Shardul Pandit on finding love in Bigg Boss 14: ‘I don’t believe in love that trends for few days and ends when the season is over’
Before entering Bigg Boss 14, wild card contestant Shardul Pandit spoke to Hindustan Times about surviving the lockdown, his game strategy and the possibility of finding love on the show.Updated: Oct 26, 2020, 00:06 IST
Television actor Shardul Pandit, who has acted in shows such as Bandini, Godh Bharaai, Kitani Mohabbat Hai 2 and Kuldeepak, is the newest entrant on Bigg Boss 14. He is one of the three wild card contestants on the popular reality show, along with television actors Kavita Kaushik and Naina Singh.
Shardul made headlines during the coronavirus lockdown when he revealed that he was forced to sell his car, leave Mumbai and return to his hometown Indore after his savings were exhausted. He also talked about losing work due to health problems and slipping into depression. It was through therapy and the support of some industry friends that he could bounce back.
Before entering the Bigg Boss house, Shardul spoke to Hindustan Times about his survival strategy, favourite Bigg Boss contestants and the possibility of finding love on the show. Excerpts:
Q. What made you decide to be a part of Bigg Boss 14?
A. I don’t know how to answer that question. I think Bigg Boss should be saying why they chose me. I am too small to say that I chose Bigg Boss, I can’t be a megalomaniac and say that. Bigg Boss and Colors chose me.
Q. You have talked about facing financial hardships during the lockdown. How was that for you? Do you think Bigg Boss 14 will open new doors?
A. It already has opened new doors for me. I mean, how on earth would I be giving an interview to HT online if Bigg Boss wasn’t happening?
Q. This season has already started off with quite a few twists and turns. Do you have a survival strategy?
A. Yes, of course. I have survived life and that is pretty difficult. What I survived in the last one and a half years, I can vouch that anyone who goes through that would probably give up. I have already survived life, now I have to see how I will survive situations and people and tasks and a reality show.
Q. Can you elaborate what you mean when you say anyone else in your place would have probably given up if they experienced what you went through?
A. As I had mentioned in my post, I did go through a pretty rough patch as far as my health was concerned and also my family. My mother was undergoing chemotherapy at the same time. I had almost no finances because the show that I did before that, the money was stuck and then it got over. The lockdown was the nail in the coffin because all of us had no hope or avenues of earning. I am very realistic. I am not Shah Rukh Khan or Salman Khan. I am a very small fish in the pond. I had no savings.
Q. Whom do you view as your biggest competitor in Bigg Boss 14?
A. Everybody. It would be foolish of me to decide, just by watching a telecast of two weeks, who is going to be my competitor. You can have your likes and dislikes in the show but you cannot say that this person will be my competition, because then, I am judging the others as too weak. I am a fan of the show, I have watched all seasons. When you think that ‘oh, this contestant is not doing anything’, next week, that contestant has taken over. So, you never know.
Q. From what you have seen, which contestant do you feel that you will not get along with?
A. From what I have seen, I cannot say that I am not going to get along with them. The job is not to get along with them. I will speak about myself. I was missing a camera being on me the most. Now, God has given 150 cameras on me. So I think my relationship is going to be with those cameras, not with the people because they are temporary. They are going to be in a show with me for some time and it does not matter whether I get along with them or not. I am not going to have babies with them.
Q. You have earlier talked about battling depression and going to a therapist. The atmosphere in Bigg Boss can get quite hostile at times. How will you cope with that?
A. Like I have coped with life! You cannot pre-empt those situations. We had never imagined that suddenly, in the year 2020, a disease like this (Covid-19) will come and you cannot roam around or go to work. You might have to take pay cuts. You cannot touch people or even meet them. No one had pre-empted that this is going to happen. Similarly, if tomorrow, I get into a heated argument with someone, I cannot pre-empt what is going to happen.
Q. Which contestant’s game from earlier seasons of Bigg Boss do you really admire?
A. With every season, the game changes, and you have standouts from every season. I cannot name one person for the past 13 seasons. There are favourites from every season. On the top of my list is Shehnaaz Gill. I tweeted about it last year, I said how did Colors and Endemol find a contestant like this? She was unexpected. She lit up the stage within two minutes of her entry with Salman Khan, and that is quite a big deal. We had not seen anybody playing with the mind but Vikas Gupta did that, so it was a fantastic thing. We had never seen a contestant taking out her anger by just placing a chappal next to a contestant. That was Shilpa Shinde, who was entertaining and funny while she was fighting with a contestant. We had never seen a man as strong as Sidharth Shukla. These were my favourites in the past seasons. I have to mention Gauahar Khan, because that woman, when she decides something is right, she sticks by it and she gives you the logic.
Q. Bigg Boss contestants often have personal lives and controversies raked up on national television. Is that something that you are concerned about?
A. I think the channel and the show are pretty sensitive about things. Even if something comes out, it is dealt with in a very dignified manner, as we have seen in the past seasons. So I am in very safe hands. Then, it is my job. When you go on a show like this where there is so much media attention on you, it is bound to happen that people will pull you down. But my question to all those people is, are you a saint in your own life? If you are, then point your fingers at me. If I put you in front of 150 cameras with journalists reporting every day, I can write it down that nobody can come across as a saint.
Q. You were linked with your Kuldeepak co-star Keerti Nagpure. Are you in a relationship with her?
A. No, I am not in a relationship with her.
Q. In the past, we have seen contestants sometimes finding love on the show. Are you open to that?
A. If it happens, then yes. But I don’t really believe in that love that trends for a few days and then ends the moment the season is over.
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