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Roadie Rage

Students,professionals and entrepreneurs thronged the recent MTV Roadies auditions in Pune to win their ticket to fame.

Written by Anjali Jhangiani |
September 23, 2011 12:13:25 am

Adventure has no age bar.

This was proved at the Roadies 9 auditions in Pune last week. The badminton court at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex,

Balewadi,was like a sea of eager faces—some filling in entry forms,some waiting nervously for the group discussion round,and others lending support to their friends. Between 9 am and noon,the registrations touched 4,000. “The response keeps getting better every year,” said Shamika Sawant,a crew member who is in-charge of registrations.

When the three “Roadies” men — judges Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman along with anchor Rannvijay Singh — stepped on to the stage,even as Shaleen Bhanot,a familiar face from the fourth season,continued hosting the auditions,there was a sudden burst of activity. A fan broke through the security and came on to the stage to hug Raghu. This left Raghu fuming and the fan was escorted off the stage by the security personnel.

Many participants—students,IT professionals,entrepreneurs and others,who just wanted their 15 minutes of fame—had to take the day off for auditions to bring out the Roadie in them. For Lucky Singh,a 24-year-old businessman from Chandigarh,this was his fourth attempt. “I have never managed to get through the group discussion round. I have worked hard on my communication skills and am confident of making it this year,” he said. For 24-year-old software engineer Shivani Magan,Roadies is a way of keeping boredom at bay. “I am bored with my job. I have taken a year off to travel and have lots of fun,and what better way to do all of this than be a roadie?” she quipped.

Another Roadies maniac—Ritu Gautam — has been auditioning for the last three years. She even quit her job to travel to each city and try her luck at being selected. This 25-year-old,former BPO employee from Bengaluru,said,“I have to prove myself to a few people and Roadies is the platform for me to do so.” Another 20-something,Mangesh Kamble,hopes Roadies will be his ticket to fame. “I wanted to audition last year but my mother and brother passed away. This year,my father encouraged me to audition and I don’t want to disappoint him or myself,” he shared.

The Roadies auditioning team will be in Delhi and Chandigarh next on October 4 and 8,respectively.

The show boasts of increased interest every season. Raghu reasoned,“It explores youth behaviour in high-risk and high-loss situations. It is a new social experiment in the same world. No two seasons are the same.” A diligent follower of the show would agree that every season has its own story to tell through the bonds,fights,successes and failures of each participant.

The draw for the participants remains the 15 minutes of fame that this reality show promises them.

Rajiv says,“The youth no longer wants to remain just a face in the crowd. Every face wants to earn the nation’s respect. Roadies is a way for them to earn a badge of character.”

Rannvijay,the winner of the first season who now hosts the show,feels an instant connect with the aims and aspirations of the participants. “I know what a Roadie goes through. The vote-out is tough for me. I feel bad for them at some emotional level and I really can’t handle women crying,” he said with a smile.

However,not everyone present at the sports complex came with the aspiration of joining the show.

In one corner,a group of youngsters from the India Against Corruption (IAC) spoke to the crowd about how to keep the anti-corruption movement alive. “We met with Raghu,Rajiv and Rannvijay. They support our cause and have also shot a video with us. The Roadies auditions is the best place to connect with youngsters,” said Dhaval Gulhane,an engineering student,who is a volunteer with IAC.

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