In General

Snaps from the ‘We The People’ show.

NDTV’s talk show was held in Chennai on Sunday and I got to have a glimse of what goes into organising a talk show. After Alaphia sent me an email informing about the show, I signed up. Within a few minutes, I got a call from New Delhi confirming my participation, followed by four more calls with information and confirmation. Somebody back there is doing their homework well.

Contrary to my initial thought, the talk show wasn’t just about ‘Dress code’. The topic was much broader: ‘Is Chennai the most conservative city in India?”. Not exactly the way I’d like my city to talked about. But hey, that’s the perception, right?

I was extremely impressed with the selection of the venue. I’d have expected it to have been conducted in an auditorium of sorts. But it was at the beautiful Santhome Church. The Basilica was lit up specially for the show by the NDTV folks. It made for a brilliant setting.

I was impressed with how quickly they built up the stage. Just the day before, I was told that IIT Madras would be the venue but that had to be changed.

Barkha Dutt stood up to my expectation. She cleary knew how to handle the show. I always figured it was a recorded show and that they would take time to edit it. I figured it would get aired in two day’s time. I was pretty shocked that it was a quasi-live show. They started the shooting at 7:40 p.m for the show to be aired at 8:00 p.m. They shot the show in four segments and the ground crew was sending each segment as it got finished. It sure must’ve been hectic and it showed in the conversation between Barkha and the crew during the breaks. But they pulled it off really well. Obviously they’ve been in this game for a long time to master it.

There were five cameras, all well coordinated and on the job.

Most of the questions were targetted at the hand picked celebrity panelists.. Actress Kushboo, Jayanthi Natarajan (Congress), Anita Ratnam ( Dansuse) , Raghavan ( ex-CBI Director), Nirmala, College Principal and finally, a crazy BJP activitst whose name I didn’t bother to catch.
The bulk of the folks who came were relegated to being living props. Expectedly.

The entire NDTV office seemed to be present for the show. Lot of familiar faces I’ve seen on TV were present.

Post show. People catching up with Nirmala, the Principal of M.O.P Vaishnav women’s college. She was supporting dress code in colleges. Even though she picked up the unpopular side, she justified her points well.

Jayanti Natarajan clearly was the best speaker at the show. She was emphatic, passionate and very eloquent in voicing her opinion. I was pretty impressed with her communication skills. No wonder NDTV keeps coming back to her. I remember seeing her on ‘The Big Fight’ show earlier.

The talk show was heavily tilted towards Actress Kushboo and the controversy she got into for her statements on pre-marital sex. I felt there was too much importance given to her. There are many more important topics that could’ve been covered.

Overall, a very well done program.