New Delhi, Aug 22 (Calcutta Tube) Let alone televisions and cars, even toothbrushes are alien to some of them. Yet, eight tribal men from the interiors of Karnataka have dared to face 60 days of city life in Bangalore for a Kannada reality show, where they’ll learn a few English words and even do ramp walks.
From living isolated lives in their respective tribes, these men aged between 25 and 34 years will be slipping into jeans and wearing shirts to adapt to the Bangalore crowd for Kannada channel Suvarna’s ‘Halli Haida, Pyeteg Banda’, which means – ‘Village lad lands in the city’.
The show is a result of the success of ‘Pyete Hudgir, Halli Lifeu’ (City girl, village life), which garnered an average viewership of one million people with a maximum response from youths, explained Anup Chandrasekharan, business head of Suvarna.
‘This new show is a sequel to ‘Pyete Hudgir, Halli Lifeu’. For the first season, we took eight city girls to experience village life. But this time, we decided to bring not even village boys but tribals to the city and see how they adapt themselves here,’Chandrasekharan told IANS over phone from Bangalore.
According to Chandrasekharan, it costs them up to Rs.700,000-Rs.800,000 per episode to produce such a show.
The team behind the show took approximately three months to research on Karnataka tribes and have brought together contestants from tribes such as Bedar, Sholaga, Haki Pikki, Kodavas of Coorg, Kurubas and others.
‘Our research teams went to various parts of Karnataka and went into the interiors to look for these boys. It used to be very difficult because even the closest shop to their place of stay used to be 25-30 km away.
‘It was also extremely tough to convince them, their parents and relatives. In fact, there is going to be one guy on the show whose wife is pregnant, and by the time he goes back to his tribe, she would have delivered their child. Still he has come to see what a city looks like,’ Chandrasekharan revealed.
‘Most of them have not seen a TV, a car, a mobile phone. And they don’t even use something as basic as a toothbrush or toothpaste. Here we will try introducing them to many new things,’ he said.
The eight tribal contestants will be put up at a huge house in Bangalore and will be teamed with one city girl each. The girls will mentor them through their transformation and the contestants will be eliminated one by one in subsequent weeks, depending on their performance.
‘We plan to have ramp walk contests, change their dressing style, teach them a few English words – and it should be interesting to see how a person who has lived all his life in a remote place adapts to the city atmosphere. ‘
The winner will get a ‘cash compensation’, but the amount hasn’t been decided yet.
‘Halli Haida, Pyeteg Banda’ will be on air starting Monday and will be hosted by two-time Filmfare award winning Kannada actress Radhika Pandit.
Chandrasekharan says Kannada channels have for long been dominated by fictional content but now there’s a new space for reality shows and the audiences are lapping it up.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)