I am no longer a television buff. There are days when I go without sitting in front of the TV. During a conversation with some of my friends, the topic of entertainment-based shows came up. After sitting quietly for some time, I could not resist myself and issued a bold statement: No entertainment show is good enough without a VJ. Now, those of you who are not aware of the term VJ, let me explain. As the name suggests, VJs appear on television to host entertainment shows.
The era of 1990’s brought in a revolution in Indian television as well. With the launch of MTV India, a crop of music and general entertainment shows came to the fore. These shows were hosted by anchors who are also known as Video Jockey (VJs). Nowadays, watching VJs is like finding an oasis in a desert. Cyrus Sahukar, Cyrus Broacha, Maria Goretti, Nikhil Chinappa, late Nafisa Joseph, Anuradha Menon alias Lola Kutty and others became household names and are still remembered till date. They were stylish, eloquent and evoked massive appeal among the audience. I clearly remember not missing the shows hosted by these VJs. Several of my classmates mimicked Cyrus Broacha in between the classes. He has somewhat carried his old charm and manages to leave us in splits with shows like The Week That Wasn’t. But there was something else about MTV Bakra in which he played pranks on passersby, much to the delight of the viewers.
Then there were Shows like Fully Faltoo, Semi Girebaal’s Rendevous hosted by Cyrus Sahukar. He has also featured in movies like Rang De Basanti, but Fully Faltoo had a different charm. His satirical take on movies was keenly watched by the viewers. Then there was Rendezvous with Semi Girebaal, a rip-off of the popular talk show hosted by yesteryear film actor Simi Garewal. Sahukar donned the get-up of Karz actor and interviewed celebrities.
We still swoon over VJs like Shenaz Treasurywala, Maria Goretti and even Malaika Arora Khan who have been successful VJs of their times. Malaika, who is a film actor now shot to prominence by hosting Love Line along with Cyrus Broacha as well as presented Style Check. And she is undoubtedly a fashion icon for sure.
Have you forgotten the vivacious Anuradha Menon, who enthralled viewers as Lola Kutty for years? Donning silk saris with gajra in her hair, Lola Kutty interviewed Bollywood celebs in English with a Malayali accent. Just have a look at her interviewing Priyanka Chopra. Need I say more?
Nowadays, such shows have been replaced by daily soaps and VJs are judging reality shows. One possible reason behind the fading of VJs into oblivion can be traced to the advent of the internet and mobile-based entertainment. Nowadays, a youth wants everything accessible on smartphones. So very few people bother to watch such programmes on TV.
However, the concept can be revived keeping internet audience in mind. After all, necessity is the mother of invention.