October 27, 2006

The cutoff counts

True story, as reported in the press over the last day or two:

Unnamed TV star is a participant on a TV "reality" show, one involving much dancing and being judged for such dancing. Popularity is everything on these shows, and it's decided the modern way: by SMS. So the star wanders into a neighbourhood phone store, buys up 200 pre-paid SMS cards that each carry between Rs 100 and Rs 200 worth of talktime. We're told that's Rs 80,000 spent on these cards.

Star hands these cards to a choreographer to distribute to the choreographer's friends, asking them to vote by SMS for this unnamed star, and multiple times. We're told that voting multiple times is OK as long as you don't do too much. Sony's "chief creative director" is actually quoted saying this: "To avoid bogus voting, we have a cutoff count of 500 votes per number on a weekly basis per show."

Oh yes, sure, that would cut off the bogus voting all right.

Anyway ... the choreographer distributes these cards to various friends. One of them, a fellow in Versova, takes three and uses all three numbers to vote (hell, that's a "cutoff count" of 1500 votes from this one dude ...).

But he also uses it for a more intriguing purpose: sending messages to his wife. Why's that so intriguing? Well, these are lewd messages. Well, but why's that so intriguing?

Well, he doesn't sign them. She doesn't know who is sending her these vulgar messages. Presumably not amused, the lady goes straight to the police and files a complaint.

Police investigation uncovers this entire chain of events, husband gives a written apology, wife forgives the husband.

No word on what's happened to the TV star's dancing fortunes. But in between laughing myself silly, I'm thinking: SMS, reality shows, self-promotion, multiple voting OK, cutoff counts -- could there be a more thoroughly 21st Century story than this?


Santanu Chari said...

Hi again, Dilip, after a long time...
I believe the whole SMS-Nach Baliye episode has been stage-managed by the channel, Star One (not sony)

Pls note: Couple's reputations have not been really damaged, because opposing media reports say that this was done last time, etc etc.

Bottom line: publicity of any shape, size, denomination and colour is money :)

Am an ex-RVite (ISC1993). mail me at smchari AT rediffmail DOT com.

Santanu Chari

Aayush Kumar said...

WOW this is really interesting! FUNNY TOO!

Anonymous said...

So you mean the women went to police directly without contacting the husband ? - thats 21st century man!!

then it was a reality show rite,finally some reality is good !

Anonymous said...

Enough 'meat' in there for a filler for Reader's Digest perhaps..and so very Indian too...

Amusing stuff...

Sidhusaaheb said...

I suppose it's all about the booty to be earned. Honesty and integrity be Goddamned!

How else is it possible that politicians, from whose houses trunk-fulls of currency notes are confiscated, win elections in this country?

The stars in question are going to become 'role models for the youth' or 'youth icons', I presume.

Mosilager said...

So was the versova dude testing his wife's fealty or just assumed that she would guess it was him?