Ajmer, June 11: It was a classic example of how reality TV can turn commoners into stars. Navneet Rastogi, Doyel Sarangi and Ripudaman Handa finalists of "Masterchef - Kitchen Ke Superstars" had to be guarded by a human chain of 10 security personnel when they visited the dargah of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti here Monday. They ended up eliciting an unexpected response from the locals.
Visitors at the holy shrine followed the 'Masterchef' entourage, trying to capture photographs, wave at them or even just manage a glimpse of the finalists.
Ladies, especially, were excited about watching the 'star TV cooks' live, and even those who usually cover their faces with a veil, bent rules and lifted it to get a clear view of the 'stars'. The experience made the finalists feel like winners already.
"It was a very satisfying and enjoyable experience," Doyen, a Bengali housewife, told IANS after her "beautiful darshan".
For young and raring-to-go Ripudaman, a Delhi-based gym trainer, it was "lovely" to be at one of the holiest places in the country and watch the crowd go ga-ga over the show, and its contestants.
Navneet, who is from Varanasi, said he had heard a lot about the Ajmer Sharif, but never got a chance to visit the place. A religious person at heart, he was delighted at the opportunity to pray here.
The trio, dressed in their white 'Masterchef' outfits, was guarded by 10 security men, making it difficult for the several men and women jostling to break through and meet the finalists.
They offered flowers and a chadar each at the dargah, with a hope that their "dreams come true". They also served some self-made 'zarda' or sweet saffron rice.
The finale of "Masterchef - Kitchen Ke Superstars", a cookery-based competition, will air on Star Plus June 14. The show is judged by popular chefs Sanjeev Kapoor, Kunal Kapur and Vikas Khanna.