Meeting any hot Bollywood actress is one thing a journalist will not miss in his living life. No wonder I grabbed an opportunity to visit the Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 4 winner Aarti Chabria. I mean, it was a win-win situation for me. I had to ask her for a treat on her win. I get one too in the form of a Chicken Teriyaki Subway. Voila! Is that it then? Flashback please! Her makeup-free skin as flawless as a china doll’s, her profile so delicately perfect, you can see the entire room lose its train of thought as she turns her head this way and that, looking for her cosy corner after a warm hug that you wish you’d wake up to. She’s wrapped in a layer of white cotton trouser with a slim brown belt caressing her waist and a beautiful ‘not-too-dark-a-pink‘ shirt wrapping her svelte figure. No doubt that Chabria’s still in wonderland after her coveted win. Her glass trophy adores the showcase standing tall and confident, just like her. Her two dozen pictures own the corner of her living room and her passion for Karaoke is pretty evident with a good collection of speakers with microphones hiding somewhere in the closet. It’s nearing clichÃ© to say Aarti is poised for a comeback. She may well be, but talking to her, you definitely don’t get the feeling she is meticulously plotting it. Then again, it seems age and experiences have bestowed some blessings on the actress. These days, she seems more willing to explore new territory and isn’t afraid to hustle for something she wants. A go-getter in every which way, the frank and the fluent Aarti Chabria lets me in on what went into the making of a winner over some hot bhajiya’s and garma garam chai on a beautiful rainy day.
“I was under this non disclosure agreement but had no clue how the information got leaked”
I came from Cape Town a long time ago but it’s just been four days since the news came out that I am the winner of Khatron Ke Khiladi Season 4. I was under this non-disclosure agreement but had no clue how the information got leaked.
“I love jet skiing, rock climbing and paragliding”
I am an adventurous person in real life. But honestly, I came face to face with that dare-devil and that adventurous side on the show itself. In real life, I love jet skiing, rock climbing and paragliding. You need to be brave and bold to enjoy any adventurous sport. On the flip side, I’ve always been complimented for being dainty, delicate and soft spoken. But internally I know that whenever I am put to a challenge, then being a ‘scorpio’ star sign, we are the people who never give up. We can crack any challenge. May be I don’t sting but I do have a scorpion impulse (laughs).
“I used to call Akshay ‘Guru’ but ironically his name was Guru in Awara Paagal Deewana too”
Akshay was brilliant as the host and our guru. In spite of having worked with me on a film before, he didn’t let me or anyone on the show feel even for a second that he was my co-star. On the show, he was our guru, our sir. It felt a little funny because his name in Awara Paagal Deewana was ‘Guru Gulab Khatri’ and we used to call him guru (laughs). He took a lot of time to understand each contestant by their character, their strengths and weaknesses. Akshay is a true ‘khiladi’.
“I broke down thinking I couldn’t make it further in the show anymore”
Yes, I did cry before attempting one of the stunts. I broke down thinking I couldn’t make it further in the show anymore when I got to know that I would be buried underground in a coffin with heaps of sand accompanied by one hundred and one rats on my body. I freaked out on that stunt. I am very claustrophobic when it comes to closed things. I like my windows and doors open and my curtains tied up because I love the fresh air and light coming in. Now you can imagine why that stunt scared the s*** out of me. When I went ahead with that stunt I understood that there was no stopping me further in the show. My partner Dhaval took really long to dig up and we made it with seven seconds remaining.
“Khatron Ke Khiladi was a ‘no mercy’ show. We had to win come what may”
This was the first time that in Khatron Ke Khiladi a wild card entry made it to the top. But there was a question in my mind that I was asking everyone – Whether or not any contestant in the past Khatron Ke Khiladi came in as a wild card entry. The answer was ‘No’. That’s why I didn’t go down so easily. It gave me a lot of strength. It’s tough to perform stunts because you may have performed five stunts perfectly but if you don’t the sixth time around you’re out of the show. It’s all about making it to the next round, come what may.
“The freakiest stunt I’ve done in real life is jet skiing in Goa”
The freakiest stunt I’ve done in real life is jet skiing in Goa. As we all know that there are certain boundaries that you cannot go beyond and it was really high tide at that time. I was warned too. My parents didn’t know that or else they’d never allow me. The waves got too difficult to handle I recall being airborne. I was feeling that I would die any moment. Its experiences like these that make you braver and stronger.
“The last thing I’d like on my body to crawl is a cockroach”
The last thing I’d like on my body to crawl is a cockroach. I’ve even had scorpions on my face on the show biting me. They didn’t sting, thank God! I was inside this glass box and sea weeds down with dirty insects adoring me all over. We had to lie down in our vest and shorts. We had to wait for the boy to pull us out of the box so we could be free from those scorpions. What an irony, I am a scorpio too (laughs).
“But most of the stunts we performed were ideas given by Akshay to the Fear Factor team”
I really didn’t have time to interact with Akshay off the show because we weren’t allowed to. But most of the stunts we performed were ideas given by Akshay to the Fear Factor team. When we stepped out of our cars we were blind folded and the time were off the fold we would see Akshay. We had no idea what was going on. There was no time to think. But yes, there was a day when we did go partying. All the contestants went to a night club, the name I can’t recall, but we had fun. That was the only time we relaxed a bit.
“I don’t see in Bollywood any films being made with women doing action roles”
I’ve always been open to action movies from the beginning. But I don’t see in Bollywood any films being made with women doing action roles. Unlike in the West where you have a Lara Croft, here you don’t. And even if they are made out here, it goes unnoticed because out here it’s only the hero that takes most of the action scenes.