One of the toughest things to tackle on Khatron ke Khiladi last year was the weather. We were shooting in South Africa, where it was the beginning of winter, and hailstorms were common. We’d be called for tasks at the weirdest of times and couldn’t wear even the most basic winter wear on camera. Sometimes, the temperature would be below zero, but we’d have to ignore the cold and jump from scary heights or walk a tightrope 60 metres above the ground. We would shiver, not out of fear but because the weather was extreme.
A couple of girls on the show had some experience of bungee jumping and diving. I hadn’t done any of that, but I decided to try everything. I had to drive a cycle into glass and put my head in a tub full of snakes. We had to bungee jump off a building into a net suspended mid-air, cycle across a ramp 17 storeys above the ground and jump off a helicopter. It was scary but fun too. I didn’t know how to swim but I performed underwater stunts in a river where the water was horrifically cold. Now, it doesn’t pinch if my geyser doesn’t work one day. I’m okay with a cold water shower too.
All of these were pretty extreme things, but my real extreme moment was when I had to stick my hand into a trough full of cockroaches. I could handle the snakes and rats and even iguanas. But dude, cockroaches... they were a nightmare.
Having to put my hand in that trough of cockroaches was the yuckiest part for me. Yanaa Gupta, who did every stunt with a smile, refused to do that. She said she’d pass, even at the risk of losing or having to do a tougher stunt. I mustered up the courage to do it, and well, I’m happy that I tried.
Now, if I find cockroaches in my house, I don’t scream loud enough to be heard in the entire locality. Instead, I run after them with a can of pest spray.
As told to Rachana Dubey