This is probably going to be the most interesting posts of all time. I got a chance to interview Raghu Ram and Rajiv Lakshman at the Roadies 9 Chandigarh Auditions. It was one of the most interesting half hours I ever spent. Of course, you don’t get a chance to interview Raghu and Rajiv everyday and not poke Raghu deliberately, to get abused, just so that you have interesting material to write about in your blog. But of course, life puts you in a more comfortable position when you have a press card hanging around your neck and are quite sure that Raghu has to think twice before he speaks anything! (\m/)
Anyway, here’s the whole interview that I had with Raghu, or if I may say, a censored version of it.
DISCLAIMER: The following content may have some adult language, though I tried hard not to write any. If you get offended by the use of such language, then Frankly Speaking, I don’t give a damn. Only read if you wish to, else there’s always the close button.
Q. Roadies has been running successfully for 10 years now, how do you see that the youth has changed over the years? And how have you people changed?
Raghu: The youth of today are more driven. They are more motivated today, more clear about what they want and not. I was more chilled back then. There was a lot less pressure on us.
Rajiv: We wouldn’t have met a group of Bloggers like you back the.
Q. What are you exactly looking for in a Roadie this year?
Raghu: We meet many interesting characters every year. Just meeting them is fun enough. This year, I would say we’re looking for passion, not only for being a Roadie, but for anything in life.
Q. What have you learned from Roadies in 10 years?
Raghu: We put in our heart and soul into Roadies each year. I’ve just learned and seen one thing, hard-work pays, and that’s it! If you’re given a nail & a hammer and you keep chiseling for a long time, you’re bound to get a diamond. We just think about one year at a time, never worry about the TRP’s. They’re a secondary issue.
Q. How did the idea of Roadies come along?
Raghu: MTV hires psychos. They hire mad. MTV is made of personalities. They look for people who can do something crazy. Fortunately I was one of those. There was a Cyrus before Cyrus Broacha too. He was the brain behind Bakra, he was crazier. Everyone you see on MTV is mad in some way or the other.
Q. Just yesterday I saw you in a promo for WTF. What’s that all about?
Raghu: That is just something to show everyone what kids feel about what is going on around them. I think the youth of today is mature enough. Yet, they’re not given their due. If they can drive at 18, chose the fucking Govt. by voting at 18, can marry, divorce and remarry, then why can’t they fucking drink before 25? Either totally ban consumption of alcohol, or don’t make ridiculous rules.
Q. How do manage to keep yourself fit? We’ve seen you look fitter every year…
Raghu: Fit? I’m not fit. I’ve never felt worse in my life. I’m an insomniac, in fact not insomniac exactly, I’m sleep deprived. I work for 20 hours a day. I hardly rest. Fitness I feel is not about climbing mountains or going to gyms, it’s about eating healthy, feeling healthy.
Q. People consider you a youth icon. What change would you like to bring when you have the power to do so?
Raghu: Bring changes? Are you suggesting I join politics? (laughs) I don’t think I can change anything and neither do I think I am a youth icon or something.
Q. What is your take on the new breed of politicians, like Rahul Gandhi?
Raghu: There are both kinds of politicians. Old politicians need to retire, agreed. But I don’t stand by Rahul Gandhi too. Had he opposed his party and stood for Anna Hazare, he would have been correct, but I don’t stand by his view-point as of now.
Q. But don’t you think the Anna Hazare went too far by holding the Govt. on ransom in order get his whims to be obeyed?
Raghu: Too far? I’ll tell what is going too far politics of hate, mob violence, communal riots. A peaceful protest is not going too far.
Rajiv: When do you draw the line between holding the Govt. on ransom and putting up with a wounded Govt. I think its high time someone held the Govt. at ransom and asked the questions that they should have answered way back.
Q. What do you think about people like Rahul Mehra, who are also standing up for issues but are not getting noticed as much?
Raghu: I wouldn’t say much. A lot of people do things, get laws passed but law makers are targeted often after getting laws passed. That is an even bigger problem.
Q. You have an image that most people fear you. Who Raghu and Rajiv fear?
Raghu: I don’t fear anyone. There are people who we respect, but I don’t think we fear anyone, c’mon, koi kha thodi jaega yaar. (No one’s gonna eat you as such.)
Q. There is one image of yours, that on TV, that of an angry abusing….
Raghu: (Snaps in between, doesn’t let me complete) See… Again… I don’t always abuse, bhosdike! (laughs) Please continue.
Q. There is one image of yours, that on TV, of an angry, abusing sort of guy, on the other hand you play very different characters in films, where’s the real you?
Raghu: In films, I play characters, I act, Both Omar Sheikh in Jhootha Hi Sahi and the Johri brothers in Tees Maar Khan, we act and that’s that. Here, sitting in front of you is the real me.
Q. And what is Raghu’s character in real life?
Raghu: I’m characterless. (with a laugh)
Q. Final words sir… Describe Roadies in one word?
Q. And in one line…
Raghu: More than just a TV show.