Friday, August 15, 2008

Happy Independence Day


Happy Independence Day!! May we be free of pettiness of mind, free of the pressure of conformity, freedom from fear and most importantly, gender bias!!!


My recent reality show Fear Factor Khatron Ke Khiladi was a liberating experience and is, according to me, an’ Indian male fairy tale’ malfunction!!! I mean, what happened to the good Indian girl who cooked, cleaned, screamed at the sight of a cockroach and let the man wear the pants?

In a complete antithesis to the image of the domesticated Indian woman, 13 girls in assorted shapes and sizes, with polar personalities ranging from the “goody two shoes” bahu of television Anita Hassanandani, to daughter of Maharashtra’s soil Sonali Kulkarni, effervescent tomboy Urvashi Sharma, calm and composed twins Tapur and Tupur and others (including me J ), have blazed a trail of glory on television sets across the country leaving most of India’s male population gob-smacked.

Having said that I don’t think that I, or for that matter any of the other girls had fathomed the hazards that lay ahead of us in South Africa or the degree of heroism we would have to exhibit when we boarded the plane.

I had with great excitement scoured the internet and You Tube for video’s of Fear Factor and with every gruesome, awesome, overwhelming, exhilarating visual tried to envision what my body and mind were going to be subjected to. Ha ha!! Trust me. NOTHING prepares you for the reality or adrenalin rush of Fear Factor!

The schedule of KKK was grueling, as were the conditions we shot in. But I was up for the challenge be it 4 am wake up calls, minus one degree weather, bruises and injuries, or just the most mind boggling stunts. After all, the tag line is ‘Jo Dar Gaya Woh Ghar Gaya”, and I for one, was most certainly not ready to go home.


Why would I? When else in life would I have the chance to experience being so many super heroes rolled into one. I have felt like super girl when I have flown off high rise buildings without a care as to where I land, like spider woman when I have climbed across glass buildings 12 floors high with suction cups, like James Bond when I have flipped and smashed a BMW, like Medusa surrounded by innumerable snakes, and like Rambo when I’ve jumped off helicopters into icy waters.

The reach and impact of television is phenomenal and as a result of it, the last one month has been euphoric!!! It feels wonderful, utterly wonderful to walk into malls, multiplexes and restaurants and be surrounded by people applauding my bravado, older women telling me that I’ve made them proud, younger women telling me I’m inspirational and having men doff their hats in my direction.


I truly hope the superb ratings and enormous success of KKK is representative of a changing mind-set in middle class India. That somehow families have broken away from saas bahu melodramas and been inspired to take on challenges, to dare, to achieve and most importantly to break moulds. That irrespective of gender, whoever watched KKK connected with the dormant strength they are innately blessed with and most importantly, that they’ve learned it’s ok to fail, but that its not okay to not try.

I’m also hoping on the 61st year of our independence that more and more women of modern India trade kitchen politics for the real thing. Women first achieved the right to stand for public office in South Australia in 1894 but in India, Sarojini Naidu, became the first woman President of the Indian National Congress in 1925.

Be it politics, business, IT, industry, entertainment, banking and all the way into space, the emergence of the new Indian woman is apparent vis-à-vis her representation in cinema, modern literature, newspapers and magazines and this tough woman wants to be seen and to be heard. She’s moving from proving her virtuosity to proving her mettle. I mean, if a modern day Sita had been asked to the walk across burning coals she’d probably respond with “get a life”, or divorce you, or ask you to see a shrink. If you persist, she will in all probability march you off to the cops. And then again, maybe post Khatron ke Khiladi she’d call it stunt # 33 and do it just for fun!!!

I’m constantly being asked as to how I got the courage to perform such death defying stunts. I have 2 answers. First, are my children, because I believe in leading by example and I want them to grow up to be fearless and take on all challenges that life will send their way. And the second is that, it’s not because things are difficult that we don’t dare. It’s because we don’t dare, that things are difficult!!!

Hugs and happiness,


  1. Good to watching you in action .... in khatron ke khiladi.....

  2. Hey Pooja

    I am trying again and hope it works.
    I agree with what you have written about being daring. you have to lead by example so that ur kids do more than you. At least you wudnt get to hear" my parents didnt do it" i am sure your kids will proudly say my mother did this did ur mom do anything of this sort?

    keep up the great work!

  3. Hey Pooja

    I am trying again and hope it works.
    I agree with what you have written about being daring. you have to lead by example so that ur kids do more than you. At least you wudnt get to hear" my parents didnt do it" i am sure your kids will proudly say my mother did this did ur mom do anything of this sort?

    keep up the great work!
    Wajiha AFridi, Karachi

  4. Came across this
    I can feel every word that she has said and am myself that kind of a person. This piece finds a place on my blog as well

  5. Pooja, i love u for the death-defying Beemer stunt. Agreed that the support tean was awesome but to have that kinda dare devilery isn't everyone's cuppa!
    i think u r the true winner of KKK simply for having it in u to do that stunt.
    The moment when u justify your strength by saying,"If i've a family, he has a family too; if i've children, he has children too...." speaks not just of physical strength but also shows forth your character and the kind of upbringing u got!!
    Keep up the good work gurl!!

    love, Garima

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Hey Pooja

    nice blog mem. But one think mem please buy a domain and redirect on this domain address... coz i think this domain address is not perfect for u.. think about it..

  8. Pooja,

    I assume - You were always a Tomboy and Daring kind to try out stuff.

    Did you study from Sophia's?

    btw - How old are your kids and what are their names? post your family picture if you could.

    pass on your email id at if you don't mind - I'm in States.


  9. Bravo Gal Pooja :
    I congratulate you on your sense of achievement and wholesome satisfaction at the ARE a singularly extra-ordinary woman.

    I would humbly submit that but for the 'spineless'ones who suffered from the 'MCP'- Malady ,the innate Strength ,Toughness,Dexterity of the WOMAN-OF-INDIA was never in question...Dolcile and ill-treated,illiterate,hapless womenfolk aside, INDIAN MYTHOLOGY as well as INDIAN HISTORY is replete with the tell-tale exemplary courage of Women from INDIA exhibiting real-life strength,courage,valour - not essentially under cover of any back-up protection or safeguard-measures(real life and realities of Life in Reality over different situations and across vaying times ,eras and minus anybody to applaud/encourage/admire)...Therefore, I would say you are a glaring example of the Enigma called-'The Indian Woman'...CONGRATULATIONS!!!

    I am the first to eulogize the courage and Special qualities of a Woman (reference my posting : 'Woman - An Ism?' at http://vvictoryman.blogspot )and look forward to reading ,viewing ,writing about another Great Show of yoUrs,asap.Until then,smile on .THREE CHEERS POOJA !!!

  10. I'm sure that the KKK episode made you independent of lots of fear!

    JAI HIND!!

  11. Honestly I think programmes like Khatron ke Khiladi or the original 'Fear Factor' are a huge waste of time. Its time we all moved away from silly adrenaline-rushing reality shows to more meaningful shows. How ridiculous is it that you have to have bugs all over you or jump over fire or anything on those lines? Would'nt you rather just do a travel show, a food show or something that has so much more meaning and is so much more informative and enriching? I have never liked Fear Factor and honestly I am really put off by Indian television once again, blindly aping the West...Examples; Splitsvilla!! Seriously people, get a life where you can set an example, not one where you do ridiculous dares that have no meaning. And No, If you think doing this symbolises getting over your fear, I'd rather you go join the Indian Army and stand on the border. I am sorry, but this is my honest opinion.

  12. hey... everybody.. thanks for reading and thanks for writing in.. love all your support, warmth and love..
    Wajiha.. hi.. yes, in response to your question.. my mom was a real adventurer and seeker.. she was ready for all challenges thaqt life threw in her direction, .. she was one of the most fearless women i have ever known..
    and as for Anonymous... you feel i should be on the border and that these shows are ridiculous and a waste of timel.. well!! for someone who doesn't even have the couraage to write his/her name.. i don't expect you to relate to or appreciate anyone else's show of valour...:-)
    Pooja Bedi

  13. Hey Pooja

    Thanks for writing in response to my comment. respecting everyone's views and with due respect I want to say something to this Mr. Anoymous who really is a coward, too afraid to reaveal his name.

    Mr. Anoymous, I am from Pakistan and I look at very differently, obviously thats my perspective. I appreciate the fact that Pooja is an Indian who made it to Fear Factor and I respect the fact that she's an asian also who wud b on some mag'z cover soon. She as a woman is so brave and you didnt even have courage to write your name. Its very easy to criticize and I know thats becoz deep down you know u cant even do 1% of what she did.

    Indirectly you admitted, great! Secondly you dont have to prove that ure brave by being only in the army.

    Last but not the least, I cant believe you actually took time out to watch and write on this blog when you feel this is waste of time. Get a life, do something daring close to what Pooja did, than challenge or criticize.

    Sorry Pooja, I just had to say all this.

    Wajiha Afridi,
    Karachi, Pakistan

  14. Miss Bedi...
    its always a high to read your articles, notes or any form of literary work...
    ur words are well chosen and the flow is beautiful... just like you.!!

    i wish u peace and happiness..
    keep on the good work.. u are a great example of a beautiful, intelligent, ambitious and brave woman.

    love always,
    [writing my name as i dont want u to lambast me for maintaining anonymity, hahaha ]

  15. You guys do realise that anonymity has nothing to do with cowardice. My take on Fear Factor is such because living in NYC, I did watch Fear Factor on T.V a couple of times. And honestly, it's ridiculous to see contestants competing over bugs and fire. Pooja, I ask you. A woman of your popularity and more importantly reach today, in India...Wouldnt you rather put all that to better use? I deliberately wrote about 'Splitsvilla' because I wanted to point towards what reality television has stooped to. It was 'The Bachelor' in the US and of course India had to copy it to make their very own reality show. I believe when one is in a position of even slight power as you are in, Pooja, where what you can do or say publicly will set an example, you need to tread more responsibly. There's nothing wrong in saying you were a part of KKK because you wanted to be so, for the thrill of it or for getting over your own fear. But at no point is that show, an example for others to emulate. There have been cases in the US where little kids have decided to experiment with bugs, as an after-effect of the show. How do you explain something like that to your own kids, if they ever tried something on those lines?
    Lastly, I would totally look upto you if you hosted a travel show or a food show and set an example to not just yours but everyone else's kids, about how diverse the world is, how travel helps one become more open or what people in the world eat!

  16. Wajiha Afridi,
    With all due respect, I have nothing to say to you. My comment was meant for Pooja and it's only with her that I am interested in having this discourse.

  17. Hi Pooja! I was 12 when I saw you in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. Let me tell you that you are still beautiful. You were the definition of diva for me and my friends. You left the scene very early. I remember reading transcripts of your telephone conversation with readers of a film glossy called "Movie". Haven't been watching TV for some time now. Will catch up on your new show. Keep writing "Devika".

  18. Hey Pooja,

    I just thought of writing a small not here to u. I feel you lead by example and when we talk abt fear factor we're talking of adult viwership becoz thats what we're targetting. It isnt for children anyways and anyone who is above 12 even, knows he cant try this at home.

    Secondly, children today are much more aware of what to do and what not because of the adv world theyve been blessed with. They hardly find tom n jerry entertaining as compared to the other cartoons that have action.

    Great work, loved every bit of it and I Thank God that you were safe in all these risks that you took.

    Wajiha Afridi
    khi, Pakistan

  19. yes you have been like chicken soup for the spirit

  20. Hey Pooja.
    I saw you 1st in Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander and just loved you in that movie.I think you just looked awesome in that flick.You were my 1st crush and its been nearly 17 years but I still have a crush on you.All these newcomers still can't match you in terms of appeal and attitude.I watched a lil bit of KKK and loved it.Some of the stunts were awesome.Keep on rocking and writing.

  21. Hahahahaha! This article says it all. I need'nt say anymore.

    I shall now rest my case and not waste any more time here.

  22. ha ha ha ..yes,, the article was most amusing.. from a self confessed bitcher who's greatest meaning and purpose in life is to bitch others out...
    good luck to such negative individuals.. if it at least brings a smile to their sadistic faces...
    some good has been achieved :-)
    and anonymous.. it's not about teaching kids dangerous things.. every episode specifically states it should not be tried at home or's about inspiring people to face their fears and ememrge winners.. it's about changing the image of the average indian woman... it's about personal liberation. but i guess such stuff doesn't strike a chord with you..
    no worries. it worked for many.and when i get 99 percent appreciation.. one just percent bad mouthing.. wow!! i must be doing something very right!!
    hugs and love to all.
    Pooja Bedi

  23. Hey anonymous..
    I understand ur point my friend...
    but not everything in life is suppose to be serious..
    its an entertainment channel for heavens sake...
    a few gutsy girls wished to challenge their fears and also their mental and physical endurance level and so they took part in it.
    just because u are a celebrity doesnt mean u are only suppose to do charity and social service and if at all u appear, it has to be a news channel..
    also mind u..
    Pooja is involved in serious charity work, social causes, she is forever raising her voice whenever there is any injustice or ridiculous law passed in our constitution..
    but u cant take away her right to enjoy life, to participate in programs that give her a chance to do something different.
    and yes i do believe that it inspires allot of ppl out there..
    including men , which includes me too...
    also the show has a larger meaning than just doing death defying stunts..
    its abt valour and courage.. its abt letting ur fears take a back seat and doing what has been asked of u....
    so my anonymous friend..
    u take it easy on urself..
    life is beautiful and enjoy it..
    when u watch tv... enjoy it..
    its for ur information but also for entertainment... ;-)
    cheers to all.

    Pooja we all love you...
    be the same...
    full of life and spirit. :-)

  24. Read the article..Really funny.They have made a bitchout of everyone there..I think thats the price one has to pay for stardom.It was really sick though.
    Keep on rocking Pooja.Waiting for your next blog.Cheers

  25. Pooja

    I am laughing so hard that my tummy hurts!

    This Mr. Anonymous finds it all waste of time and yet keeps on sending his stupid posts. But i do understand how imp u r for him that he takes time out to come all the way to ur blog and leave a note. We dont get time for people we dont care!

    Pooja, seems like ur KKK is creating waves in India a lot. Every bitch is bitching about it... I am sure youve made a difference and youve done something that has been noticed. Had it been un noticed noone wud have said a word but i see people are writing a lot abt u... Great work man.

    You surely have dont a lot that most people cant which is whhy ure being cricized so that you dont do it again so taht they dont feel inferior so that they can discourage you.

    But I just want to tell you that all normal people loved your performance and all retards hated it so dont let it affect you keep going let bitches bitch abt u becoz ur fans are standing behind you!

    Keep rocking becoz ure KKK!
    Wajiha Afridi
    Khi, Pakistan!

  26. hey wajiha...
    seems that u are an ardent fan of Pooja and truely like her spirits..
    are u one of her kinds... or a conventioanl girl bound by society and the norms set by them??

    before u get me wrong..
    i am not attacking or insulting you.. just tryin to understand u mindset and why u are so pro Pooja...
    oh by the way.. so am i..
    i just want to know your reasons..
    t care. :)

  27. Dear HHH

    true! I am an ardent Pooja fan!
    Youve heard of opinion leaders? Thats just the right word to describe two of my fav stars on earth- Pooja n SRK.

    I am like her in some ways since I dont know much abt her. We get to see these huge stars on tv and feel theyre the same off screen too when theyre not. If I want to do something I end up doing it and nothing can stand in my way than.

    I love to take risks. I feels thats what lifes all about. See when you talk about society and culture, no matter what you are bound by it in certain ways. I am proud of my values and norms.

    I do feel that we should use r heart and not mind in a lot of things. there r times when ur heart says u can and ur mind says u cant and yet u win. Be consistent in whatever u do with a feeling taht youll do it and trust me nothing can stop you!

    SO I am still a huge fan of Pooja.
    Wajiha Afridi
    khi, Pakistan!

  28. Hey Pooja -
    It was wonderful chatting to you earlier today - sorry my phone was acting up and we could not finish the conversation.
    I'll call you once I am in the motherland, and look forward to seeing you soon.
    How is Kabir Uncle doing? Pls give him my respects, and love to the kids.
    Big hug and ds take care of yourself.
    - Abhimanyu

  29. hey Pooja, I loved what you wearing on the interview with Monica Bedi..on the 6th sept aakhri sallaam show..could you pls tell me who was your designer..I' simply loved your outfit..thanks, Nisha.

  30. hi pooja, i like you more then any female in are so cute,i wish that i can take you for coffee one day...

    regards n love you...

  31. Hey pooja,

    How r u n ur 2 very cute kids.............I really felt bad that you not won in KKK.....But I have to say that u r a very daring lady. I would like to know that wat was ur favourite stund

  32. Hiii to pooja n Wajiha,

    Well I thought that iam the only girl who is the big fan of pooja Bedi but i think i was little bit wrong when i saw wajiha....
    A question for you wajiha.....wat do you like about pooja???

    Now come to pooja: - Ms bedi, I would like to know abt ur favourite stunt in KKK.
    U know wat pooja I am an orkut user and i joined 4 communities of ur name out of which one is of Nach Baliye3. I have never missed ur any episode of Nach baliye3. But i became upset when u both wer out. I want to know about ur favourite performance. Now every saturday I watch ur show "akhiri salaam" of Big Boss.......
    Iam a japanese language student and now a day iam preparing a song for u in japanese.....little bit difficult but not impossible.
    Ohhh that was mine favourite episode of KKK when u went to the grave n how much ur Mentour catch u.........My god. Me n mine family on that time laughed alot after listening akshay's comments......

    Well Its enough for now but picture abhi baaki hai........Hope i will get reply from u soon....

    A lots of kisses n hugs :-)


  33. Hi Jyoti,Hope youre doing great. I was just wondering where Pooja is and checked her blog and saw ur post for me.Well, yes I am her huge fan :) but its very difficult to tell you what do I like most about her as the list is never ending.there are so many things that make you a perfect human being. I admire her confidence, strength, determination and what not. She's so humble and sweet that if she hadnt told me about her blog I wud have felt its not the real pooja I am talking to. She has a heart big enough to give place to everone and to those also who dont even deserve it.I can go on and on and on.Well youre equally a huge fan of Pooja. All the best for the song that youre writing for her and do translate it in Eng for me to understand. I so want to come and visit India-once in my life. All the best,Wajiha Afridi,Pakistan!

  34. Hello Wajiha
    Iam abosultly fyn and mine life is on track...
    Well u r abosolutely right that iam a huge fan of Ms Bedi as like you...... but iam little bit big than you (just kidding). Its gud to see in ur comment that once you wanna come india..... By the way wat is it that u do????
    I want to share this thing with you that i never shared with any one that when i saw her interview in Begum show...i really admired her. She is too mature yaar.She is also very daring. I shoul say that no body can say her children that your mother is a Coward or something like that. Well iam also waiting for her comments specially to me. I posted so many comments for her but still iam waiting. I would like to know that is there any stunt in KKK which is most dangerous & which made her to thought "Oh god, ab to main gayee".,...
    well Pooja Ji whenever You will come to delhi please come my home for lunch. Otherwise I will come (Kidding).I hope you dont mind it. Yesterday I saw ur movie Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander 4th time in 1 months....

  35. Hi JyotiI am ok, doing great. I am a banker by profession and work for a foreign bank here in Pakistan- its world's largest bank though :)I am sure Pooja is busy otherwise it doesnt take long for her to reply.And if Pooja is too busy to come for lunch, can I come pliz? :)just kidding!All the best,Wajiha Afridi, Pakistan

  36. Hi wajiha,

    Well you can cum any time in my home....... Its in our culture to respect guests. and if guest is like you then i really would like to invite you.So when u will cum delhi
    I want to know that do you have account in orkut also????
    I would like to be in touch with you.....If you dont mind.

  37. Hi Pooja n Wajiha

    Hope that you both are doing blast now a days.....

    Hey Wajiha Seems Little bit Busy. Is anything wrong from mine side

  38. Hi Jyoti,

    I am doing ok. Never ever feel wrong about anything that you say becoz thats what u feel- ok?

    Ive been busy with work becoz as ramzan is coming to an end, r religious nights start plus deadlines to meet at work as eid holidays start on wed-fri

    i am not on orkut, i am on facebook though. add me there!
    wajiha, Pakistan!

  39. dear pooja, watching u BIGG BOSS 2 AKHIRI SALAAM is a unique experience. I with my family (including my daughter who is just 14) do not miss it as we find it more interesting then watching Shilpa Shetty on 'Evacuation Day'. I particularly like to mention the way u handled interview with Payal Rohatgi and Sambhawna Seth. Very politely u draw charater outline of Payal which was a delight. What I like during that interview is your spontaneous questions based on the replies given by Payal, u just cought hold of her in her own words. Remarkable. I word i would like to use for u ' beauty with BRAIN'. All the best to u from all of my family members. praveen suri

  40. Hey Pooja N Wajiha,

    How u both r???? Hope u both are doing great. N Ms. Wajiha, Hows ur Roze, Id and all????
    Well I am still waiting for pooja's reply. I really liked her way to handle payal and sambhavna in akhiri salaam.... My god It was owsimmm.

    I wanna ask to pooja how she handled all this. Hope I will get reply soon.

    Best regards


  41. No reply from Pooja, it seems she is quite busy these days. anyway, I have noticed that she has discovered and quite polished her new talent that is screwing house mates in Bigg Boss 2. Her questions are so spontaneous and straight forward, that one can easily portrait character of guest, LONG LIG POOJA - praveen suri

  42. Satsriakal Pooja,
    Good to see you in action in KKK after long long time, may be after phir teri kahani yaad aayii ... great movie but you disappear after that .. Liked your attitude in KKK but you can do more to make yourself bold, beautiful you are :) .. Thank you