Dilli Darlings on Zee5 is guilty-pleasure reality TV at its best, a dramatic take on Delhi socialites at its worst

Karishma Upadhyay

Sep 07, 2019 16:32:34 IST

Picture this. A 40-something mother of two, sits atop the staircase in her Pitampura mansion, dressed down in a Mango t-shirt and scarlet palazzos. She looks at her phone and starts crying, because she’s just been told that her son has scored 98 in English and 90 in Mathematics. These aren’t tears of disappointment, these aren’t tears of joy; this is her shedding the ‘negativity’ from her life because she didn’t believe in her offspring. After all it doesn’t matter how ‘chulbula’ he is, turns out he’s serious in his ‘padhai.’ Said offspring makes an appearance and they make their way together to the gigantic temple housed somewhere on the ground floor, where they both start sobbing violently.

 Dilli Darlings on Zee5 is guilty-pleasure reality TV at its best, a dramatic take on Delhi socialites at its worst

A still from Dilli Darlings. YouTube

This is the kind of mother-son bonding I’ve waited my entire pointless life for to watch on screen and guess what, none of this is fiction.

India gets its own version of “The Real Housewives” franchise, with Dilli Darlings on Zee 5, a reality show that promises viewers a glimpse into the lives of ten socialites from the capital. The show is incredibly real, so much so that you catch the occasional glimpse of the camera crew in mirrors; there’s even a boom mic that makes it into one frame.

Dilli Darlings has some valuable life lessons, but none bigger than a few hundred styles to get your nails done in, each one with more bling than the other. And whoever said too much bling is a thing obviously didn’t know what they were talking about. Meet Puja Dua from Karol Bagh who loves white and gold. Her entire house has been done up in white and gold. Being rich is really, really hard work. So, through her three-minute long introduction, Puja changes from a white outfit to gold and then white, followed by gold. It brought back fond memories of Chitrahaar, where an actress couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t have just one outfit for the duration of a song.

Shalu Jindal too hates repeating clothes and loves the sound of her heels going tik-tok as she descends the specially-made glass stairs in her house. Shalu teaches us the importance of balancing things in life. While she loves her parties, it’s also important to respect your culture. She starts every morning by singing a short bhajan in her in-house temple that Santosh, the house help records for an FB Live. How else will the world know after all? When she’s being holy, she also dresses in traditional Indian outfits that make her feel beautiful ‘just like Yashoda Maiyya.’ You also learn about quality family time from her, as she sits with her two kids on a bed that has a jacuzzi attached to it. Together with her son Krish, they gang up on daughter, Disha for doing a job that pays (only) 60k a month, a sum that probably doesn’t even cover the petrol and parking for her Mercedes.

Being rich is really, really hard work! Cue: Dramatic sigh.

Deepshikha Lungani, lingerie model, mother to a sixteen-year-old, and self-styled ‘rebel’ has decided that acting is what she wants to do. So she goes for an audition and you see her standing against a green screen putting in the hard work and trying to pronounce ‘khoobsurat’ properly, but that damned English medium education kept getting in the way. But she doesn’t give up on her dream. Pragati Nagpal is proud to be the organizer of the best kitty parties in the city and Reena Mittal, a businesswoman from Pitampura, is happy to share her mantra for success and good health – a ‘lavish breakfast’. If you’re someone who’s lived even briefly in Delhi, you will recognize shades of people you’ve come across among each one of these ten darlings.

Dilli Darlings captures the undying spirit of rich women in our country’s capital. And, constantly reminds us mere mortals that being rich is no piece of cake. No really, you've got to watch it, to believe it.

Dilli Darlings is the kind of emotional rollercoaster and ‘educational entertainment’ only reality television can provide. In this current age of golden television, this is the kind of show that only a brave few would admit to binge-ing. The kind that’s akin to standing over the sink and eating cake at 3 in the morning. Your secret shame. The one you’d never tell anyone about. Reality television does tend to throw us a bone every now and then, one so juicy that it’s hard to resist going back for another bite. Face it—no matter how cringey you think a Splitsvilla or Jersey Shore is, there’s always someone watching. Alone. With nobody to judge them.

Deep down inside, we’re all voyeurs. This is the kind of content that lets us indulge in some hidden desire to live a certain kind of life while reassuring us that we’re better than these people. You’re too ashamed to talk about it, for the fear of being judged by your peers but really, there should be a place for beautiful garbage like this. Like Manya says, “Judgment is like dandruff. Jhaado. Aagey Badho.”

Updated Date: Sep 07, 2019 16:32:34 IST