Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve been as obsessed with Sima and Aparna from Indian Matchmaking as I have. While the whole world is going crazy about how arranged marriages in India are a fascinating experience, we here in India are pretty much accustomed to such marriage-based entertainment. Everyone’s been raving about how Sahi Rishta did the whole matchmaking-turned-entertainment thing first, but people seem to have forgotten about the greatest show of all time: Rakhi ka Swayamwar.
Well, thankfully, we haven’t forgotten. Here are 8 reasons why you HAVE to go back in time, 11 years ago, and watch Rakhi ka Swayamwar:
It’s Rakhi Sawant
I mean, need I say more? Actress, dancer, model, talk show host and one of Bigg Boss first season’s contestant, Rakhi Sawant was a big thing back in 2009. Filter-less and fearless, Sawant is probably the most entertaining thing in India. So when she announced that she wanted to get married, and wanted the world to see her pick her husband at a televised Swayamwar, the whole nation watched it. And even now, it’s still relevant.
The men who showed up were really quite…something
All in all, there were 16 contestants who showed up, ready to marry the star that is Rakhi Sawant. They ranged from as young as 21 to as old as 33. From fitness trainers to ‘Vastu Consultants’, the men were of all professions and all backgrounds, hailing from all over India — and even Canada! Now, who doesn’t want to watch 16 suitable men fight over Rakhi?!
Rakhi Ka Swayamwar theme song
This theme song was created specifically for Rakhi herself, and it’s everything that defined Indian television in the 2000s. Equal parts grand (read: gaudy) and filmy, the background score sounds like it’s straight out of a Dharma film, but Rakhi Sawant does honestly look quite gorgeous.
So, the men had to prove their worthiness for Rakhi by performing tasks. It wasn’t just dates all the time, you know! Be it walking on fire or performing Takeshi’s Castle type outdoor activities, Rakhi Ka Swayamwar was totally Roadies-meets-Splitsvilla-meets Indian arranged matchmaking.
The Fire Test on Rakhi Ka Swayamwar
The Outdoor Tasks by Green Team
Rakhi ka Rampwalk
Apart from dates and tasks, Rakhi ka Swayamwar had one episode dedicated solely for rampwalks. Rakhi walks the ramp with all the hot, attractive men who are her suitors for the show. Not sure how this is related to a swayamwar exactly, but it definitely makes for good television.
When Saroj Khan made the boys dance to her finger
Yup, Saroj Khan, the Dance maestro, was on Rakhi ka Swayamwar. If you’re too lazy to watch the entire show, just watch this one episode. Trust me, it’s the funniest thing ever. Saroj Khan (may she rest in peace) was as sassy and witty as ever, and put all the boys in their place. Not to mention, watching some of them dance will make you feel better about your two left feet!
When the Luv Pandit stole the show
Luv Pandit dropped some heavy truth bombs, man. He wasn’t afraid of anyone and openly called these men out on all that they lacked. Whether you believe in astrology or not, you will definitely love how Luv Pandit predicts exactly what happens at Rakhi’s swayamwar (obviously the show was totally reality and spontaneous haha 🙂 ).
Re-watch Rakhi ka Swayamwar to celebrate the short-lived joy of Rakhi & Elesh Parujanwala
Elesh Parujanwala was nothing like the other men at the Swayamwar: he was a Canadian businessman who stole Rakhi’s heart. In the finale “Faisle ki Raat” Rakhi selected Elesh and the two of them lived happily ever…engaged. For a while, before breaking up. Yeah sure, maybe they were both accused of doing the whole thing for publicity and money but so what? Love is love. And fake love is fake love.
I kinda miss watching old-school reality TV shows, especially ones that had characters as amazing as Rakhi Sawant. Don’t you?