Salman Khan Livens Up ‘Dus Ka Dum’ With His Black Buck References
A review of Salman Khan’s latest TV show - ‘Dus Ka Dum’
with those lines, Salman Khan makes a typical Bollywood hero’s entry on the first episode of Dus Ka Dum on Sony Entertainment Television after a 9 year break. So we have several close ups of Bhai’s shoes and his trademark turquoise silver bracelet before we finally see the man himself make an appearance and take off his coat, throwing it at the camera to get the show rolling.
The main attraction of Dus Ka Dum is undoubtedly its host Salman Khan. The star is dead and boring when he has to read out pre-scripted lines off a teleprompter but he’s in his element when he’s being candid and conversing naturally with his participants.
Salman starts off Dus Ka Dum with a dance performance to the title track of the show, but it’s pretty staid compared to all the colourful energy, glitter and pomp that one witnesses on Bigg Boss - the other TV show hosted by Salman.
On the new Dus Ka Dum, Salman’s first monologue to his audience is a big fat lie.
The actor tells us about the ‘power of Dus Ka Dum’ by describing how after his first appearance on the show about 10 years ago, people on the streets recognised him as Salman Khan from Dus Ka Dum - they didn’t know him as the actor who had delivered hits like Maine Pyar Kiya, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam or Karan Arjun. Really!!??
Of the two contestants on the first episode of Dus Ka Dum - Abhishek Garg from Udaipur and Shama Parveen from Bareilly, it’s the lady who keeps the show engaging with her bright smile, constant banter and questions to Salman.
Salman of course is a delight when he puts his guard down to indulge in some self-deprecating humour. The actor indirectly brings up the ongoing black buck case twice on the show.
Once, when Abhishek introduces himself as someone from Udaipur, Salman calls it his “favourite state” with just the right amount of likeable sarcasm. Also, when the question, “What % of Indians have been chased by an animal at least once in their lifetime?” pops up, Salman quips, “Ek jaanwar hai jo abhi bhi bahut dauda raha hai mujhe.”
All the highs of the show are inevitably related to Salman, take the first question on the show - “What % of Indians believe that ‘Ek ladka aur ek ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’?” Salman reminds us that this is a line by Mohnish Behl in Maine Pyar Kiya and he’s correct because Prem (Salman) and Suman (Bhagyashree) aren’t friends in the film.
During another question - “What % of Indians have read their religious text(s)?”, Salman informs the audience that he has read the Quran and the Bible and that almost all the members of his family have had inter-religious marriages, hence broadening their horizons. This of course brought up the question of Salman’s marriage, which the actor kept evading.
Salman also got a chance to show of his knowledge of the Hindi varnamala - or Hindi alphabets as a response to one of the questions on Dus Ka Dum. Yes, contrary to his ‘himbo’ image, the star actually say the varnamala from memory - it was either a well rehearsed act or Salman is more than who we think he is.
So, how entertaining is the new Dus Ka Dum at the end of the day? A lot has changed in India over the last decade, and this includes the way we are accessing and consuming entertainment. Does the format of Dus Ka Dum still engage as a game show? Well, for an audience that is now used to getting to choose WHAT they want to see, HOW MUCH they want to see and WHEN they want to see it, the 80 minute show will seem to be a drag. But for those who are still anchored to their analogue television sets for entertainment - it’s a different story.
If nothing else, the show certainly helps shatter a few stereotypes that we hold on to. Shama Parveen, the bright and chirpy participant from Bareilly is continuing her academics after her marriage and a baby, ably supported by her husband and her mother-in-law. To top it all, when the question - “What % of Indians have non-vegetarian food cooked at their homes every day?” comes up in the show, we discover that she is a vegetarian too! Just the kind of atypical insight we need in today’s times.
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