Awards and awards
Mannika Chopra

It has been a crazy week. The awards season has been well and truly officially kicked off. On the A-list, Star Plus gave us Star Screen Awards and Colors the Apsara Television Producers’ and Guild Awards, and lesser mortals, the CID awards, on Sony. What was that all about? This weekend, expect the Zee Cine Awards and, somewhere down the line, the Filmfare tamasha.

But unless you are a demented Bollywood fan, if you have seen one award show, you have seen them all, especially as the awardees are pretty much the same. So if you had a Vidya Balan get an award on Star Screen, she got one on the Apsara thingy as well. If newcomer smiley, smiley Sonakshi Sinha got noted and honoured in Star Screen for her role in Dabangg, the same event happened on Apsara. The item numbers were also similar. The most notable common denominators being Sheila ki Jawani and Munni Badnam Hui.

Sonakshi Sinha got noted and honoured in the Star Screen Awards function for her role in Dabangg
Sonakshi Sinha got noted and honoured in the Star Screen Awards function for her role in Dabangg

The outward fawning displayed by most of the stars also reigned supreme on both channels. The only thing different was the main anchors, sponsors and the costume changes and, of course, the name of the show’s programme.

— The anchor team was helped ably by Shahid Kapoor and Shah Rukh Khan with their self-deprecating comic star routine, and saucy dance numbers with ageing divas Zeenat Aman, still hot after so many tears, Rekha, still smouldering, and Hema Malani, sorry aama, the dream girl was a little thanda.

On the Apsara side, the sponsors took centrestage. The full name of the show, repeated endlessly, was the Chevrolet Apsara Film and Television Producers Guild Awards. And as if that was not enough of a mouthful, we were told each time the 30 or so awards were announced by anchor Sajid Khan that they were "powered by Micromax Mobile." It was a tad disconcerting. Comic Khan was in his element, doing good imitations of Dolly Bindra and assorted Bollywood directors getting both positive and negative attention from the crowd.

In smidgens, Apsara was perhaps a little more creative — the hot and happening Kartina Kaif medley being an example but Star was perhaps more glamorous. Vidya Balan, dressed in a loud, post box red and gold sari, thought she was at the Oscars, and in an Oscar moment breathlessly began to thank everyone, and I mean everyone, from the director of Ishqiya down to his dog. Just kidding, but you know what I mean. Actually every blockbuster of the year received some sort of recognition, and those who were left out of awards were honoured by a suspicious, "popular" vote.

Sadly, the quintessential mistake these jamborees make is that the technical awards somehow get left behind in the glare of the main star awards, and it is the people in these departments who truly see that the films make it to the multiplexes and into our collective memories.

While awards overpower the Hindi entertainment channels, my favourite American Idol is back on Star World. With new judges and, perhaps a new format, the talent hunt show in its tenth season has undergone a makeover. Only one of the original three judges remains on the show.

For cable and satellite television, this is a momentous year. It was 20 years ago that satellite television entered our sitting rooms. First off the tele-block was CNN as it covered the Gulf war. Then India; people used to sneak into five star hotels which were the first establishments who could afford giant lumbering, and very expensive, satellite dishes and watch, a war live for the very first time.