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I Spent 45 Minutes In The "Bigg Boss" House And Here's What I Learned

First of all, we're doomed.

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The country's favourite guilty pleasure premieres tonight with its ninth season on Colors TV.

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The Indian version of Big Brother is hosted by Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan. That, combined with controversial guests holed up together for three months, attracts some insane TRPs.

So you can imagine our excitement when we were invited to take a tour of the Bigg Boss house before the contestants entered.

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The house is located in Lonavla, a popular hill station near Mumbai, and is more a set than a house. It's filmed 24x7 with a one-hour episode airing at 10.30 PM every night.

Also, security is hella tight.

At first sight, the house (or, like I said, set) looked gorgeous.

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So much so, that I offered to be in the house at least three times to a representative who tried really hard to not take the hint. Touché.

But only after we overcame the prettiness of it, did we realise how creepily the house could mess with your head. Exhibit A.

I am unsure of how Mother Nature and a turbaned, immobile Hrithik Roshan-Brad Pitt hybrid affect the game, but I'm certain they're there for a reason.

I definitely felt their eyes following me, tho.

Other creepy elements include clocks stuck at 10.30.

A huge aspect of the Bigg Boss house is that there is no contact with the outside world. To such an extent that the "inmates" have no idea about the time of day. "Sometimes, they eat lunch at four thinking it's one," said our guide almost lovingly.

And obviously the 80+ cameras installed around the house. Some are easily visible, and some are completely hidden.

There are mirrors ALL OVER the walls of the house, and no, it's not just so models and actors can admire themselves all day.

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The mirrors are reflective only when seen from inside the house and, on the other side of them (like, inside the walls) are cameras and cameramen.

Here I am, personally making sure that the two-way mirror is legit and nothing can be seen from inside the house.

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The house is fitted with so many mirrors, even the evil queen from Snow White would flinch. I did NOT stop looking at myself for the whole of the 45 minutes I was there and I'd be OK with never seeing my face again.

Another place not featured a lot on the show is the smoking room.

There are cameras here but the footage is not featured on the show as long as rules are followed. Contestants can smoke in anonymity only if they enter the room, one at a time. They're not allowed to talk there and if they do say something that affects the show, it will be shown on prime-time television.

Also those are moths on the chair which brings me to the most underrated struggle.

Bugs. So many bugs.

Sure everyone talks about the mental and physical limitations about being holed up in a house full of strangers for three months. But no one ever talks about the bugs. No one talks about moths and grasshoppers on steroids.

Enough about creepy crawlies. Let's go back inside, to the kitchen, the hotbed of most Bigg Boss fights and controversies. Gorgeous isn't it?

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You know what's not gorgeous? The lack of a refrigerator and microwave. These people have nooo idea what they signed up for.

By then end of my visit, I had way, way, WAY more respect for the show's participants than I entered the house with. And not just because I know how many bugs they live with.

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While the show's nightly episodes make it seem like "inmates" spend 24 hours per day engaging in petty drama and middle school-esque interpersonal politics beneath any grown ass adult's dignity, the truth is that living — no, surviving — here would have bizarre effects on ANYONE's psychology. Here we are in the above photo, after just 45 minutes in the house, already gossiping about our innocent coworker.

Also, this field trip was a gentle reminder that we really are an irredeemably fucked up species that'll trap our own in a crazy house with disembodied voices and stuck clocks and mess with their heads for entertainment!

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