Television show Entertainment

COVID-19: How Ohmkar connected to television audiences with a virtual ‘iShmart Jodi Special’

Screenshot of a show... (from left) Ohmkar, judges chef Sanjay Thumma and his wife Ragini and couples participating in the show

Screenshot of a show... (from left) Ohmkar, judges chef Sanjay Thumma and his wife Ragini and couples participating in the show   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The anchor-turned-director speaks about reinventing the Telugu show and moving forward during lockdown

Trust Ohmkar to turn the tide and see opportunities even amid difficulties. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” says the anchor/director. His new Telugu show iShmart Jodi, a reality celebrity couple show on Star MAA had completed 16 episodes when the nationwide lockdown came into effect. The shootings had stopped but Ohmkar stayed connected with television audience with — iShmart Journey, digital talking sessions with participants. He explains, “We had organised online sessions with 10 celebrity couples (two were eliminated) who shared memories and best moments from the show. The heart-warming moments delighted the audience,” he says.

Fun-filled show

Ohmkar

Ohmkar   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

While the lockdown continued, Ohmkar, known for his love for drama on television created fun-filled iShmart Jodi Special, a digital competition among couples. The weekends on television at 9 pm turned interesting as couples had masti in the three rounds. The finale this weekend declares the winning couple, who earn an ‘immunity shield’. (This ‘shield/lifeline’ can be used once the shootings resume.)

While the first two rounds — ‘Guess the song’ and ‘Cookery’ are over, the third game —‘Memory Chain’ is currently on.

Couples had to guess a song in the first round. “The thrust of the round was to not follow a set routine; I would play a song from pallavi or charanam. Once the participants are able identify the song, they could use any household item as buzzer — either a pooja room bell or sounds of spoons hitting a plate.”

The ‘cookery’ round was fun and also challenging. Says Ohmkar, “Taste is the main thing that counts in a cookery competition but since it was a virtual show, judges Sanjay Thumma and wife Ragini tested the participants’ skill.” Couples had to make a cone dosa and a quick rava kesari.

Testing memory

Screenshot of participants

Screenshot of participants   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The third round is a word chain game to test one’s memory. Ohmkar gives a topic to which partners have to remember words previously said and continue the chain by adding new words.

Known for his grandeur sets and acoustics, Ohmkar admits he cannot recreate his vision in a virtual show but is confident the content will pull back the audience. Speaking on reinventing creativity during lockdown, he says, “Situation teaches us everything. No one expected this halt in life due to COVID-19. We learn, adapt and move forward during challenging times. The good part is we are not spending anything on shooting and no travelling also involved. We are at home and still managed to create a show. The lockdown is easing but there is also uncertainty.”

He calls the past few months as ‘bonding time and ‘workfull lockdown.’ Juggling different roles in television and films had made him extremely busy. “Earlier I used be at home only to sleep for six hours. Now due to the lockdown I am able to spend time with my family, especially my daughter. It is wonderful to able to see her walk up to me at any point of the day. It’s a new life with beautiful moments and memories.”

(‘iShmart Jodi Special’ on Star Maa on Saturday/Sunday at 9 pm and also streams on HotStar)

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Printable version | Jul 8, 2020 8:30:57 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/ohmkar-on-his-virtual-ishmart-jodi-special-and-how-he-is-reinventing-the-telugu-show-to-move-forward-during-lockdown/article31785868.ece

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