By Radhika Bhirani
New Delhi, Nov 21 (IANS) Did Shah Rukh Khan stammer in his last life? Or was Salman Khan as macho in his previous birth? Viewers are wondering if a new reality show based on past life regression therapy will answer questions about their favourite stars even as it has created quite a buzz.
"Raaz - Pichhle Janam Ka" will go on air Dec 7 and TV watchers are hoping it will rope in some high-profile celebrities.
According to channel officials, they have received over 8,000 calls from across the country to participate. Calls ranged from someone who had recurring dreams of dying in a plane crash to those who were scared of crows, water, fire and heights.
Sonia Maheshwari, 22, says: "I want to know if this is all for real or made up. I think it will be great fun if they bring in celebrities like Saif Ali Khan, Shah Rukh, Salman, Rekha and Rahul Dravid."
Ditto for public relations executive Saurav Bhanot. "It will be loads of fun to compare someone's present and past...and more fun if the person is a celebrity.
"Imagine knowing about Shah Rukh's past life...What was he? Was he this successful then as well? What exactly did he do in terms of work? His personal life and if there were any scandals in his past life...that would be so very interesting," he said.
Past life regression is a holistic form of therapy used by clinical psychologists to recover the memories of people and help them evade their present fears. The same will be shown on the NDTV Imagine reality show.
Mumbai-based practitioner Trupti Jayin will be the therapist on the show. She will use a meditative technique to take people back in time to rid them of their present-day fears, phobias and physical ailments by finding their roots in their previous lives.
The show will have celebrities like Shekhar Suman and Neil Nitin Mukesh as well as unknown faces with unique stories.
There are people who are looking forward to it.
Natasha Harjai, a 24-year-old lawyer, has been an avid fan of Brian Weiss' books on past life regression. She says the therapy is "magical" and it will make a good watch for people of all age groups.
"I think this show will help in clearing a lot of doubts about reincarnation and in affirming the beliefs of people who already believe in it," Harjai, a practising lawyer, told IANS.
"I know that there are a lot of people of all age groups who believe in this concept and will enjoy watching the show," she added.
The majority of people calling in for the show wish to know about their existence in the past, said Jayin, who has been doing it for a decade now.
"We get around 500 call-ins every day and I monitor quite a few of them. Most people want to come on the show just because they want to know what they were in their past lives, how they died, etc. They come for the sake of their curiosity," Jayin told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
However, popular psychiatrist Samir Parikh feels it is "sad" that what is usually done on condition of confidentiality is now being brought to a national platform like television.
"I think reality television is losing track. It needs limits of normality," opined Parikh, consultant psychiatrist at Max Healthcare.
(Radhika Bhirani can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)