It’s day one on the sets of UTV Bindass Dadagiri 4 — Revenge Of The Sexes. The temperature at 11.30 am could be hovering around 30 degrees on a hot and humid December morning. Our bus halts at the muddy terrain next to a narrow bypass dirt road. “We can’t move ahead,” shouts the driver. As we wait for help, a cop on a speeding bike applies brakes to enquire what’s happening. After some convincing, he’s off on his patrol. Within minutes, four SUVs pick us up, driving into a huge patch of no man’s land. It gets breezy as we get closer to the sets. At a distance, all we can see is the open sky, above the deep blue sea. Welcome to Goa.
The shoot is being held at Goa’s border district of Cancona on a secluded beach. Karnataka is just about 15 kilometers away. On the way, we notice Suniel Shetty, who is being applied make-up before he shoots the first episode. “I am here to see the story of the dadas. I want to see what they do, what it takes to be a dada, does it mean bullying someone, or if it’s a state of mind about being fearless and overcoming your fears,” he states. Further up, close to the coast, a huge patch of densely forested land has been cleared to make way for the elimination rounds.
At the shoot, it’s dada Vishal who enters first, followed by the seven girls and seven boys who meet each other for the first time. Gifts are exchanged. The boys hand over underwear to the girls. The girls, in return, give the guys a bra, which they have to wear and catwalk. At this point, Shetty walks in and tells the contestants that he too had gone through dadagiri in college and that it’s about the survival of the fittest. Later in the episode, an argument goes out of hand and a girl slaps a boy. The boy slaps her back in a fit of rage. As punishment, the boy is put through an elimination task by the dada.
Late in the evening we head back to the living quarters of the contestants, on a hillock right next to the beach. The sound of waves fills the air. The makeshift residences, which include sun beds and washrooms, resemble any five star accommodation in Goa, except that there is no air-conditioning. But the cool sea breeze takes care of that.
Girls v/s boys
At sunset, the shoot is still on, under floodlights, on the pristine beach. “This time while doing our research, we understood that the ancient fight between boys and girls still exists. Our last season was completely different. It was about teams competing against each other, this time it’s girls versus boys. Girls want to compete against guys in every aspect of life and this is what we have brought on the screen,” says Nikhil Gandhi, business head of the channel, who we bump into on our way back. It’s now close to 8 pm, the cameras are still rolling and so does the chatter among the contestants. Looks like it’s a long night ahead.