The strength of a real hero

Amrita Prasad
Friday, 8 February 2019

During his visit to Pune for MTV Roadies Real Heroes’ auditions, Rannvijay Singh Singha spoke to Sakal Times about his journey on the show over the past 15 years and what the new season, which kicks off tomorrow, has in store

The 16th season of MTV Roadies is back with a bang and this time with a new theme. MTV Roadies Real Heroes, which will premiere on Sunday (February 10) 7 pm onwards, will showcase stories of courage, valour and bravery with real-life heroes as contestants from across the country. The show will pay an ode to the virtue of heroism. 

While host and ringmaster Rannvijay Singh Singha is back to add twists at every level, Neha Dhupia, Prince Narula, Nikhil Chinapa and Raftaar will be the frontrunners for their teams and lead the gangs. To take the fight to the next level, legendary sportsman and former Indian hockey captain Sandeep Singh will be joining the team of gang leaders.

Rannvijay, whose name is synonymous with the show, says that it feels great to be a part of the longest running reality show. “I have been a part of the show as a contestant, gang leader and now, as a ringmaster for two consecutive years, so I have had a first-hand experience of all. With this season’s theme, I am excited to witness the strength and courage of the real heroes of our country and may the best one win,” says Rannvijay, winner of the first season of Roadies. 
He says that he is going to make things challenging and exciting for all the gang leaders. “All these guys are striving to become the number one roadie or gang leader, but if I don’t make it challenging for them, they won’t feel the spirit of competition. They have to keep a competitive spirit during tasks or when they have to take some tough decisions which will reflect on their gang’s performance. Decisions like saving your gang members when you have the power to give immunity to just one person and you have to decide whom to give it is really tough,” he adds.
Rannvijay was the gang leader for two seasons after which he became the ringmaster. He describes his role on the show as ever evolving. “I am not a 20-year-old guy anymore, my participation and responsibility towards the show had to change with time. Now at 35, I am more involved in creating the show with a lot more logic — from being a contestant when I had no control but maximum enjoyment, being a host, being a gang leader who would be a part of selecting people and guessing what would happen next in the task, to now being the ringmaster, where I control people who have achieved so much in their lives. It is exciting and feels like a sense of achievement,” says Rannvijay adding that Roadies is like an extended family for him.
Each gang leader on the show comes from a unique profession and that adds the fun element. Coming from different walks of life creates this interesting potpourri of ideas, cultures, attitude and uniqueness. Rannvijay says that their professional backgrounds help them apply the skills in the tasks. “For a sportsman like Sandeep, to lead, follow and operate, within the parameters of physical and mental fitness is easy whereas Raftaar, who has been through so much in life and has achieved success, knows the difficulties and hardships. From being an architect to an RJ, VJ, actor, DJ and now owning a music festival, Nikhil has seen a lot. Each one of them derive different experiences from their own life, how they dealt with different situations, how they reacted and so on, and apply the same. They utilise what works best for them and they also learn from each other,” says Rannvijay.
The crop of contestants this year is very interesting because they’ve got a hugely female dominated selection. Rannvijay says that everyone in the team is a feminist, and that perhaps, impacted the selection subconsciously. Rannvijay, who completely believes in gender equality says, “Raghu, Rajiv, and I have always stood for what’s been happening now (referring the #MeToo movement) since the beginning and not because it was in fashion then. It is just the way we have been brought up. Roadies is one place where you’ll see girls and boys doing the same task. We’ve got some women contestants who are really interesting —  one of them is in the police, another is a boxer. We are all impressed by them.”

Talking about real heroes, he adds, “Some young people, who have been selected under the Real Heroes category, are doing such amazing work and have been selflessly working for the betterment of society. However, Roadies has had heroes coming on the show always — people come and express themselves. Girls and boys, who have suffered domestic violence, molestation, and have been bullied, have managed to tackle their insecurities and have fought back when being body shamed. They have come out and shared their stories and feel liberated. There are other kids who look up to them to seek inspiration: ‘If they can overcome such difficult situations, we can overcome too.’ Every story is different and inspiring for others.” 

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