Arranged marriages are an immutable fact of Indian life. The method of finding a spouse, apparently, is not. Parents seeking a suitable boy for their daughter usually ask around in their social circle, advertise in the matrimonial columns of the Sunday papers or, less commonly, they may sign up with a marriage bureau. But now they can choose a bridegroom in a television studio, watched by millions of people. Kahin naa Kahin Koi Hai (There is Someone Out There For Me) is India's first foray into reality television. The first episode was shown last night. The producers have wisely chosen a subject dear to every Indian's heart: seeing a daughter happily settled with a respectable young man earning a nice little income is the great Indian dream. Western reality programmes such as Temptation Island and Survivor have proved too outrageous for conservative Indian audiences. Sony, the channel producing the show, is hoping viewers will be hooked by the novel way of going about a traditional task, not to mention the voyeuristic urge to peep into other people's private lives. 'I think it will be a sure-fire winner,' said television critic Sevanti Ninan. 'Everyone will be fascinated at how boys and girls choose. People are bored stiff with the silly soaps that are on all the time and this will be rivetingly different.' In a country where matchmaking is a national pastime and watching films is an obsession, a big draw for audiences will be the host, India's most famous film star, Madhuri Dixit. First, families give a wish list outlining the qualities, beliefs or qualifications they seek in a spouse to the producers, who dig into their databank to come up with a list of suitable candidates. The two families draw up a shortlist of the potential spouses they wish to meet. The Sony team then puts them up at a hotel where their meetings and conversations are filmed. The bride eliminates her suitors one by one. Each bit of matchmaking will take about four episodes, and will end with the young woman announcing her choice. Though the actual wedding will not be televised, the couple will exchange rings and garlands in the studio. Producer Zarina Mehta conceded rejection was a delicate matter. 'It's up to us to handle it carefully. As we say on the show, it's not about how good the girl or boy is but about how well-suited they are. Rejection happens on the basis of suitability, not merit.' Sceptics believe the concept will not work. 'Indians are basically very shy,' said Indu Mirani, associate editor of film magazine Box Office. 'They do not appreciate intrusion in their personal lives.'