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Reality Bites

It probably isn’t the best season to be stuck on a desolate island in the lush green Western Ghats as the blazing sun is at its brightest,and humidity at its peak.

A cluster of islands on the Goa-Karnataka border make a picturesque backdrop for a complex reality show

It probably isn’t the best season to be stuck on a desolate island in the lush green Western Ghats as the blazing sun is at its brightest,and humidity at its peak. However,a two hour drive from the Goa airport towards Karwar on the Karnataka border,leads you to Mango Island,the backdrop for Real TV’s new reality show,Sarkar Ki Duniya.

Somewhat similar to the American reality show Survivor,Sarkar Ki Duniya was launched a month ago and so far is known more for the criticism it’s received. “We are taking the feedback in our stride and plan to make it more exciting in the future episodes without scripting controversies and unneccesary distractions,” says Nikhil Alva,who along with brother Niret,co-founded the channel with Turner International.

While reality shows are a flavour of the season,Alva insists that they’ve interwoven the natural beauty of the island along with the cat fights and increasing desperation of the participants,who have to clear a series of difficult tasks to win. “The scorching heat helps us push the participants over the edge during their outdoor tasks and since there are waterbodies all around,it is naturally cut off from the rest of the world,” says Alva who maintains a motley bunch of 150 crew members on the island.

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The island is spread across 14 acres and once was a sugar cane plantation field. Surrounded by the Kalindi River on all sides with the looming Western Ghats,the Mango Island is a secluded retreat.

“We considered foreign locations but finally decided to explore unknown territories in India. We created a set inspired by south-Indian architecture with a strong British influence,” says Alva. “We’ve installed tall watch posts not only to keep an eye on the participants but also to monitor the security of the island,” he adds. Some of the participants have even attempted to swim off the island but were promptly brought back.

First published on: 07-04-2009 at 11:08:25 pm
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