A quiet room at a suburban hotel has turned into a fish market, as four hotties giggle incessantly, scream, shout, laugh and chatter non-stop. Pooja Bedi, Aditi Gowitrikar, Urvashi Sharma and Anita Hassanandani are excited about Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi, which goes on air on July 21 marking the launch of Colors (a Viacom-Studio 18 entertainment channel).
The show is also a first for Akshay Kumar who hosts it, and has 13 ‘Bollywood haseenas’, others being Sonali Kulkarni, Tapur and Tupur Chatterjee, Anjana Sukhani, Vidya Malvade, Nethra Raghuraman, Yana Gupta, Meghna Naidu and Dipannita Sharma testing their fear quotient.
Over to the four contestants about their experience, their host and dost and staying in an all-girls group.
So what did you fear to start with? “Snakes!! Have always been bitten by them and one of the tasks involved was having not one, but several snakes on me…” begins Pooja. Aditi had a phobia for heights and though she had tried bungee jumping before, she certainly didn’t want to try it again “but I kinda overcame that fear”, says she.. For Urvashi, she just didn’t like “any animals, not just the creepy crawlies.” Anita was just worried about having cockroaches around her. “They freak me out completely. I still can’t deal with them.”
The girls say they were made to do the most difficult, scariest, creepiest, ‘ugh’ tasks, in minus degree cold water, at dangerous heights etc “but the experience was unforgettable. We may have overcome some of our phobias, but also got new ones,” laughs Pooja.
Who was the most adventurous? “Most of us loved adventure, otherwise we wouldn’t have been there but Yana was in a completely different league of her own. It was as if the other girls versus Yana. She was the only one who was enthusiastic every time a dangerous stunt came up. She would finish one and ask, ‘What next?” says Pooja.
Unlike the others, Pooja and Aditi are mummies too. Weren’t they nervous to leave their kids behind? Didn’t they want to take them along? “No family, no friends were allowed. I have always believed in leading by example. If you want your children to be fearless, then you need to set an example first,” says Pooja. “Yes, I agree with her. My daughter did say that I shouldn’t go for it because she knew the kind of tasks Fear Factor involved. But I made her understand…” says Aditi.
The girls rue the fact that they hardly looked like ‘haseenas’ while doing the stunts. “Come on, it’s a reality show. How could we wear make up?” says Anita. Urvashi laughs, “Every time we tried to put some make up, we were giving a task under water. So we gave up.”
Finally, what tips did Akshay share? “He was our rock. He would tell us only one thing: the safety net was 100 per cent secure and so we had no reason to fear for our lives but just go there and conquer our fears. Besides, unlike other reality shows which are mostly rigged, this one meant either we finished the stunt or not…there was no in-between,” says Pooja. “We have come out of this stronger,” concludes Anita.
Reporter and Author: Suhaani Rai