Why Pakistan needs Ramazan game-shows
A few days ago, a seminar was organised at my university by a company that handles computer hardware and software. At the end of the seminar, the sponsors arranged a question-answer session and every participant who answered correctly was given a gift hamper. I was one such participant and I won these really cool Lenovo speakers as a result.
Even though it was a small thing, winning those speakers made my day.
Social events and game shows of such nature are always appreciated. People become excited whenever a new game show comes to town or if a new contest is aired. Previously, we used to have the famous Neelam Ghar on PTV, hosted by the legendary Tariq Aziz, which everyone used to love and families would get excited about getting tickets for the show and participating in it weeks, sometimes months, in advance.
So this phenomenon is not new.
These shows have become a source of entertainment and respite for the masses and they often work as catharsis from the reality that surrounds us. But many find them uncouth and people, especially those from the upper strata, dub these shows as uncultured, as some of the challenges included in these shows border on ridiculing the contestants.
While I agree that it game-shows should be entertaining – entertainment with the purpose of ridiculing should be called out as soon as it is detected. Challenges should be made in such a way that they accommodate families and create a more jovial environment, are conducive to the learning of the audience. The idea should not be to make the people watching, or participating, uncomfortable, but to leave them with a sense of accomplishment.
People genuinely enjoy them, especially during Ramazan, and such shows should be encouraged – because everyone likes a good game show. In fact, such shows are not unique to Pakistan. Shows like these are played all over the world. For example, Minute to Win It is a very famous show where contestants are supposed to do easy challenges in one minute and win prize-money that would probably take ages for them to earn and save.
Similarly, Fear Factor is particularly enjoyed by people worldwide, even though the challenges can be downright disgusting. In it, people do the most unusual and close to impossible stunts to win prizes. Be it eating a tarantula or jumping off the tallest building in the world – they do it all.
Considering this, Pakistani game shows are pretty generous with what they have to offer. Not only do they give prizes for answering a question, they will also give away gifts to anyone and everyone who comes to the show.
Answer a question correctly and you’ve won a vehicle that would’ve taken you ages to get.
Make the right guess and you find yourself owning a designer lawn-suit.
The possibilities are endless.
There aren’t a lot of interactive activities or TV shows in Pakistan where the public has the luxury of just having a good time with their families. Winning prizes is an added bonus. You may be a burger, a bun-kabab or neither, but you’ll have equal opportunities to win a bike, a car or a vacation abroad. And if it is a Ramazan show, you’ll get free sehri and iftari, and have a blast just being there.
Many new game shows are surfacing these days, especially keeping Ramazan in mind, and most of them are designed in such a way that expensive giveaways are easily gifted to participant. These range from gold jewellery to cars, motorbikes and even rickshaws. There are laptops and cell-phones, too.
One such show, hosted by Rambo, Javeria, Uzmi and Barkat, caught my attention and I plan to follow it as soon as it is aired. People will register to be part of this game show and the participants will be selected randomly, which means everyone has a shot.
The people of Pakistan deserve a little break in their lives and it is completely okay if someone wants to give them opportunities for this said break.
I, truly, do not see a downside to game-shows and am looking forward to participating in this one! After all, who doesn’t like free stuff?
This piece was authored by Jehangir Mirza.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.