Dear Indians, We Are In A Reality Show and Modi Ji is Our Bigg Boss


Dear Indians, We Are In A Reality Show and Modi Ji is Our Bigg Boss

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

India has turned into the Bigg Boss house with everyone under lockdown for 21 days. All 130 crore of us are now contestants. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the Bigg Boss and we get a new task to do every few days.

Just like the OG Bigg Boss house, there is a varied mix of people here, speaking different languages, practising different religions, working in different fields, all united in one cause – to make Dalgona coffee and spam our Instagrams.

Every season has a crazy god-man and India is no different, with some organising gomutra parties and others making TikTok videos about how God will save them. Every season has a bunch of has-beens who are trying hard to be relevant and this Bigg Boss: Lockdown Edition doesn’t disappoint, with Dino Morea uploading workout videos and Sanjay Manjrekar teaching us how to chop vegetables. Dino, who? Exactly. Then there’s the MVP of the season who keeps the TRPs going with his ingenious stunts – which we can all agree is none other than Ramdas Athawale. The rest of us are like the remaining cast of Bigg Boss, no one knows why they’re there. They just exist.

The contestants of this special season are very much like the ones you see on TV. They were very friendly when they met for the first time, but 36 hours later, the AFSPA needs to be invoked to keep them from fighting. They bicker over which sabzi to cook and who gets to mop the floor today. They have nothing to do all day, so they try to pass time playing carrom or bitching about that NRI relative they haven’t met in 20 years. The more they get to know each other, the more they can’t stand it. But the format of the show demands that no one leaves the house. And to keep things from falling apart, Bigg Boss has to make timely interventions.

The IRL pan-India season is being hosted by the mother of all Bigg Bosses, Modi ji.

Modi ji has a lot in common with the original host of the show, Sallu bhai. Boomers really love them. And it doesn’t matter whether the participants have run out of groceries, or doctors don’t have personal protective equipment, Bigg Boss has a more important to-do list.

Still, we should be positive, because just like Bigg Boss, this lockdown will also have a finale.

Bigg Boss only does what he does best: give tasks and expect them to be fulfilled. You see, Modi ji has been great at giving us homework. First he said deposit old notes in banks, then he asked us to upload selfies with daughters, then he asked us to give up LPG subsidies, tag friends in fitness challenges. Who knew at the time that this was all net practice for the grand Bigg Boss Lockdown Edition where he gives us tasks and our lives are on the line.

The first time around, Bigg Boss asked everyone to clap and bajao thaalis at 5pm. Few groups did get eliminated (literally by the cops) after showing up on roads as if it were Ganpati visarjan. However, most of the country did well and made it to the next round. This time around, Bigg Boss has asked everyone to light diyas and flash torches for 9 minutes at 9pm. I hope that no one ends up accidentally burning their house this time around. Maybe after the collective sound and light testing is done, the next task will involve a full-blown DJ party? Who would’ve thought four months back that 2020 would be the year where DJ Modi would be headlining a desi Sunburn, but here we are.

With Modi ji as Bigg Boss, the surprises are endless. When it comes to providing plot twists, no one can trump him. When he starts a tweet with, “At 8pm, I will address the nation…” the collective blood pressure of the contestants rises across the country. He even brings in wildcard contestants in the form of actors and sportsmen to get contestants to do their tasks properly. At 8pm, he can announce a lockdown that will be effective in four hours, or deliver a video message on coronavirus where we won’t be provided any numbers or strategy to tackle the vaishvik mahamaari.

Still, we should be positive, because just like Bigg Boss, this lockdown will also have a finale. While the last man/woman standing on Bigg Boss wins prize money before they become irrelevant again, most of us will all come out of this 21-day reality show with our lives intact, breathing the fresh air outdoors, and meeting friends. However, some will immediately plan a cheap Europe trip and post Insta stories to induce FOMO among the rest of us. And to them, I quote the most iconic dialogue in the history of Bigg Boss, “You are two rupees person.”