What's the best thing a reality TV show can do for once-upon-a-time celebrities other than pressing loads of cash on them? Get them back into the public eye. So when former Indian batsman Vinod Kambli bared his heart and soul on Sach Ka Saamna, India's answer to The Moment of Truth, we all sighed and said: "Ji, hum aapki baatein sun rahe hain". (Yes, we are listening". In an emotionally-charged show, Mr. Kambli said in a polygraph test that his childhood friend Sachin Tendulkar didn't do enough to stop him from going-down self-destructive path which ended a glorious career.
Now many among us may want to know Mr. Kambli's dark secrets, after all we are celebrity junkies. But what possesses people like you and me to let it all hang out on national television? We'd thought that no one would be interested in knowing about our humdrum lives. But how wrong we were. There is a great slavering public out there lapping up every bit of discomfort and humiliation suffered by others. And why not? After all, if there were not so many eager to tell all on national television in exchange for a bit in the bank, there would be no reality shows at all. We in India are some way from the Jerry Springer type shows that remain so popular among a certain section of the US. Jerry Springer, is an evangelist of bad taste, stops at nothing to lower the bar on his show. Most often, the contestants resort to fisticuffs while trying to achieve their moments of fame, much to the delight of the audience.
Why are we so interested in the pathetic lives of people we don't know and never will? Is it that we see a bit of ourselves in their dysfunctional antics? Is it that we want our fifteen minutes of notoriety, even if it means that everyone gets to know our sordid secrets? It's yes to all the above questions. The money goes down a treat as well. So the next time you feel like unburdening yourself, don't ring up your best friend. Just nip to the studios, get it all off your chest and feather the old nest.