Winning the pehla padao (first round) of Kaun Banega Crorepati 2. Rs 6,40,000.
Winning the aakhri padao (last round) of Kaun Banega Crorepati 2. Rs 2 Crore.
Winning the hot seat with Amitabh Bachchan. Priceless.
So you can blindly trust AB fans, media and couch potatoes to go ga-ga when AB decides to 'lock' his second innings on the small screen as the host of the hit game show Kaun Banega Crorepati.
The Big B, we witnessed on July 3, 2000, was fresh from embarrassing failures like Lal Badshah, Kohram, Hindustan Ki Kasam and Sooryavansham.
The new B, we witnessed on August 5, 2005, is riding the high horse post-Black, Waqt, Bunty Aur Babli and Sarkar.
And so three cheers for Big B as he exudes awe-inspiring degree of confidence to take charge of the second season of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Or do we call it KBC Dwithiya as Bachchan does?
It was show time at 9 pm on Friday, August 5. The familiar KBC theme brought back nostalgia and a big smile.
Amidst thunderous applause AB made his entry. "I am back," declared the superstar clad in a suave Reid and Taylor (a brand he endorses) black leather jacket, cream floral shirt and grey tweed trousers.
The 10 lucky participants were a mix of excitement, nervousness and anticipation. Without wasting a second further, Big B started the ball rolling. None of the participants hailed from Mumbai.
"What no one from amchi Mumbai or Madhya Pradesh?" the actor queried.
A victory in the fastest finger round earned Patna-born Abhishek Gaurav a ticket to the much-sought hot seat.
In a custard yellow shirt and black pants, the Indian Institute of Technology Chennai student began on a predictably star-struck note. He requested AB to wave a 'hi' to his friends and relatives. The actor willingly obliged -- 'Pande parivar ko mera hi'. A warming up session with the reticent Abhishek ensued:
"So you are from Patna? Have you heard of my good friend and journalist Subhash K Jha? He also lives there."
"A Sylvester Stallone fan? Working out? Asar dikh nahi raha (It doesn't show)."
And now time to roll up your sleeves and make some money: "Pehla show. Pehla din. KBC 2 ka pehla prashna (First day. First show. First question). Lets play KBC 2."
The question and answer session begins on a relatively smooth note:
Yeh sahi jawab hai.
Answer: Rajiv Gandhi.
Answer: Bill Clinton
Lock kar diya jaaye?
Last season Big B was lenient. This season, he throws in doubts. When Abhishek is quizzed which country is to be least likely hit by tsunami, Mongolia is his spontaneous reply. But Bachchan prods, 'Are you sure?' Luckily the lad is. It's a land locked country, he explains. Logic is his saviour and he is on to question number seven.
In the next few queries, Abhishek ends up utilising all his four lifelines -- phone a friend, audience poll, 50-50 and the new one, flip. If the contestant chooses the flip option, he can exchange the given question for a new one. The funny thing was Abhishek's gut feeling was right each and every time, but Big B played mischief. Keeping a poker-faced expression, Bachchan naively laid the trap with his inimitable suggestion 'Mann mein yaddi doubt ho to lifeline ka upyog karein (When in doubt, use a lifeline)'.
It wasn't all that bad for Gaurav. The lifelines helped him fetch a whopping amount of Rs 6,40,000.
The second contestant, Vivek Kalekar, owing to time constraints, got to answer only two questions.
The Pune-based shares trading investor came with his uncle to try his luck at becoming a crorepati. 'I threatened my kids with a gun like you did in your film Kyun! Ho Gaya Naa they went and saw the film and said, 'Daddy, it was only a water pistol,' he nervously narrated.
"Obviously they haven't seen my other movies," chuckled the angry young man of the 1970s.
Nothing has really changed. Every time a contestant employs the phone-a-friend option, AB utters in elan, "Hello, Main Amitabh Bachchan bol raha hoon Kaun Banega Crorepati se."
The response on the other end is always an ecstatic "Jee, mera soubhagya (It's my good fortune)."
As the Big B rapped in the promos and the beginning of the show -- Don't lose hope is the moral of the story. The prize money is double. There is an additional lifeline. Viewers can answer a question asked during the show and win too. There is something for everyone.
And then there is Amitabh Bachchan. The heart, body and soul of the show -- the real prize! Completely self-assured, he carries himself with undeniable aplomb. His spirited energy transfers through the television set. His wit is sharper than ever. He ribs, bullies and intimidates. He plays games (pun intended).
Even then there was nothing really unpredictable about the show. It was like AB had never left. It was like KBC had never taken a break. Just like that the star host and Computerji is back into our lives. It's good to have you back, Mr Bachchan.
Lock kar diya jaaye? Indeed!