Living 24/7 on camera

Did you find any of the participants to be uncomfortable? Agreed, they were speaking in a hushed tone and using code words to avoid controversies, but all of them seemed to be pretty much at ease otherwise. Which brings us to the question — for celebrities, is being under constant electronic watch a boon or a bane?

Responses from ‘Bigg Boss’ and some other reality show participants are mixed. Some love it, some are uncomfortable and for some, it does not make a difference, or so they claim.

Take Ashutosh Kaushik, winner of the last season of ‘Bigg Boss’ for example. “For me it does not make any difference to be under constant surveillance of an electronic device. Even when I am leading my life normally, I always think that God is watching me and thus my behaviour or things that I do will not change.” Quite an interesting way to look at things, one must admit.

While it is true that his indifference to the camera did play a role in his victory in two reality shows — ‘Bigg Boss’ and ‘MTV Roadies’, not everyone shares his thoughts. For a number of celebrities, lack of private time and space does affect them and put them on guard throughout the day.

Says singer Debojit, who went on to become one of the most neutral and loved contestants in the last season of ‘Bigg Boss’, “When I went into the house, I was not sure how many cameras it would have and how much of detail it would capture. I must admit when I realised that all my moves would be photographed, it was a bit uneasy. I was not sure how it would be televised and accepted by the audience. More so since it does become a bit ugly inside the house after a few weeks.”

Debojit had an additional worry to take care of since his wife was expecting when he agreed to be an inmate of ‘Bigg Boss’ house. “I had to be extra cautious because I did not want her to see something bad, get excited and harm her and the baby’s health. I remember being very tense when I had a slight skirmish with Raja Chowdhury and it was televised. But thankfully Bandana (his wife) took it nicely and I was also out of the house in 10 weeks.”

Some other participants like Gurmeet Chowdhury and Debina Bonnerjee have been able to use the 24 by 7 surveillance effectively to their benefit. The couple who played Ram and Sita in the recently concluded ‘Ramayan’ have been seeing each other for the last four years, but never really confirmed their relationship. When they were cast as a couple in ‘Pati Patni aur Woh’, the rumours got stronger and they utilized this opportunity to the hilt.

Says Gurmeet, “I proposed to Debina on the show in full public view of a national channel. She always wanted me to propose to her in a special way and I thought nothing could be better than proposing her on national television. And that is what I did! So I feel it was a great opportunity that was provided to us by a reality show. And it was possible only because we were under electronic surveillance throughout the day!”

The couple is not alone in utilizing such shows and the constant monitoring to their advantage. People like Rahul Mahajan and Monica Bedi who had a lot of bad press before participating in the show, were able to clear their names and even win the hearts of the viewers by making the right moves at the right times in full view of the cameras. Today both Rahul and Monica have managed to come back in the limelight all thanks to ‘Bigg Boss’. So, it really depends on how you can utilise electronic surveillance to your advantage.

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