Merry-go-rounds scares Khiladi Kumar

Akshay Kumar says he was a strict teacher but that he also learnt a lot from the 13 women who participated in Khatron Ke Khiladi 2. He also designed a few stunts for the adventure show that he hosted that is currently on air. Excerpts from an interview:
How did the girls fare?
“They had to do all sorts of stunts with fire, water and even insects; so, each of them did well in different stunts. I cannot pick out one person who was the best. Last year, Yana Gupta was doing so well but had to leave the show halfway through after failing in just one stunt.

I always used told them that there were here to perform stunts, so to give it their best. A few days ago, Rupali said her life had changed after participating in this show. I thought that was the greatest thing I could hear. If I could change one person’s life, that’s great.”

Were you a strict taskmaster?
“I was just myself. I trained the girls like I would train my son. I got the satisfaction of teaching them how to face their fears. I enjoyed every bit of it. Level one was very easy, this time is much harder. They all have it in them but just need to be pushed. On one occasion, Bruna was terrified of cockroaches and couldn’t do the task. I wanted to force her to do it but I’m not allowed to. I was on the verge of disqualifying her but she managed in the end.”

What can we expect from the show?
“You will gradually see the stunts getting more dangerous. When the contestants first came on the show, they had smiles on their faces. After that, there were there were tears, blood, stitches… I felt sorry for them but it was like a camp; they have to achieve things they would not be able to otherwise. I think they did a brilliant job.”

What is the difference between seasons one and two?
“The stunts in level two are more dangerous. Last time, people told me that I did not do any stunts. This time I did most of the stunts, though the host is not required to; but I did them because I enjoyed them.”

Will we see men in level 3?
“I feel that women are stronger than men, they always have an edge over us. We have the strength but when it comes to real danger, women are able to think straight. I don’t know, maybe it’s biological. It is the greatest thing God has given them. Many times, the women and their male partners had to do the same stunts, and I would see the girls coming out first while the men were scared of a lot of things.”

Was there any stunt that had your family and wife worried?
“My wife is used to what I do. When I’m doing a stunt she has this expression that says ‘Okay, he will save himself’. Maybe she has confidence in me.”

Have you ever been scared?
“I do get scared but there is good fear and bad fear, just like you have good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. It is essential to have good fear because it teaches you to take care of yourself and be safe. I do have that kind of fear.”

Tell us something about your first stunt
“I don’t remember too much, but it was for my first film, Saugan, and I was hanging by two ropes and being tortured by a villain.”

Which kind of stunt is more difficult – physical or mental?
“I think physical ones. Creepy-crawlies just induce fear in your mind. If you are scared of something, you just have to overcome that, which I think is easier.”

What does it take to reach the show’s final?
“It takes a lot of courage to survive till the end. It takes a lot of determination and focus. You have to keep your cool and cannot be aggressive.”

Is there any fear you are yet to overcome?
“I am scared of merry-go-rounds. I have sat in them but I don’t like them and feel very uncomfortable. I am still trying to overcome that fear.”

Report By: Sonali Joshi

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