On a difficult road

A still from MTV Roadies Rising shoot in Alwar, Rajasthan

Travelling across India, MTV Roadies Rising is all set to bring out the warrior instinct in contestants by making them undertake daredevil stunts. SANGEETA YADAV travels to Alwar to speak to the mentors about their gang

The temperature has peaked, so has the battle of the MTV Roadies Rising Season 15 warriors. The situation is do or die. The four mentors — Neha Dhupia, Nikhil Chinapa, Rannvijay Singh and Prince Narula are all geared up with their teams to win the next task which is about balancing two bowls filled with water through zig-zag panels in the front and walking on a thin log kept over burning coal.

Looks tough? Nah… not for googly master Harbhajan Singh who surprises everyone with a twist. He not only decides to swap one member from each group but also, to make their comeback on the show, the teammates have to win this balancing task. The failed swapped member and the performer will bid adieu.

The survival stakes are high and mentors in a tizzy as they have to pick the best from the lot. After a brainstorming team session, the task finally resumes around midnight on the barren farm land of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar. To be the gang leader is no cakewalk. The mentors are equally a part of the task and making decisions doesn’t come easy either.

“When a task is presented to us, gang leaders have to decide which contestant will take up the challenge and give suggestions about how to approach the task, what to focus on, where one might make mistakes. There is a certain thought process and logic that goes into it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But that’s okay,” Chinapa says.

As each team performs the balancing act, its mentors scream and shout to encourage the contestant to keep moving carefully. “Not just the contestants, even the competition with the gang leaders is fierce. When it comes to the task, we are cool and collected but when our teammates perform, we scream and kick like nine-year-olds. This transformation is unbelievable. As gang leaders, we also spend a lot of time hanging out, chatting and playing games,” Chinapa adds.

Themed around bringing out the warrior instinct in roadies, the journey will travel across the destinations where the war took place in India like Jhasi, Gwalior, Alwar, etc.

The crazy four mentors have given five contestants each who compete the task and get eliminated on the basis of their performance. Each gang has its own symbol that defines who they are.

“My gang symbolises the Sher. There is Saiyukta Hegde (18) from Bengaluru and has done a Kannada film which is the highest grosser ever in regional cinema. Despite the fact that everybody asked her not to join Roadies she pursued her dream and I like the fact that she is not doing it for fame and money. Aggy (27) from Goa had a disturbed childhood as he grew up watching domestic violence between his parents. He has stammering problem and is into fitness and aspires to be an actor. For him, being on the Roadies will make him gain confidence.

“Samar lived alone in Thailand and used to clean mats at a kickboxing school where he also got trained in the sport. He returned to India and started his kickboxing school in Guwahati. He has also represented India at international kickboxing championships. Shiv from Maharashtra used to live in a slum where he would have to walk half a km to access a toilet. He got into dancing and now teaches the children by charging Rs500 a month. After a lot of hard work, he and his sister have bought a house with an attached bathroom. Another contestant Virpal aspires to give back to her mother and aunt for bringing her up single-handed,” Rannvijay Singh tells you.

The logo of Neha Dhuipa’s gang is a gladiator helmet, Prince Narula’s team represents the Skull. Talking about his gang, Chinapa says: “My gang is the wolf pack. One of the contestants is Rahul from Delhi who does several jobs, one being a DTC bus conductor. Khushnuma is an aspiring model and actress from Gujarat. Priyank from Mumbai is into performing arts and a dancer, model, actor and choreographer. Chiranjeevi comes from a village in Andhra Pradesh from where you would not expect a roadie to emerge. He is a priest and at times has performed his tasks wearing a lungi which he likes to be in.

Prabhjyot is from Mansa district in Punjab. She left her home 10 years ago, studies and stays in a hostel and a TV reporter by profession. She has been making her ends meet all alone. She is a extremely strong, motivated and fiercely independent girl. All these contestants come from diverse background which makes for a good balance in the team,” Chinapa says.

Watch out for the Roadies Rising on MTV on every Saturday and Sunday at 7 pm.

(The article also got published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/on-a-difficult-road.html).



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