Date: October 8, 2011
Place: Indradhanush Auditorium, Panchkula
Purpose: MTV Hero Roadies 9- Chandigarh Auditions
Approx. Gathering: 5000
Level of Excitement: 400%
On Stake: Everything or Nothing!!!
I was there at the venue at 10.30 am, but to my amazement it was almost impossible believe my eyes. In the pinch of the October sun, thousands of contestants lined up to give the Roadies 9 Chandigarh Auditions. The sound of their breath sounded the same, Roadie is what it said and the excitement and the tension was building by the moment. Even as the beads of sweat wet the Roadies 9 application forms in the hands of the contestants, hopes lingered in the minds of each one of them, if not to be a Roadie, then atleast to face Raghu, Rannvijay and Rajiv in the interview rooms. If not to meet Bani, then just to have a glimpse of her. And boy-o-boy what was the reaction when I so much as mentioned her name in front of the crowd!
While the crowd roared for the cameras and was getting anxious outside, waiting in the queue, inside the waiting room, there was a whole different atmosphere. Raghu and Rajiv were about to arrive and the energy of the crowd percolated onstage too. The emcee held short contests to give away exclusive MTV Roadies Merchandise to the contestants who came up to show any special talents they had, and believe me, there were many. From a rapper dude who danced to the tunes of Sheran di Kaum Punjabi, to a scantily dressed babe who sung and danced for ex-Chandigarh Roadie Mohit. While the rapper burned the stage with his amazing dance moves, and won himself a pair of limited edition Nike shoes. Anamika, another ex-Roadie, on the other hand gave away a Roadies T-shirt to the girl who sung for Mohit. Phew! Someone did actually need some covering up to be done there. Well done Anamika! But it was Mohit actually, who made her horny…. Literally, I meant, by giving her a pair of blowing horns, the kind that I used last on my 5th birthday.
Just as many of the people from the crowd were being called onstage to participate in these little contests, we spotted Gaurav in the crowd, sporting a ‘Raghu look’ as he called it. And as if being bald and keeping the signature beard of Raghu- Rajiv was not enough, he also wore Raghu’s trademark expression. While the crowd around him cheered and laughed, Gaurav insisted on maintaining the same tough look and a stare at the people around him through his eyebrows. A few rounds of push-ups, singing and dancing later, it was finally the moment. The moment the sped thousands of heart-beats and stopped the rest. The moment, that it seemed, half of Chandigarh was waiting for since 6 am at the venue. The moment to welcome Raghu, Rannvijay and Rajiv!
But what is Roadies without surprises! And there was one for us in the waiting; and a big one too at that. With the three R’s (as they are popularly called), enters a tall. frail looking man with long hair, slightly greying at the temples. Behold Nagesh Kukunoor! That was that. And my day was a success just being under the same roof as my dream director. Touring with the Roadies audition crew, Nagesh was here to promote his upcoming film Mod, starring Rannvijay and Ayesha Takiya. The immense popularity of Rannvijay among the two thousand strong crowd inside the waiting hall and the many more outside, Kukunoor ensured a houseful across all screens releasing Mod the next weekend.
Rannvijay, a Punjabi himself and also an ex-Chandigarh Roadie, when greeted the crowd in Punjabi, their reaction sent all seismographs across Chandigarh to an all time high. After a little stint on stage by all the three, it was time finally for the Group Discussion rounds to begin. The atmosphere inside GD Rooms walls too hot. While everyone tried to make themselves heard, however much they deviated from the subject, there were few who actually struck gold in the eyes of the Moderators. While the moderator in GD Room 2, Sugandha, in an interview after a round of GD I attended said that she prefers clarity of thought over a guy with a dynamic personality all muddled in his head, in GD Room 1, where Rajiv paid a surprise visit during the GD round, Gaiti, the Moderator said that she looks for both aspects equally, a dynamic personality, as well as clarity of though, and she would snowball a guy with either of these qualities into the Interview rooms to face Raghu- Rajiv.
Been There, Done That
I also got a chance to interview the ex-Roadies Mohit, Anamika and Suchit, of Roadies 8 fame. Mohit and Suchit were the best performers as far as I had heard and this what they had to say to those who want to be Roadies:
Q. What is it that makes Roadies from Chandigarh different from the rest?
Mohit: They are more daring. The three of us were from Chandigarh.
Anamika: Rannvijay, Ayushman and Bani, all were from Chandigarh and most Chandigarh Roadies have out-performed everyone else.
Q. A word of advice to those who want to be Roadies.
Mohit: Don’t try to be over smart. The more you use your head, you get to know that you’re competing with Raghu and Rajiv, so it’s no point.
Anamika: Just do your tasks well. Win immunities. That’s the key.
Suchit: Everyday on the journey is a winning day. Just go out there. Enjoy!
Q. What’s the best part of Roadies?
Mohit: The journey. The bike rides, which are probably the most under-rated. But its the only part without competition, without politics.
Anamika: Yeah. the journey of course. Those 45 days. Riding on Karizmas. I think the Karizma is the best bike in the world.
Q. How has life changed after Roadies?
Mohit: Life has changed. The journey was tough and long. My personal toughness level has grown immensely.
Anamika: We have tested all boundaries of ours. Physically and mentally. We’ve grown as people I guess. Specially the nude task that these boys performed. That was the limit.
Suchit: I feel like now I’m satisfied with life. Or atleast a large chunk of it.
Q. What do you have to say about the nude task?
Mohit: Back home, there was a lot of media attention, newspapers etc made it sound embarrassing, but it was a test of character nonetheless.
Anamika: Their respect grew in our head manifold.
Suchit: Saari sharam nikal gayi boss. (Shed all shyness at once)
Q. Any message for Roadies 9 contestants?
Mohit: Cowboy style man, in US of A. Beware! You’re gonna have your ass whipped!
Anamika: Good luck!
Stay tuned. Stay Raw.