Apna Show – A South Asian Show for people of Boston/Malden area. (We had so stop producing the show after moving to San Jose.)
Below is a news coverage of our show in India NEW England newspaper.
Issue Date: August 1-15, 2008, Posted On: 8/11/2008 (Original Article as posted on India NEW England can be seen here)
Tuned in to the community
Cable access show in Massachusetts offers South Asian cultural programming
When software consultant Ashish Jain and videographer and television producer Sal Khan met last year at an India Day celebration in Malden, they hit it off so well that they decided to join forces and create their own public access television show.
Earlier this year, the two began the Apna Show, a program broadcast out of Malden Access Television that caters to the region’s South Asian population.
The word “Apna,” explains Jain, is Hindi for “our.” This slogan, he says, is one that he wants to instill in the local South Asian community to help them feel more like they have a place in larger society.
The format of the show is to feature an interview in the first half and a cultural show from a local group in the second half.
“Our agenda is to bring forward the stories of the community that have achieved something inspirational,” said Jain, 27. “First we get to meet the achievers, and then we get a piece of entertainment by local talent.”
The show, which airs twice a week and has new episodes monthly, started in February. The first interview was with local business owner Pushpa Karna of Aalok International, a clothing boutique, in Waltham. There has also been a music teacher from Sharon, a spa owner from Lawrence and a dance artist in Somerville featured on the program.
“We try to get diverse people, try to produce a show from different perspectives and try to represent all parts of the community,” said Khan, 62. So far they have been taking any suggestions for interviewees from people from their local community and requests that have been e-mailed in.
For the cultural part, dancers and singers are invited to come into the studio and perform, though most are taped off-site. Khan and Jain also accept previously taped dance and performance routines, and have used some footage from Khan’s show as well.
The show is bilingual and Jain says that makes it more accessible to viewers. “Since there is no one language from South Asia, it makes it hard. And we want the show to be as accessible as possible,” he said.
Jain, who has always been active in the local South Asian community, said that he always wanted to see South Asians have more of a presence in the greater community. He was also interested in performing and would do stand-up comedy routines in his home state of Indore, and spoke with Khan about possibly appearing on his show.
When the two met at the India Day celebration, Khan was taping for his own cultural show “The Sal Show,” which he describes as a “melting pot,” multi-cultural show consisting of musical numbers, dances and comedy routines. Originally from Pakistan, he worked for most of his life as a chef before he had a heart attack and his doctor forbid him from being around hot temperatures. He slowly started taking video production classes at the Malden Access Television station over 10 years ago.
The show has a Web site that archives old episodes for easy viewing on YouTube. The eventual goal, says Khan, is to go national and feature guests from across America. They hope to get on WGBH, the public broadcasting station in Boston. Currently they are on Malden Access Television’s Channel 3 Public Access Programming.