Raghu Ram Uncensored
By Kota Saumya | Express Features | Published: 01st February 2014 11:25 AM |
Mean and rude are some of the words used to describe Raghu Ram, a name synonymous with MTv Roadies. Having been a part of the reality show for 10 years now, the man from Machilipatnam has come out with his autobiographical ‘Rearview: My Roadies Journey’.
The many chapters
The tell-all book which took a year to complete, narrates his childhood and his entry into showbiz besides his experiences on the show. “The book tells of my childhood, how I started in the TV industry as a spot boy and then how I went on to become a producer for Roadies. It also talks about people I have worked with.”
Known for not mincing words and being very blunt with his opinions, to the point that they are more often rude and even derogatory, it would be interesting to see if his book follows the same tone. For his part, Raghu says that the book is so honest, it could very well be a confessional.
“I have been told that I have been too honest. Those who have read the book say, ‘thoda zyada hi likh diya’ (that I have written a bit too much). There have been conflicts with people and I have spoken about, but I have tried to give a fair point of view. Writing this book has been pretty cathartic in my life.”
However, he desists that it’s a heavy read that could put one to sleep. “The book is meant to be a quick read. It isn’t heavy with text. There are pictures from my childhood and so on. This is a chance for people to see the personal side of me.”
Behind the scenes
For fans of the show, ‘Rearview’ will be a rare view into the workings of Roadies, the auditions and more.
“There are a lot of secrets that people will get to read, like how we shoot the show, how we do the auditioning, what we look for in the contestants and why we do what we do. The cat will be out of the bag,” shares the 38-year old. Although he will appear in the current season as judge, he won’t be producing it. “I had decided to stop being part of the show last year itself. I didn’t want to come back but due to a couple of reasons I have had to. The big difference in my life is that I’m not making the show. Neither am I producing it nor directing it,” he reveals.
Known for grilling contestants and reducing them to tears, Raghu has diversified into Bollywood with films like Tees Mar Khan and Jhoota Hi Sahi. He has appeared in a Punjabi film as well; he played a Sardar in Love You Soniye. “Bollywood and writing are more of hobbies for me and not really a career option. I see them as a way of expressing myself. I acted in a Punjabi film as it was fun and different. It’s good to try things once in your life. When would I ever get offered a Punjabi film? So it was a nice experience,” reckons the identical twin who has been travelling continuously since February last year for the auditions of Roadies’ current season.
“I’m at the fag end of my travelling now and I’m exhausted. I want to take six-eight months off as I’m pretty burned out. I have to figure out what to do with my life.”
Of course it is not only travelling that has kept Raghu busy; he had extensively campaigned for the Aam Admi Party for the Delhi Assembly polls in 2013. “I have always spoken about youth being the power of India but they were a sleeping giant and till now they had not really been able to bring the change that they should have. During Anna Hazare’s and Arvind Kejriwal’s campaign, the youth really stood up and really supported them. Having criticised the youth so much, once they stood up for something, I couldn’t keep shut and I was forced to stand next to them and mirror their actions. I really wanted to do this as I have a strong political point of view.”
So what does he think about the dharna staged by Kejriwal? “The media is fascinated by Arvind Kejriwal as he has done something which has not been done in 60 years. We voted AAP into power to shake things up and they are shaking it up. If they sit back, then people are going to say that ‘see governance is not easy’. If they do something about it they are going to say this is not how its done. But I’m glad to see some interesting political action is happening,” he says on an upbeat note.
Having hit a bland patch in his life and with his future plans uncertain, Raghu Ram is right now focusing on his book that was launched at the Crossword book store and will be available on stands for Rs 195.