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Lokvani Talks to the Cool Couple Behind Bollywood TV: Arun and Pretty Kool

Chitra Parayath

Arun and Pretty Kool, hosts of the popular Bay area TV show Bollywood TV, are a unique couple in more ways than one. While talking to them, one is constantly surprised by the chemistry between them and the passion that drives their enterprise. Their enthusiasm and dedication to the cultural needs of the community are commendable. Watched by thousands of Indians in the area, Bollywood TV the fledgling show, has come a long way and is attracting more and more viewers every Sunday.

"We get a lot of feedback from the public," says Arun, "So far, the response has been very positive. We try to keep the suggestions and tips from our viewers in mind when we make the program. We are about entertainment: about giving the people of MA a fun filled half hour." They do have their finger on the pulse of the public as their fare of songs and dances is full of fun, vigor and energy.

"But we really want to introduce our youngsters to the music and culture of India. We are certain young boys and girls, and men and women given a chance will take to this brand of entertainment. This, we feel, is a great way to bridge the disconnect that prevails among our youth towards all things Indian. This way they are more likely to say "Wow look at this stuff, the guys and girls in India look so good and the choreography is so cool!" Maybe they'll only want to marry into our community then." laughs Pretty.

We asked them about Bollywood TV, how it came about and what drives the team behind the show. Arun and Pretty share a smile. " We have known for quite a while that this is what we want to do. Our Radio show, Funtime, was very popular. This TV show, we feel, is just a step forward." And the next step, we wonder... Pat comes the reply "A sitcom. We'd love to produce one, here in Boston. Bilkul local. And our target audience will be the whole world. Indians all over, even in India people should see and enjoy it. We are in the process of picking a story and are actively looking for folks to act in the sitcom."

The enterprising couple lead a very interesting life. "We do everything ourselves," chuckles Arun, "From the publicity to advertisements, the shooting, the mixing, the production, it's all done here." Expansively he points around. The TV camera and studio is in the first floor of their tastefully decorated home in Lawrence, MA. The living room houses the computers and other paraphernalia that helps put their show online. Pretty says" We want to be in the thick of it, the cutting edge technology. You can watch our show at any time from anywhere, just go online to our website, www.funtimeis.com ". Arun is the man behind the camera and Pretty usually hosts the show.

Arun and Pretty also run a successful business as professional photographers and videographers. Helping their happy customers cherish a special occassion, be it a wedding, birthday or Graduation ceremony, they are very busy indeed as their calendar is booked solid with future assignments." We work around the clock sometimes, till the wee hours but we are not complaining" says Pretty "We love what we do!" The couple have a way of finishing each other's sentences as though they are extensions of the same thoughts.

Arun and Pretty met at a social gathering in New Delhi fifteen years ago. Four days into their first meeting, they were engaged to be married. "We haven't had an argument or fight, ever." says Pretty. At our skepticism they laugh, while insisting that proximity has only made their hearts fonder. "We work together all day and somehow we have never had a disagreement about any issue." says Arun. Taking us on a tour of their audio recording studio downstairs, Arun explains "Here we have the latest recording studio and state of the art equipment. Various local bands come here to record their CDs."

Arun and Pretty also show us CDs that they have produced with Pretty singing Hindi and English Pop songs. They have both been part of a musical group with Pretty providing the vocals and Arun on the guitar. Their other avatar was as DJs and they both claim to love parties and merriment. And what else do they enjoy, we ask. "Watching Hindi movies, hanging out with friends and motorcycle rides. We also love our trips to India when we relax, enjoy Pretty's moms cooking and eating chaat." laughs Arun.

We have been lucky to have had such a good response to our endeavor; positive feedback from our viewers has given us an impetus to do even better. This is our way of contributing to the community by highlighting the achievements of not only the rich and famous but also of lesser known local talents. That is why we cover many local shows and programs." says Pretty. " And if it is worth a story we do it free of charge."

While attributing their success to years of hard work and dedication, the couple acknowledge the help and support they received from their friends and patrons." "Work hard and you can achieve anything at all!" says Arun, "When we started this, we had to learn the ropes from scratch. We had no formal training, we read and taught ourselves the ropes." Lokvani wishes the couple many more years of togetherness and hopes that their enterprise will reflect the great effort that goes into it.

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