Monica Bedi on her new reality show that gives fashion tips to grandmothers in Punjab’s remote villages.
How was it shooting for Desi Girl (for Imagine) in a Punjab village?
Hot! The place was like a furnace. Every task was difficult and the heat just added to our misery. We didn’t have any means of chilling out. We didn’t have air-conditioners. We were not allowed any luxurious items on the sets. So obviously, being a village belle is not all that easy.
The show is based on a format from a UK-based show. Have you seen it?
I haven’t seen the show. I don’t know if any of my seven colleagues on the show have. Whatever may have been the format originally, its ‘desi’ spin was a surprise. We didn’t know what tasks to expect. Everyday was a surprise.
This is your third reality show after Bigg Boss 2 and Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 3. Which one has been the toughest so far?
Everyone thinks that Bigg Boss is a task. Dancing to a new style on Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa is a pain. But after Desi Girl, I think Bigg Boss 2 was cakewalk. Jhalak… wasn’t a pain. I enjoyed this show but I wish it wasn’t hot.
Sambhavana Seth has been with you on two shows now, Bigg Boss 2 and Desi Girl. Why do you think she gets into catfights and ugly wrangles?
Catfights, gossip and bitching are not my cup of tea but they happen on every reality show. No show is complete without generous doses of these elements. I don’t know why, but Sam gets into ugly wrangles with all the other girls except me because we’re very close friends. She, for a reason I don’t know, tends to invite negative energy.
I can see that you’re siding your friend.
(Laughs) Yes. But on the sets, I didn’t side her when she was wrong. Actually, I never side her when she’s wrong. I try not to side with her on shows at all because other contestants become vindictive towards me. And that’s not fair because they think that I’m also part of the fight and gossip sessions when I’m not. Like on Desi Girl’s sets, it was difficult to convince the other girls that I’m neutral.
Why do you think people bitch and gossip on shows?
Probably because there are nomination processes on each of them. And everyone hates getting nominated and detests everyone who nominates them.
Why do you participate in so many reality shows then?
Because I have a kitchen to run. And I’m usually offered most of the reality shows. Maybe that’s because of the two others that I’ve already done. I don’t mind doing reality shows because there are big bucks and big names involved. Even the biggest superstars are now vying to be part of reality shows. So, why can’t I?
For the last two years, one has been hearing about your movie assignments.
(Smiles) I know, but now I can tell you that we’ll start rolling next month. And there are a couple of other assignments that I can’t talk about before they’re officially announced.
Two years after ending your relationship with Abu Salem, do you plan to get into another one?
Of course, at some point I’d really want to have a man in my life who supports me and whom I can love and look up to. But it’s difficult to find a man whom you can trust.
I’m sure it’s been a tough phase?
Completely. I’ve been through a difficult relationship and emerged triumphant. It’s not easy to start again.
It’s been six months since you went through the past life regression therapy. Has your life changed?
No. These therapies don’t solve your problems. I didn’t go to the show to solve problems because I don’t have any. It was to try the therapy.
You missed Rahul Mahajan’s wedding.
I was out of town. But I met Rahul and Dimpy on the sets of Desi Girl and congratulated them.
Would you accept a swayamvar show like him?
I don’t know. It’s scary yaar!