A retired cricketer addicted to animal porn, a wannabe model, an unusually large homosexual, and a foul mouthed kangaroo, all staying together under the same roof for four weeks: that is the kind of picture that materialized in my mind when I tried to imagine the Australian version of the reality television series Big Brother. But as it turns out the original thing is a lot less commonplace than what my imagination was able to concoct.

                 The Big Brother House, customarily, is an isolated territory where nothing from the outside intrudes and everything from the inside, except sewage, goes out. It’s true, the sewage is forced to stay inside the Big Brother Bathroom, which is why most of the contestants get pissed off and end up harassing the ones around them. The only person who managed to shield herself from the wrath of the smelly sewage was Shilpa Shetty but that was chiefly because she barely ate anything and didn’t have to use the bathroom at all.

                  However, in the more advanced Australian version, Big Brother has gone from withholding drainage facilities, which they felt was not very humanitarian on their part, to withholding information about a contestant’s father’s death. Emma Cornell, an Australian model, hoping to tread in Shilpa Shetty’s shoes, might just be the chosen one who’s next in line to start up with global anonymity and end up with international pity. Even though it’s been over a week since Emma’s father died of cancer, Big Brother still hasn’t broken the news to her. When asked about their decision to not disclose the news about Emma’s father’s death to her, one of the officials commented that in the Australian family system the Brother always takes a more prominent position when compared to the father.

                  Later, Big Brother revealed that it was Emma’s own family who wanted to keep the news hidden from her. Emma Cornell’s blood brother declared that it was a family decision and Emma would understand missing her father’s funeral. He also mentioned that after she returned if she badly wanted to attend her parent’s funeral he would happily cut their mother’s throat and throw her a brand new funeral, just to prove that family was the most important thing in the whole world. But, come what may, he would never let the label of ‘quitter’ be associated with his sister’s name. All the members of Emma’s family acquiesced with Emma’s brother’s statements and echoed that this is what her father had wanted. Her dead father, however, refused to comment on the issue.

                  Meanwhile, when news about Emma Cornell’s possible rise to fame reached Shilpa’s ears she realized that Emma was a creeper that had to be nipped in the bud. Shilpa Shetty currently holds the number one position in the list of people who are hated by half the world and pitied by the other half. Behind her, in a close second, is Saddam Hussein. Shilpa knew that if she let the situation escalate further her number one spot would be taken away from her. So she decided to break into the Australian Big Brother House and reveal the news to Emma. Since stealth was of utmost importance Shilpa made up her mind to dig a hole outside the Big Brother House compound and shovel her way inside. Things progressed smoothly but shit happened when Shilpa accidentally thrust the shovel into one of the drainage pipes coming from the House. But her experience as a Bollywood actress assisted her to thrive in shit. She finally emerged out of the hole and got into the house.

                 Emma Cornell was sitting down when Shilpa broke her the news. For a while she spoke nothing, but after she came back from her room her cheeks were glistening with tears. Though Shilpa instinctively felt a pang of guilt on seeing her cry she suddenly noticed something familiar¾something trademark of her own self. Looking into Emma’s face Shilpa realized that the tears moistening Emma’s cheeks were fake just like hers during the contrived racial row. However, when Shilpa accused Emma of being a phony, Emma replied by saying that it was not so and that she truly loved her father, Geoffrey. But when Shilpa told Emma that her dead father’s name was Raymond, Emma finally gave up the act.

EC: I’m here to win and nobody can stop me. I’ll soon be the most pitied, most hated person in the whole world.  

SS: Look, you don’t understand. You can’t take that away from me. That is all I have. Isn’t there anything I can do for you that might change your mind? 

EC: Well, there is one thing but there is no way you can make it happen. 

SS: What is it?  

EC: One of my biggest dreams has always been to get a hot kiss from the Hollywood star, Richard Gere in front of thousands of truck drivers. You wouldn’t know how to make that happen, would you? 

SS: Hmm…I think I might be able to help you with that.