2 Jan 2013

ThaTT anta heLi

Rewind time 6 yrs, I was this “oh-Kannada-dha-Kanda-Naanu” types. Excited about Kaveri fights and insulting the neighbor’s yada-yada nonsense. In one of such Kannada-abhimaani movements, I became part of a sanghatane, that had access to ThaT anta heLi, the longest ever running program on Chandana channel. Yes chandana is Kannada version of doordarshan but however before you judge this show has completed 1,900 episodes without any sponsorship. Obviously who’d agree to sponsor “that” channel for a program that runs at “9:30pm” especially when that is the same time people will be wondering “yendu aadevu naavu mukta mukta mukta”?


“Who would be interested to take part in “ThaTT anta heLi”, came a mail one day.


If you know me, you should very well know that I am attention seeker, limelight lover and things like that. What if it’s a boring channel, I am blood bonded with people who find the program to be higher than KBC, so why not try I thought and replied a “yes”


March 2008, I was scheduled to be part of the show. After too much security scrutiny, I, mother and sister reached the reception of Doordarshan studio, Bangalore. If there is any word opposite to that of “reception”, that place was that. Old Onida TV was running some UGC program, the chairs broken, the err nvm.


“Who is the participant”, asked one maarimuthu type lady.


“That would be me”, I said.


She took me to a dungeon type room, and said “make-up maaDbeku


I freaked. She started mixing foundation loose powder with water and made a paste sorts. There was a puff that was almost dark brown colored to which she smeared the paste and came very near to my face. I shouted.


“I have done make-up already, NO”


“Excuse me, this is not enough, you won’t look nice on camera, let me apply”


 I had to tell her.


“Aunty, the puff looks so dirty and that make-up will ruin my skin”


Ayyo comman man bandru same puff-u CM bandru same puff-u. ni baramma


I ran away quoting phone call. Then spoke to some admin lady of that program and she spoke to maarimuthu, finally I did my own make-up. Then we were taken to the studio, where the episode is shot.


Due to heavy rains the studio roof was leaky. There were exactly 5 buckets to collect the rain water and the cameraman was holding an umbrella (trust me not exaggerating) I witnessed few episodes that were shot and started getting tensed. Bleedy, participants had really taken that show seriously, one fellow won all the books and his fellow contestants did not win a single book. I also observed one very important fact, the quiz master NaSo, did not handshake woman, but did only namskara.


Then, they called my name, along with a doctor and a housewife. NaSo wiped sweat off his forehead, err actually full head. “Oh ibbaru mahiLeyaru obba purusha, haagidalli Madhya purusha kurali akka pakka mahiLeyaru kurali”, this was the opening line by him.


I suppressed by Kashinath moment then and sat on the chair. “Buzzer check maDkoLi” was the next line by NaSo. It had a switchboard (really huge) and a switch on it. To press that was a big saahasa on its own. This switch was connected to a red bulb and a buzzer, that would buzz and then the light would glow. All the buzzers were working well, thankfully.


Next was photo time, please look at the camera instructed one guy from the first floor, whose only voice was heard and he wasn’t to be seen. I saw the camera and they took the pic, this was for the scorecard photo after end of every round. Trust me I looked so horrible coz I hadn’t smiled.


The recording started with introductions in “swacha Kannada”, housewife said “pustaka ododu, padabandha madodu”, I thought it was like “watching TV and listening to music”, but damn she was serious. Karmakanda. She was pressing the buzzer like mental.


I started having panic attacks for that, forget knowing answers I was not even let to press the buzzer. So I decided I will press it even if I don’t know the answer. My sister had initially warned me, “even if you are taking a guess, muchkonDu oohe anta heLu”. Co-incidentally a question was repeated from the previous recording (yes paying attention works), I succeeded in hitting it first.


“How many xyz exists in abc state?” was the question

“4”, I said

Uthara gotho or oohe no?”, NaSo asked

“I said I know”


Obviously I knew the answer, but he asked “name the xyz”


“I am not able to recollect”, I said. Bleedy so embarrassing it was. Won a book.


Then came “play one song and name singers” round. It was easy-peesy. Sadhya, won a book.


I am not sure for which other question I won a book, but I did. Probably for that math related puzzle.


Housewife won 6, me 3 and Doctor 3. That was the finally tally. & when NaSo gave me my books, I made sure I did one “dod namskara” instead of a handshake.


Between what all happened between “takes “, don’t ask. NaSo started asking doctor how the brain looked (the ones they use in studio as their logo), both started eating each other’s brain and I almost had a seizure.


Shit, headache already started. Ond anacin kodrappa!!!







themankris said...

Hello Madam,

Super post.. I was a big fan of that antha heli.. surprising that you had participated in that!! Its really sad to hear about the way doordarshan is :(. Insightful though!!

- Manjunath Krishna

ಗುರುರಾಜ said...

Ha ha ha.. sooper varnane.. anda haage adu yavaga prasaara ayithu and have u recorded that? :)

Bhargavi Dev K said...


I really like the show and to know the sorry state of affairs only hurts me more :(

Kudos K, you are a champ