With the kind of reputation reality shows have gathered, forget considering taking part in one. I, for one, had never bothered to watch them on the tube, but when I was given the chance to participate on Dell Inspiron Road Diaries, I grabbed the opportunity, not without dilemmas and apprehensions though.
The lure So this is what the show promised: An adventure-filled road trip to unknown destinations across India in a four-wheeler with four strangers, all of us competing to get a chance to fulfill travel-related ‘wishes’. Whoever manages to get the most number of wishes fulfilled, wins. Whoa!
For me the trip meant that apart from a long break from work, I would also get to do stuff that I wanted to, but never had the time for. But as tempting as the prospect of traveling to exotic locales was, the idea of being on camera almost 24/7 wasn’t comforting. Yet, despite initial apprehensions, I hit the road with four strangers: Nikita Yadav from Delhi, Sunny Sharma from Bangalore, city-based Lokesh Batta and Avneet Setya from Chandigarh.
One of the biggest challenges while being on any reality show is to ‘be yourself’ or ‘loosen up’ in an environment where cameras follow your every move. Thankfully, cameras didn’t follow us into our bedrooms. And wherever we halted for rest, so did the cameras!
It took a couple of days for us to get used to the daily ritual of waking up at 5 am, wearing microphones, gearing up for the day’s task and setting off to the next destination. Eventually, as we got into the rhythm of the shooting schedule and our competition, a sort of comfort set in too.
The five of us derived strength from the fact that we were all sailing in the same boat. And because we were non-actors and had regular lives to go back to, silly drama and antics on camera were the last things on our minds.
Buddies or competitors?
It was difficult to travel together as buddies yet compete during the tasks. It was even more difficult to stay sane at times when sleep deprivation and exhaustion got the better of us and we knew that there was a menacing task waiting to welcome us at the next destination Trip of a lifetime For a month we travelled across India’s varied terrains to places I didn’t know even existed. From saying yes to exciting, daring tasks to fulfilling crazy travel ‘wishes’ such as posing as a TV reporter and asking a silly question to random strangers on the road to even driving a tractor and jamming with folk musicians, we did it all.
Did I mention that I am suffering from sickening withdrawal symptoms now?