"Darr kisko nahi lagta? Mujhe bhi lagta hai par main usko apne sar mein zyada bada nahi hone deti." Following this life mantra, television's 'bahu rani' Divyanka Tripathi attained the title of 'magar rani' with her fearless performance in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11. After clearing various obstacles, despite 'not being in the prime of her physical condition', Divyanka emerged as the first runner-up and became the only female contestant in the top 3. Fans, as well as industry critics, have declared her the winner for being dhaakad, performing without creating a fuss and giving every stunt her 100% without worrying about the final consequence.
While fans were hopeful that Divyanka will quite easily lift the trophy with her mighty willpower, the actress had a gut feeling that she won't bag the title of the winner of Khatron Ke Khiladi 11. Talking to PeepingMoon.com exclusively, Divyanka opened up about her journey from 'bahu rani' to 'magar rani', why she isn't disappointed for not winning the show, and how her fans have been showering unconditional love on her since the premiere of Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.
Speaking to us, she said that she is happy with the fact that her fans got a chance to be a part of her Khatron Ke Khiladi 11's memorable journey. Divyanka added that she is glad that people got to saw the real 'Divyanka Tripathi'. She further spoke about Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 winner Arjun Bijlani and second runner-up Vishal Aditya Singh.
Excerpts from the interview:
From being TV's bahu rani to magar rani, how was your journey on Khatron Ke Khiladi 11?
It was unprecedented. I never thought they’ll make me Magar Rani from Bahu Rani (laughs). After performing the first stunt, my name was changed overnight. I never imagined that I would be the first runner-up. Main puri shiddat ke saath stunts kar rahi thi. I was sure that I had to complete what was given to me. I told Rohit Shetty sir one thing but that didn't make it to the final telecast. Maine bola tha ki sab kehte hai Divyanka ko darr nahi lagta. I said darr toh sabko lagta hai lekin main uss darr ko apne sar mein bohot bada nahi hone deti. Bohot bada issue nahi banati apne andar. Theek hai, darr hai, sabke andar hota hai. Kya hume exam ke pehle darr nahi lagta? Main abhi bhi jab dance performance dene jaati hu, jab bhi main act karti hu, ya koi bhi naya kaam shuru karti hu, kya darr nahi lagta? When we overcome our fears, everything seems easy. Fear is not a big thing, it is just a part of life. That’s how I accepted it. Whenever I performed stunts, I saw it as an important learning experience. Before the stunt, kabhi lagta hai ki nahi nahi hoga par karke dekhte hai, shayad maza aa jaye. I’m glad that people got to watch this journey of mine. I’m happy ki logon ko meri khushi mein khushi mil rahi hai.
You were the only female contestant in the top 3 and inspired many young girls. Who is your inspiration?
My mother Neelam Tripathi. She is constantly evolving. Generally, people get older with age, but my mother is learning new things. It is very inspiring to see her operate and lead her life. This quality has been inculcated in my sister and me. My parents don’t have this ‘grow old’ policy. Jab inspiration aapke ghar par hi ho aur motivation mil raha ho, jab aapko roz kuch naya seekhne par taali milti ho, sirf jeetne par hi nahi harne par bhi ghar mein jashn manta ho tab insaan roz kuch naya seekhna chahega.
Were you disappointed that you didn’t win the show?
I had this feeling that I won't win Khatron Ke Khiladi 11. For me, winning or losing wasn't important, I had to give it my best. It is not mandatory that everyone should get 100% marks. I had a journey and gave a different kind of experience to my audience. Agar main humesha average perform karke suddenly trophy leke jau toh audience ko itni khushi nahi hoti. When you give your 100%, the end result doesn't hold much importance. Likewise, the audience also didn't really bother about the end result and showered unconditional love on me. I can’t tell you the kind of messages I have been receiving. Generally, it is observed that when we do a long-running show, mostly women or elderly men associate with us. But when young boys tell me, "Ma’am, you have inspired us," it is heartwarming.
Since I had a gut feeling that I won't win, mujhe dhakka nahi laga. Dhakka lagta agar main sirf yehi sochti ki main hi jeetungi. I was prepared for this but I am happy ki meri zindagi ka ek ahem hissa log dekh paye.
People accused Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 of being biased. What’s your opinion on this?
I don't know what happens behind the cameras. See, everyone had a great journey on the show. They performed stunts in their best capacity. Having said that, I felt bad for Sourabh Raaj Jain. He was an excellent player but unfortunately, voh kitna jaldi nikal gaya. I was unhappy when I won against Varun Sood right before the final stunt. I wanted to see Varun and Vishal Aditya Singh in the top 2 because they were worthy. I would simply call it a journey. Jisko jiss tarah ke stunts mile usne vaise perform kiya. Biasness ek bohot hi political level ho jaata hai.
Weak contestants got multiple chances to perform stunts on the show. Did you feel it was unfair to strong contestants?
I don't interfere in other people's business. I was like a sportsperson on Khatron Ke Khiladi 11. My fans were consoling me and thought I was disappointed. To be honest, I am not because I participated in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 keeping my actor self aside. Sportsmen spirit yehi hoti hai ki aap political level pe nahi sochte. Humari aankhon ke saamne hi hota hai sab kuch lekin agar hum usmein lag jayenge aur yeh baatein karne lag jayenge ki usko special privilege mil raha hai ya usko multiple chances diye jaa raha hai, tab humara khudka karma goes for a toss. What you are given, you do it well. Ultimately, if it is supposed to be noticed, it will be noticed. No one can overshadow real talent and effort.
Ab Rohit Shetty sir ka hi dekh lo. There were contestants who would never try. That's when he would school them. But when a contestant gave 100% to the stunt but failed by 50%, he would respect them for the efforts. That's how stuntmen are. Effort 100% hona chahiye. I focused on that. I did Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 for myself and not the audience. When we were shooting in Cape Town, I didn't know how the audience to react. I did it for myself and my own satisfaction.
What kind of a relationship did you share with host Rohit Shetty? How did your bond strengthen?
This is a tricky one actually. We would only interact during the shoot. Humara joh relationship sirf before to after stunts tak hi tha.I am a shy person, like an introvert. I manage to give interviews and even act, but internally, I am an introvert. As a result, it becomes difficult for me to initiate a conversation with someone. Especially when I respect somebody so much. I have an immense amount of respect for Rohit sir, hence I can't sit down with him and chit chat. I keep that respectful distance. On Teacher's Day, I shared a post for him because I consider him to be my teacher. Maine silently unse bohot kuch seekha hai. He is a very balanced person who respects true spirit and efforts. Cliche hai thoda but I call myself Eklavya in front of him.
Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 gave your image a complete makeover. Are you happy with the fact that your fans got to see the real Divyanka Tripathi?
I never aimed for this makeover. I just wanted to enjoy myself because I love adventure activities. During the lockdown, I told my husband Vivek Dahiya that I really need to step out and do something adventurous. In the last 15 years, I have not been the ‘real Divyanka’. Mujhe lag raha tha ki main purani wali Divyanka bachi hi nahi hu, koi aur ban gayi hu. Suddenly, I was offered Khatron Ke Khiladi 11. It did scare me for a bit as I wondered whether I’ll be able to do it with my injury. I was not in the prime of my physical condition but when I started prepping, I thought that I’ll be able to sustain in the show for maybe 4-5 episodes. That’s how I gathered courage. I went there to enjoy but people got to see something expected. Audience joh joh dikhayi diya hai, voh asli Divyanka hai. I want to say that whatever you see in daily soaps is not an actor's real self. Every person has different layers. Especially women. On Indian television, we are typecasted. Agar hum bohot sporty dikhte hai toh logon ko lagta hai humme bohot strength hoga. Agar social media pe track pants ke saath photos dalte hai tabhi logon ko lagta hai ki hum fit hai. But there is more to every person.
What do you have to say to your fans who have supported you throughout?
I love them. They have given me so much strength after the show went on air. Ho sakta hai ki main thoda mayus hoti. Ek time aisa tha ki mujhe bura lagna shuru hua tha aur laga ki things are not in my favour. But the kind of selfless love I got, usne mujhe sambhal liya. Mujhe yeh ehsaas hua what I have got is precious. Trophy is just a stamp, but people already made me a 'khiladi'. There is no need for that stamp.
Any words for Khatron Ke Khiladi 11 winner Arjun Bijlani and second runner-up Vishal Aditya Singh?
They are very good players. I wished Vishal wasn’t hydrophobic. He was a fantastic performer. He was determined and focused. Though he was injured, he gave his best. It was a pleasure competing against him. On the other hand, Arjun is very entertaining. Pure time sets pe mazak masti chalti rehti thi.
There were rumours that you and Vivek Dahiya were approached for Bigg Boss 15. Is it true?
I think prominent actors/actresses get a call from Bigg Boss makers every year. Similarly, Vivek and I were offered Bigg Boss 15 too. But Vivek is busy shooting something and I am looking for scripts that really move me. As of now, my focus is on doing something related to acting.