Big Boss 4: Dolly’s mental pain equals viewers gain
The Reality TV syndrome has a frenetic influence on audiences who frantically follow televised episodes crammed with real-life depictions of love, intrigue and hate. But how traumatic an experience is it for the participants of these glamorous TV shows who have to reckon with the tedious task of maintaining an image that will heighten TRPs, enable them to secure audience votes and even increase their chances to attain prospective fame and glory? More significantly, how easy is the compromise involved in sustaining an on-screen image and preserving the inner self?
In a candid interview with the editor of the Chennai-based The New Indian Express, the seemingly fierce contestant of Big Boss 4, Dolly Bindra implied that she was not afflicted by the need to negotiate her personality and throw on a completely different persona. However, she does blame the haalat (circumstances) for transforming her into the abrasive, character on the show who kept us entertained for several weeks.
Why was Dolly so mean?
Bindra indicates that she felt a sense of “isolation” which provoked her to react in the way she did. Having obtained a wild-card entry into the popular reality TV show Big Boss, Dolly was widely disapproved of. The persistent surge of hostility towards her was the trigger that turned her into an uncouth member of the household. This not only disputes her claim that no compromise existed for her, but also successfully highlights the fact that such compromises can be exasperating.
Ratings and controversies
Her incessant brawls with nearly every one of the participants may have increased the target rating points of the reality show, but it resulted in numerous unwanted controversies within the household. It appears that the isolation grew stronger until it finally climaxed with a ground-breaking fight with Shweta Tiwari and Sameer Soni that led to her first eviction.
This event was followed by a string of clarifications. Bindra claimed that she had always stood up for ‘the truth’ and that her conduct, although obnoxious, was justified given the circumstances. Intriguingly, her apparent truthfulness throughout the show can be discounted by the fact that she once lashed out at her housemate Sara Khan for feeding her a rotten roti and then denied it.
After obtaining her second wild-card entry, Bindra acquired an astonishing degree of maturity that kept her at arm’s length from trouble. Viewers acquired a very different perspective of Dolly Bindra after she reconciled with her long-standing adversary, Shweta Tiwari. Above all, she also revealed details about her personal life when she mentioned her miscarriages to Veena Malik. It seemed as though Dolly Bindra was finally revealing the inner self that had been crushed by the seclusion she had initially felt. But gaining acceptability from her housemates was still something of a delusion and she was constantly scorned upon and even publicly denounced.
The way in which she was treated goes to show maintaining an on-screen persona and a personal identity is difficult. And yet, the fact that she remained relatively composed suggests that in some respects the severity of the circumstances involved can be overcome.
Some may argue that Dolly Bindra’s presence in the finale is proof that her ‘tactics’ worked. However, we cannot easily rule out the fact that she was the third runner up for the prize money and that her closest housemate, the great Khali, quite frankly remarked that audiences were sane and would not vote for someone like Dolly.
Bindra’s example clearly shows that reality TV shows can be stressful, turbulent and, at times, very alienating for the contestants. But it isn’t fair to completely rule out the belief that they are a test of one’s patience and resilience. If they weren’t challenging what entertainment value would they possess?
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.