One on One With Ravi Dubey About His New Show: “Sabse Smart Kaun”by Opinion Express May 19, 2018 0 comments
Ravi Dubey, actor, confessed that he would like to see a shift from the deadlines oriented culture to marinated and well-curated content on television. Sharing his thoughts with Kritika Dua, he gives his take on his new game show and the industry.
Ravi Dubey is one of the few actors in the television industry who has broken the clutter in every possible way and created a niche for himself. Be it drawing attention as the male lead in Jamai Raja, albeit caught between the mother and a daughter, or mustering the muscle in Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi 8, where he came in third, the former BPO employee never gives up on life’s many possibilities. And it is this never-say-die spirit that has seen him deliver a TEDx Talks lecture on his unremarkable journey that became slightly worthwhile with perseverance and patience. Now that he has a gift of the gab, he has hosted shows like India’s Dancing Superstar and Rising Star (Season 2) and is donning the hat again for Star Plus’ new show Sabse Smart Kaun? Now this is a game show based on common sense. And Dubey knows a thing or two about keeping your head on your shoulders.
What made you say yes to Sabse Smart Kaun?
The concept is extremely intriguing. In most game shows, a certain amount of general knowledge or knowledge about current affairs is expected from the participant. But here your answers have to be based on common sense and the sharp processing ability of the mind. When life gives you lemons, the smart thing is to make a lemonade. This game show is about making those smart choices. To engage the viewer, the answer is always sort of concealed in the question. For example, agar kauwa udta aasman me rehta hai, magar kahan rehta hai (if the crow flies in the sky, where does the croc live)? The correct answer is “water.” It tests your reasoning, logic and observational skills.
Two families will be competing with each other in each episode. The questions are crafted in a way that anybody who is listening to them will immediately get engaged, wanting to answer them. There is an edge of the seat element to it, the whole country is playing simultaneously with you, thanks to the play-along format.
You have tried your hands both in TV serials and reality shows. What do you enjoy more?
It’s a dimension of performance for me whether it is in fiction or non-fiction space, films or television. I love being in front of the camera. That’s my best friend, I love the camera and I would like to say that the camera also likes me. I have a great relationship with that one-eyed gentleman and it’s that one bridge that connects you to everything, kind of makes you omnipresent.
What has been the driving force in you life?
My wife, she has given me a spine literally. I think I have made some smart decisions in my life, the smartest of them all is getting married to Sargun. That’s really been hugely transformative in my existence. In the realm of the show, you will always have choices in your life — some will look good, some may not look good, just because something is shiny doesn’t mean it’s gold. So, smartness is about keeping all the pointers in mind and then making a wise choice.
You have always taken up projects you believed would work and turned down the biggest of producers. What made you take those decisions and not succumb to the rat race?
I don’t want to be seen more often, I want to be seen in the right place at the right time. There is a difference between being famous and infamous. Sometimes the choices that you think will really benefit you are not the ones that would. A baby crawls towards a broken glass as it looks beautiful to him and he gets intrigued. When he is about to touch it, the parents pull him back. Your parents are like your gut, you gotta pull yourself away from it as it just may not be right.
I haven’t strategised a lot while taking decisions and have always relied on my gut feeling. Other than that, I’ve always had the option of being everywhere at the same time and refrained from it consciously. I have learnt the art of disconnecting. I would rather be in a space where there is a lot of action that keeps me ticking and makes me be my best. After five months of intense commitment, I want to emerge a better creator of content and value than when I walked in. I prefer that kind of a space and it’s a conscious decision to not take up long-term projects and stick to shorter ones.
You have said that you would love to work with Sargun again. According to you what would be the ideal script for you two to collaborate on?
An ideal script would be something with a lot of emotional quotient. Something that leaves you in a space where you want to do better in life. That’s the message me and Sargun together want to give.
What was first reaction when you first heard the script for your film 3 Dev?
It’s a satire, a light-hearted way of saying big things. Humari life me vishwas aur andhvishwas ke beech ek maheen rekha hoti hai, we are mostly on either side of it but kab vishwas se andhvishwas me chale jaate hai hume pata ni chalta. The film revolves around beliefs and disbeliefs, how we are seldom able to tell the difference and how we should deal with them in our daily lives. It’s alright if you take the drug called hope in proper quantities. But do not over-consume it or make it a selling point. That’s what I felt when I first heard the script.
I started with this project in 2015 and completed it in early 2016. The trailer got a lot of respect and appreciation and am quite glad about the same. It became the third most anticipated film on Imdb worldwide and the most anticipated film in India. This really encouraged us. On the flipside, it also got some flak as certain people thought we were targeting religion. When we don’t have the opportunity to have a conversation, there are arbitrary judgements thrown around. If at all we are given that opportunity to sit across the table and tell people that no, it’s not that kind of a film, the instant opinion-making would come to a halt. We are not condescending or condemning anything and if anything, we are only pushing the belief forward, making it more dominant in our lives. It will be easier if that can happen but it is alright.
What did you find interesting in your character?
Playing the character of Brahma, the creator, was the highlight for me. He kind of finds his manifestations and owing to this trait he is into finding the answers of a lot of scientific concepts. He is very clear about Quantum physics and can connect anything to that. He is able to easily decipher scientific concepts and deliver them.
You began with Doordarshan and are now toying with every medium. What has been your takeaway?
It has been 13 years now and I love every part of my journey and every decision that I’ve made. I wouldn’t have it in any other way. I am in love with the show that I am doing currently. This game will change people’s lives for the better along with those who are on stage. The dynamics of the set is a spectacle, you wouldn’t have seen it before in the Indian reality space and not even internationally. There is an element on the set that hasn’t been used before and the audience will get to witness it when this show will telecast.
Any changes that you would like to see in the TV industry?
I would like to see the deadlines in TV industry become more flexible. I have spent a huge time working in the fiction space and realised that sometimes the only thing the creatives bother about are canning episodes to meet the telecast deadlines. Thus, quality and content are compromised.
Contrary to popular thinking, we have the canvas, brilliance, thinkers, products, actors and everything else that we need. But we have to produce something in seven hours which should not be the case. Many times, I have shot until 5 pm for an episode that was aired at 8 pm. To make a statement, you need a little if not a lot of time. Of course, it’s an efficient medium and I am who I am because of it. Having said that, we can strive to restore its value than being just a fast moving product.
Writer: Kritika Dua
Courtesy: The Pioneer