Reality wars from across the border

Jan 20, 2012, 15:44 IST | Shaheen Parkar

Contestants from India and Pakistan take on each other in a bid for top honours on the small screen

Contestants from India and Pakistan take on each other in a bid for top honours on the small screen

The relations between India and Pakistan may be strained due to several issues over the last six decades. But on the small screen currently, as the Bard wrote, "If music be the food of love, play on..." There are two reality shows in the pipeline celebrating Indo-Pak music and food. More shows are in the pipeline considering the herd mentality of the tube.
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Himesh Reshammiya and Atif Aslam will mentor the Indian and
Pakistani participants of a music reality

Boney Kapoor's brainwave Sur Kshetra, a music reality show, will have contestants from both the nations. While Siddharth Basu's Foodistan has participants from the two countries tickle the tastebuds. According to Suresh Mishra of the channel that will air Sur Kshetra, "Even though political boundaries have divided the two nations, music has always fostered a common and harmonious bond.

Asha Bhosle and Abida Parveen are slated to judge the contest

We are making an attempt to bring forth the best from India and Pakistan. We are confident that viewers from across the border as well as the globe will experience and cherish a set of new generation of singing talents." Adds Smeeta Chakrabarti of the channel airing Foodistan, "India and Pakistan are two nations who share a common passion for good food.

This love for food is something that binds the two nations in spite of the numerous differences. We are positive that our viewers will not only enjoy the show but will also connect to it."

Sonya Jehan will judge a culinary show that has contestants
from India and Pakistan

Foodistan which was launched in New Delhi earlier this week has actress Sonya Jehan (grand daughter of Noorjehan and who was last seen in the film Taj Mahal) along with British chef Merrilees Parker and food critic Vir Sanghi as judges.

The show's contestants include Khursheed Amina Agha, or Poppy, as she is better known, as well as Amir Iqbal, culinary names from Pakistani cookery shows.

On the sets of Foodistan

While Sur Kshetra has Himesh Reshammiya and Atif Aslam as mentors with Asha Bhosle, Abida Parveen and Bangladeshi crooner Runa Laila as judges. Initially Suresh Wadkar and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan were pencilled in on board the jury.

Buzz is that Suresh apparently asked for a hefty fee and as he is also busy with his own music academy, the channel decided to rope in Asha Bhosle. As Rahat is tied up with his tours, now the channel is in talks with Abida.

Foodistan was quietly shot in Gurgaon last November to avoid any unwanted attention.  Sur Ksehtra will be entirely shot in Dubai to avoid the travelling constraints of the Pakistanis to India. The show will be anchored by actress Ayesha Takia while Foodistan has Aly Khan and Ira Dubey as hosts.

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