The Bigg Boss ‘India- Isse Apna Hi Ghar Samjho’ registration for audition closed yesterday. It is a carefully thought out strategic move from Colors. A move that for being successful will require a lot more efforts than just selection of interesting common people.
The selected ones will live with the celebrities. Creating space for new interesting characters and stories with potential for align the viewers. How far will it go depends a lot on the ratio of common man to celebrity.
I am an ardent student of ‘Bigg Boss’ and have repeatedly questioned the use of celebrity as prop to attract audience. I believe the real test of the format is when it can stand on its own.
If it is just one or two common persons then it is no different than the initial seasons. Taking all residents as common people is possibly too big a risk for the channel. Nevertheless, they can start with a cross-cultural and geographical mix of people across social strata. Later on, if required to correct the fabric, the famous the magic wand of wild card entries and forced evictions can be used.
So what does Bigg Boss does to a viewer. It creates a 24×7 open zoo scrutinising every possible move by the animals (people) inside. It gives the audience a really high voyeuristic pleasure of seeing helpless residents of the house survive using of Saam Daam Dand Bhedh. It is not just the romantic relationships that get seeded but also human emotions that get challenged. It is not easy but essential to sacrifice friends and enemy at the altar of nominations and evictions.
Every year residents discover a new formula for survival. Forget the last year, the last episode, the last day or the last moment is no guarantee of future performance. The twists are more viscous than in the snake-and-ladder board game. The fragile emotions and at times boomeranging initiatives are all part of excitement for both the resident and the audience.
Is it survival of the fittest? I am not sure.
To me, Bigg Boss is a real challenge for anyone to participate. It takes sheer mental strength to go in and meet few strangers and spend time with no normal intervention and escapes provided by TV, newspaper, radio and the social media. It is a task of self-discipline and individual strength to partner and create new fragile equations fully knowing that the future is everything but stable. ‘Change is the new constant’ is something well 0xperienced in the house. There is a huge entrepreneurial streak that is evident in every action.
The culmination and the last few weeks are the real test of moral strength. Whatever one could say, truth remains is not different. If two fairies were dancing on a pinhead with fire burning around them, there will come a stage that one of them will push another. And these are just mere mortals living through their own vision and unsaid strategies for survival and win.
So, before the application gates closed, I put my hat in the ring. The 3-minute video and the short 500 character (not words) answer to ‘why I want to be in Bigg Boss’ was more like filling a university application form. The social media handles (Twitter and Instagram) will provide the team an insight, and help them decide if they should call for the audition.
Well, this is the area I fail. I am a dedicated domesticated husband with no affair outside marriage. My wife is my girlfriend, and we are in love. I have grown-up disciplined kids with no problems. There is no fight in the extended family. I have no court cases or police record. There are no controversies, and I am loved by all I have worked with (Hope that’s true!).
I do not make for an exciting story. After all, I am a mere engineering graduate from Jabalpur, a sleepy little Tier-II town in Madhya Pradesh and a IIM Ahmedabad alumnus with corporate experience in advertising and media. Now an independent brand and marketing advisor, trainer and facilitator. This does not make an intoxicating cocktail that could excite the team at Colors auditioning for the future residents.
Now, this is where the selectors and their algorithms could go wrong. They need a person who will be disruptive in thinking. One who is capable of playing the game-like chess. One who thinks that it is like golf, where you play the game more with yourself. A team leader who knows how and when to morph into a team member. A person who is genuinely concerned about others. And the biggest drawback, a person not so vocal in his demands and conscious of the imagery that he will project from the screen.
May be, they will ignore my application for audition at their own risk.
First published in MXMINDIA.COM under the wednesday column KOTMARTIAL and it carried a editor’s remark – ‘Colorswaalon, please do not select Monsieur Kotnala. MxMIndia readers can’t do without ‘Kotmartial’ for three months! – Ed’