to serve the nation, sit here before you to conduct this episode of KBC. Let me tell you one thing at the start. Do not try to be aggressive with me, do not patronize me, and do not try to lecture me. I ask the questions, you tell the answers. Let’s begin.”
The contestant on the hot seat is sweating profusely. He gulp some water and clears his throat. Arnab asks him the question for Rs 80,000. He does not know the answer and has already used 3 of the 4 lifelines. He is about to ask for the ‘Ask the Expert’ lifeline, but he only manages to whisper with fear. Arnab says “ Bhaisaheb, not only me, the ENTIRE NATION WANTS TO KNOW the answer … Zor se bolo. Yes, loudly.. Don’t give me frivolous answers, tell me the answer now !!! “
BhaiSaheb drinks yet another glass of water, somehow gathers his courage and blurts out that he would like to use the expert advice lifeline. Arnab looks at him angrily as if he dared to ask for expert advice with the expert sitting in front of him, but cues onto the expert advice sequence anyways. The expert, a lady well known in her field for the bubbly personality, bursts onto the screen saying loudly and cheerfully,“ Hello, Mr.Arnab. What a surprise to see you here. How did you find your way into our sets today? “
Arnab looks at her as if he cannot believe what she just said. With a well-modulated voice, he replies “ Look Madam, I will not compete with you in raising the voice. But I will say this to you. NEVER EVER… EVER AGAIN.. say like anything of those kinds of words to me. You will never ever say this again to an honest journalist like me.”
The expert is shocked, insulted, and upset. She gets up and leaves behind an empty chair on the screen. The contestant who has controlled his bladder for long, runs out of the set and hopefully finds a washroom outside. The producers are wondering where the TRP’s stand at the moment and if pressing the hooter and ending the current episode is a good idea.
Mr. Arnab Goswami calmly looks at the camera and says, “We’ll be right back after this break. Stay with us ..”
Meanwhile on the sets of Newshour :
Everyone is super excited to have the SuperStar of the Millenium, Mr. Amitabh Bachchan take his seat as the show’s host. The panel members are all agog to get a chance to speak to him. Amitabh-ji begins “Namaskar Bhaiyon or Behenon. Mein aapka swagat karta hoon NewsHour ke iss manch pe. (I welcome you all to NewsHour).” And as is usual, all hell breaks loose. All panel members are talking and shouting at once and Amitabh-ji is confused as he is used to hearing only one contestant speak.
He manages to somehow calm them down and says, “Hum aapke saath ab khelenge fastest finger first. Aur jo sahi kram mein sabse pehle uttar dega, uske saath hum pehle baat karenge. (We shall play Fastest Finger First. The first person to answer correctly will be allowed to speak first. )
The Fastest Finger First question goes like this. “Order these events in Indian History in the chronological order of their occurrence.”, followed by four answers. A couple of the panel members are confused, two are looking over their shoulders and the other three seem to be quickly scrolling through their phones for the answers. But soon the time is up and Amitabh-ji says “ Fastest finger first ke results yeh rahe aapke saamne ( The results are here)”. As usual, he sees the name of the contestants come up and waits for the green bands that light up the fastest person’s name. To his surprise, nothing lights up. He waits for a bit and then surreptitiously looks at the producer. The producer shrugs as if to say, “Well, no one got it right.” Amitabh-ji has never faced this situation before and quickly covers it up with a joke.
Now, as the fastest finger first has failed, Amitabh-ji decides to give each panel member 45 seconds to speak. He has his Chalpadi-ji(timer) with him, to keep track of the time. He poses the first question of the debate to the person representing a well known political party and says “Aapka samay shuru hota hai ab ! (Your time starts now.)” The politician begins, “Namaste Amitabh-ji, it is my very great pleasure to speak with you. I, my father-mother, wife and children are your world’s greatest fans. I want you to….” .”Peeeeennn”… the hooter rings. Amitabh-ji shakes his head and moves onto the next person. The opposition party member says ”Amit-ji, app inki baat na maniye. Yeh sarasar jhoot bol rahe hain. Yeh kanoon aur sanvidaan ke khilaaf hai … (He is lying. What he says is against the constitution.). Amitabh-ji is miffed and is relieved when the hooter rings for the second person.
He looks at the panel and sees a sensible-looking lady whom he decides to take a chance on. He asks her the question and she shouts, “ Amitabh-ji, I request you to consider having a reservation for women on your show, KBC. In fact, I want to ask for Jaya Ji to be the host of the show. Women power - Zindabad. “ Amitabh-ji is happy that she finished what she was saying in 45 seconds, but is definitely unhappy with the way the whole debate is proceeding. Before he can talk, the other panelists have taken exception to the lady’s words and are shouting their objections at the top of their lungs. Amitabh-ji tries his best to calm them down and then roars out a “ KHAMOSHHHH !!!”, channeling Shatrughan Sinha. At this total un-Amitabh-ji like behaviour, the whole set has gone quiet and everyone waits with bated breath to see what he will do next. Amitabh-ji takes a deep breath, joins his hands together and says “Ooparwale ki krupa se, phir is manch pe hum dubaara kabhie nahin milenge. Dhanyawad. (By God's grace we will never meet on these sets again.)“ and walks off the set as the scene moves on to an ad break.