Indian TV has come a long way over the last few years. The rise of streaming platforms like Netflix means that Indian viewers are viewing violent, sexual, and political content that was previously out of reach.
Ultra-conservative TV censoring has marked the country’s past: it wasn’t that long ago that a simple kiss was depicted through images of two flowers bending their stalks towards each other.
The new wave of Indian TV, though, is breaking free from that mould, and these four shows are at the forefront.
A changing TV landscape
India’s huge size means that regulating any industry is complex, and depends on which state you’re in. In the gambling sector, for example, it’s legal to play in online casinos in Goa, but not in Maharashtra: but you can buy a beer in Maharashtra but not in Bihar, where it’s illegal.
In the TV industry, the national government has tried to bring in blanket digital media laws that stopped viewers from watching sensitive content, but that has been difficult to prevent. This is largely due to the rise of streaming platforms which offer a diverse array of content, especially with many of them prone to VPNs which India viewers can use to circumvent national censorship laws and watch foreign programmes.
The pandemic, too, has added to the changing trends. Viewers demand more choice than what they are getting from state-run domestic channels. During lockdown especially, there was a surge in Netflix use, something reflected in the platform’s boost in spending on the subcontinent as they try to satisfy the national audience.
The shift to streaming has meant many Indian feature film makers have moved into the streaming space, further fuelling new original content that people find better written and performed.
Leading the way are a band of provocative shows that have caused a stir across the country and have led to people debating whether they’re here to stay or are just a short-term flash in the pan.
1. Made in Heaven
While the theme of wedding planners may seem a little tame, the content of this romantic drama is anything but that. Set in Delhi, Made in Heaven follows two planners, Tara and Karan, who come across a series of controversial wedding plans during their work.
Among them are forced marriages and an incestuous engagement, both taboo topics in India, while one of its characters is an openly gay man, thought to be one of the first in Indian TV history.
The series is Amazon Video’s fourth original fictional Indian series but, judging by the success of this one, there’ll probably be many more.
2. Four More Shots Please!
Perhaps the best way to describe this series is a kind of Indian Sex and the City. Focussed on four young professional women based in Mumbai, it has a similar kind of raucous humour to the US show that caused such a storm in the 1990s, and even plans to make a comeback soon.
One scene in particular, involving a middle-aged man striding past the women in just his underwear, made the headlines, but overall, the show has been a smash. The second season was the most-watched Indian show on Amazon in 2021.
We’ve looked at various types of sexual innuendo, but how about a show that got into trouble for blasphemy? Tandev attracted a mountain of negative press last year by filming scenes that were labelled as ‘an insult to the Hindu gods’. The Hindu nationalist group filed an official complaint – as well as politicians from India’s ruling BJP party.
Despite the show’s director quickly agreeing to edit the show, the damage was done. Amazon Prime cancelled two new shows in response to the storm, and it prompted the push for new digital media laws that may still affect the country in the long term.
4. Delhi Crime
Delhi Crime is based on real-life events and tells the story of brutal gang rape of Jyoti Singh in the winter of 2012, and a female police officer’s fight for justice. As a documentary, it makes no apology for the difficult content it shows, as the film’s makers attempt to shine a light on the toxic behaviour that led to the incident.
Despite the importance of making such a programme, its makers have still attracted criticism for its explicit content, with many observers saying it breaks strict censorship laws. It was, however, recognized as a crucial contribution to the argument about sexual violence that rages on across the country.
9 Bollywood Celebrities Who Married Foreigners
Despite having a progressive mindset, marriage remains the most difficult decision to make since it is one of the most crucial and life-changing decisions we will ever make. Weddings are about more than just festivities, customs, and love. It is the act of integrating two persons; it is the union of two souls into one, and it is a relationship that has no rivals in this world.
Marriage is a highly powerful partnership that offers two people a link that they much wanted. Marriage is a life-long commitment that you may not realise the importance of until you are married.
This holy link provides you with not just a life partner, but also another family member whom you can entirely trust. Marriage transforms your commitment into a team effort in which both spouses are the primary players and collaborate to achieve their objectives.
Marriage provides several advantages for both you and others around you. It promotes social cohesion and even contributes financially to society. It also helps both partners’ families and establishes a new link between them. But what if marriage is about bringing two distinct nationalities together?
While many individuals choose to marry within their own group, others seek love overseas since we all know that love is blind, and lovers are indifferent about religion, caste, creed, or place of birth, which is why these Indian celebrities sought love abroad. Yes, you read that correctly. It’s not the plot of the film. It really does happen. Things are different, though, when celebrities fall in love with a foreigner. However, one element remains consistent in every marriage: love.
So, let’s look at some Bollywood celebs that found their life partners from other countries:
1. Radhika Apte
In 2012, Radhika Apte married British musician Benedict Taylor. In a talk with actor Vikrant Massey, she joked that she had never believed in marriage and only wanted to live with Taylor. And they married to make things simpler because it was easier to obtain a visa after that. As she said,
“I am not a big marriage person, I don’t believe in the institution. I got married because my visa was really a problem and we wanted to live together. I think that’s not fair.”
Recommended read: Radhika Apte Love Life: Linked to A Bollywood Actor, And Then Married To A World Famous Musician
2. Shriya Saran
In 2018, actress Shriya Saran married Andrei Koscheev, a Russian tennis player and businessman. The pair met while diving in the Maldives and quickly fell in love. While talking with Bombay Times, she said,
“We first met while I had gone diving in the Maldives. He didn’t even know who I was when we first met. It was only later that he found out I’m an actress. A few months after we met, he asked me, ‘Do you have a movie online?’ and I said, ‘Yes I do’. So then, he went ahead and watched it. That was sweet.”
3. Celina Jaitly
Celina Jaitly married Peter Haag, an Austrian entrepreneur and hotelier, in 2011, and the former Miss India reportedly knew she would marry him from the minute they met. Talking with iDiva,
“I met Peter for the first time in Dubai… There was an intense recognition in a part of me when I first saw Peter. Actually we did not speak anything to each other but I just knew from the moment he walked in that he was my husband even though we had never met before.”
4. Preity Zinta
In 2016, Preity Zinta married Gene Goodenough, her longtime lover. They initially met in Los Angeles, she confessed during a Facebook live chat. She said,
“I met him in Santa Monica in Los Angeles. Then we dated for five years and we finally got married.”
Recommended read: After 5 Love Affairs And Heartbreaks, Preity Zinta Found Someone Who is Good Enough for Her
5. Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Priyanka Chopra and singer Nick Jonas chose to marry in 2018 after a long romance. In 2017, they were each other’s Met Gala dates, and a year later, they married. Sounds like a dream? But it’s a reality. On Jimmy Kimmel Live, Priyanka Chopra said,
“Yeah, we were on the same table and we already know each other. So he was like ‘Hey, you wanna go together (to the Met Gala)?’”
6. Sunny Leone
Sunny Leone, who is of Indian descent, married Daniel Webber in 2011 following a long relationship. Since then, they’ve been blissfully married. Talking with Humans Of Bombay, Sunny Leone said,
“We met through Daniel’s band mate at a club in Vegas. He says it was love at first sight, not for me though, because all we did was make small talk–there weren’t any floating hearts or violins. But somehow he got my number & email ID. What I liked is that he didn’t call me, but emailed me instead–that’s how we began talking.”
Recommended read: An Interesting Love Story Of Sunny Leone And Daniel Weber And Why The Couple Married Each Other
7. Purab Kohli
In 2018, Purab Kohli married Lucy Payton, his live-in girlfriend in the United Kingdom. Inaya, 6, and Osian, 3, are their two gorgeous children. While talking with Hindustan Times, Purab Kohli said,
“We always wanted to get married, but didn’t want to rush into it. When Inaya was going to come into this world, it was a glorious moment by itself, and we didn’t want to dilute that by suddenly rushing into marriage. We had always planned that we will wait for the right time and the frame of mind, to get settled.”
8. Aashka Goradia
Brent Goble and television star Aashka Goradia married in 2017. They met for the first time in Las Vegas and quickly came close. While talking with Humans Of Bombay, she said,
“2 years ago, she decided to fly down to Vegas… When she walked in, I saw her & I just had to approach her. But when I did, she was cautious & cold. So, I kept on talking to her friend until she realised how approachable I was. I guess she couldn’t resist! At the end of the night, we exchanged numbers. Then she had to leave- it was one of those long goodbyes that just keeps you wanting more.”
9. Suchitra Pillai
In 2005, Suchitra Pillai married Lars Kjeldsen, an environmental engineer from Denmark. The two had met at a mutual friend’s home party and had supposedly linked right away. While talking with iDiva, she said,
“We met through common friends in Mumbai. Both of us were just out of relationships back then. We met at a house party and were playing Jenga. I remember the first thing Lars told me was this, ‘There’s no way that is going to fall, I am an engineer!’ To which I replied, ‘It’s not going to fall because of me either, because I am an engineer too.’”
PR Spills Some Mind-Blowing Bollywood Secrets In A Reddit AMA
When we think about Bollywood, the very first thing that springs immediately to our mind is the sparkle, glamour, and opulence of the stars’ lifestyles. It happened not only when they are working but also w When they aren’t filming or promoting goods. At that time, we see them at their most stylish, getting out of expensive automobiles or into their idyllic houses, enjoying beautiful lives.
However, it is all because of their clean and charming image. That’s why maintaining a spotless public image that is motivating and impactful is as vital to the industry’s top stars as obtaining the greatest advice on where to invest their next few crores, because they had a direct influence on us.
Since the advent of social media, we’ve been curious about Bollywood and celebrity behind-the-scenes stories. But did you realise that celebrities’ life and how they are displayed are meticulously planned by a team?
There’s massive machinery working behind the scenes 24 hours a day, seven days a week to establish and sustain an actor’s public impression and image. The next thing that comes to mind is, “Who did this?” Professionals in public relations are the answer!
They are the masterminds behind the exquisitely produced persona of Bollywood celebrities. However, PR experts learned some unique and intriguing things about their customers while doing so.
A Bollywood PR recently revealed how much work it takes to maintain a celebrity’s image, especially now that everyone is seeing them owing to free internet. A social media manager from a public relations firm for actors and celebrities held an AMA on Reddit, and some of the comments startled us.
Let’s have a look at some of them:
1. When asked about Sara Ali Khan’s enormous popularity and whether it is crafted
“All I have to say is that I shall take that as a compliment. She has the most carefully crafted image in recent history.”
2. When asked if PR specialists are honest with the celebrities they handle
“No, because stars often spin the whole story the other way around, and this leads to our agency collapsing. It happened with an ex rival. For the most part, they listen to constructive criticism, and some even can’t function without PR. They know that even though they have such a large following, we can shape their perception. Some might be delusional, and we have to do what they say. Because in the end, we do care about money and goodwill. We advice the celebs who are humble enough to listen, and essentially become yes men to the ones who don’t.”
3. When asked about fan accounts, and assuming that the majority of them are paid
“Aside from a few paid accounts, most of them are genuine fan accounts. We do give positive news stories and fake likes or comments, but we haven’t really made a lot of fake fan clubs. It’s usually when the actors are at their earlier stages that we pop up a few fake ones. A few actors are against that, a few love the idea. We don’t take hate too seriously, and from research and experience, negative publicity is the last to affect die hard fans. A surprising thing to know for you might be that a lot of hate at times is faked so that the celebrity can speak up about it. We have seen rival PR agencies go to the extent of fake trolling a celeb.”
4. When asked to name an actor whose career was hurt by a lack of publicity
“Aditya Roy Kapur had the looks, craze, and money to strike while the iron was hot. Having personally met the guy though, I could tell he doesn’t desire that level of fame.”
5. When asked regarding PR agency competition
“Oh, it gets ugly. It’s fierce because we often have rivals as clients. Every Goodwill one celeb earns makes the other insecure. Which leads to either them being more aggressive with their PR or making the public feel sympathetic. We all know that a celeb leaving our agency is disastrous too, so we do everything we can to make sure they don’t. It’s a symbiotic relationship.”
6. Having an active PR staff on actors like Pankaj Tripathi, Sanjay Mishra, and Nawazuddin Siddiqui
“Almost everyone has a PR, but the actors you mentioned have a very mild one. Nawazuddin uses a lot of PR help whenever he gets negative publicity of any kind. Pankaj Tripathi is like a caring uncle, he is the kind of guy who hugs you after you work for him, tells ‘beta tum hamari problem ko mitane ki koshish karte ho, tumko koi problem ho toh befikar aana.’ Wholesome person.”
7. When questioned about the public relations budgets of moderately successful actors
“PR budget really depends a lot. A few celebs give upwards of 10 crore per year, but most are in the vicinity of 1-2 crore. A lot of them give a lot of gifts if everything goes well, so that’s there. I got 2 brand new iPhones and an iPad Pro this year.”
8. When asked if public relations firms aim to sway movie critics
“The thing is, it can easily backfire on the celeb, it’s a huge risk. Our agency doesn’t indulge in such activities. We do try to bring positive buzz on social media, but our Agency is mainly responsible for maintaining a celeb’s life off-screen. I know a lot of other PR agencies that use innovative ways to even get one positive review. A few celebs often keep both agencies. Ours is renowned for managing off screen personas.”
9. On actors getting themselves into trouble and the damage management that follows
“Well that often doesn’t come into our domain, if the issue is public though, we either tell the celeb to ignore it or pen down an apology. Most celebrities are too arrogant to take blame, so we can only do so much. If it’s a small issue, we usually bury it before it goes viral, and that mostly works.”
10. In terms of interviews and whether or not performers are tutored for them
“It’s quite a known practise to integrate a few questions that showcase a celeb’s positive aspects during interviews, it’s a common practise. A few celebs are super particular about their media image though, and let us screen the whole interview before the final editing. Written interviews for some celebs are coached, we write their answers sometimes. If it’s an airhead, we just pray that they don’t screw over too bad. We can only do so much.”
10 Times Ashneer Grover Got Angry on Shark Tank India
Thousands of thriving firms have sprung up throughout India. Individuals from all around the country are coming up with innovative, out-of-the-box concepts that are changing the world. In addition, the famous show Shark Tank India has fueled the hopes of aspiring entrepreneurs in the country. After a phenomenal first season that captivated the whole country, the producers announced Shark Tank Season 2 and published the first trailer.
Anyone who hasn’t been living under a rock knows how popular Shark Tank India has become in such a short period of time. The show has acted as a catalyst for change in India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The first edition of Shark Tank India featured 7 self-made multi-millionaires from India who put their money into fantastic enterprises while also holding a significant amount of stock.
Let me tell you the names of judges who appeared with the title of “sharks” on the show. The show features BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover, Boat co-founder Aman Gupta, Emcure executive director Namita Thapar, People Group founder Anupam Mittal, Lenskart co-founder Peyush Bansal, Mamaearth co-founder Ghazal Alagh, and Sugar cosmetics co-founder Vineeta Singh.
But among all, BharatPe co-founder Ashneer Grover is the one who made the most headlines and got a lot of attention. He recently resigns from his firm following a long battle with his associates.
But on the show, Ashneer Grover’s raging temper has always sparked debate among internet users. All of the social media sites are saturated with memes about Ashneer Grover’s angry outbursts on Shark Tank India, whether it’s Reddit, Instagram, or Twitter. We’ve included some of clips from the show where Ashneer lost his cool.
So, find out more about them:
1. When he said, “Ye sab doglapan hai. Mai tera doglapana utarta hoon.”
2. When he took a dig at a contestant by saying, “Bhai tu founder hai ya tu help maangne aaya hai?”
3. When he gets so much angry on product, he said, “Isse wahiyat product naa maine zindagi mein kabhi dekha hai naa mai dekhna chahta hoon. Mereko bhagwaan utha le itna ganda product hai ye.”
4. When he trolls a contestant, saying, “Apni problem hi nahi solve kar paa raha hai tu dusro ki problems kya solve karega…Bhai tu pehle naukri dhundh. Tereko samajhna padega ki dhandha hota kaise hai.”
5. When he sarcastically took a shot at contestant’s product, saying, “Ye aadha design mujhe Janpath ka lag raha hai. Aadha Rajouri ho gaya. Thoda sa Sarojini utha lo. Thoda GK ho gaya. Aapne 4 patriwalo se utha ke ye saman rakh diya…”
6. When he said, “Ab mai bolta hoon taaki tum chane ki jhaad pe mat chadh jao ek offer ke baad – tu band kar de! Tum sab apni zindagi barbad kar rahe ho… Mera khoon khaul raha hai ki tumne 3 degreeya waste ki hui hai.”
7. When he said, “Humko naa angrezi samajh aati hai naa jargon samajh aati hai.”
8. When he crossed all limits, saying, “Mereko gedi maarni hai toh mai tere isme (metaverse) kyun gedi maarunga.”
9. When he indirectly criticized the contestant for taking a long time, saying, “Kya bana raha hai tu ye? Nehru Place ki patri pe milta hai ye ₹15 ka. Tune kisi ki seat barbad kari hai Germany ki University pe. Tu apni degree waste kar raha hai.”
10. When he trashes contestant’s fashion product, saying, “Bahot hi ganda fashion hai ye. Mereko lagta hai aap band kar do. Aap kyun apna time waste kar rahe ho?”
People were outraged by Ashneer Grover’s nasty words at first. Except for a few, people are understanding that there is sound advice behind the furious remarks as the show progresses.
What are your thoughts on Ashneer’s rants?
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