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Khatron Ke Gorgeous Khiladi

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when I say ‘Khatron ke Khiladi‘ in a post which is categorised as Bollywood? Who else but arguably one of the most dashing, sexy and bravest action hero in Bollywood, Akshay Kumar. Right?

But, its time to think out of the box now. For one, try imagining a Yana Gupta in place of Akki. Or try a Pooja Bedi. Difficult is it? Well you better get used to it cause she might just win that title pretty soon.

Yana Gupta is one of the 13 bollywood beauties who are going to contest with each other for the title ‘Khatron ke khiladi’ in the, soon to go on air, reality tv show, “Fear Factor – Khatron ke Khiladi” which as the name suggest is the Indian version of the American popular show ‘Fear Factor‘ and would be hosted by none other than the Khiladi himself, Akshay Kumar. Its going to be aired on the new Hindi general entertainment channel ‘Colors‘ and is being launched on the same day when the channel is being launched, 21 July 2008.

In my knowledge this is perhaps the biggest gender de-construction that has happened in the Indian small screen. You have the ultimate action man Akshay, surrounded by all these beauties who are the epitome of girliness and feminity, all the sexy girls with their perfect figures and flawless colors it almost becomes impossible to imagine them in any other avatar than what we see on the ramp or the gossip magazines.

So when you see these super gorgeous screen queens facing the highest level of physical and mental challenge in real life, doing their own stunt without using a body double, you break away from the notion that ‘beauty’ and ‘toughness’ don’t go together. And then you have the man himself guiding these women through this whole show, which I think is a huge shift from the common cliche that – a man and a woman compliment each other the best when he brings out the most feminine side from her and she brings out the strongest part of him.

To me Akshay Kumar is truly a champion. Respect to him for being part of this show.

Talking about gender de-construction on small screen, another real hero is Salmaan Khan and the show Dus Ka Dum which recently invited Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, a transsexual social activist who came and won many hearts and broke a many myth on the national television.

While flirting with Salmaan in charismatic confidence, Laxmi expressed her heartfelt gratitude to Salmaan for having her in the show, She said, “There are so many reality shows happening but no one has ever invited us before. So, this day is a day of great achievement for the hijda community, and would be marked as a golden day in the history of our struggle for human rights and recognition. By inviting me to this show you have proved you are the real hero.”

[See the video here]

And she was not exaggerating. For an average audience of any such show the only image an hijda can have is a ‘money extorting weird non-human who strips anytime anywhere, who is an illeterate dirty outcast worse than the stray dog.’ When such an audience sees a hijda as graceful, articulate, witty and dignified as Laxmi, notions are bound to break.

Respect to Salman and the team of Dus Ka dum for doing this.

13 thoughts on “Khatron Ke Gorgeous Khiladi

  1. Well written. Dus Ka Dum does not come on National TV (Doordarshan) it comes on a private channel. Akshay Kumar probably is doing the show cause of lot of money offered and that show suits his persona.

    In earlier episodes of Fear Facor (International and Desi) many women have taken part including Mandira Bedi, Shweta Salve etc. That times it used to be hosted by Mukul Dev. I somehow dont feel that it is actually doing any gender deconstruction here.

    Though what Dus ka Dum team did was really appreciative.

    Talking about Gender deconstruction, many months ago NDTV showed a programme how Aditya Birla gtroup has empowered the women of one village. These women are trained to repair hand pumps and the condition of the training is that only women will get trained. So you will see women cycling around the village in saree and ghunghat with tools to repair Hand pumps. Some of them are earning as much as 20,000 a month. That is what I would say Gender Deconstruction.”

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  2. “Akshay Kumar probably is doing the show cause of lot of money offered and that show suits his persona.”

    I am refereing to Fear Factor here.

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  3. I don’t see this as a deconstruction of gender at all. Look at the promos — the girls are all packaged as ultra-hot, svelte and feminine. Even during the show, their “femininity” would never be compromised–none of them are androgynous or gender queer or really break from the stereotypes. Akshay Kumar still represents hyper-masculinity especially with his new look and surrounded by women who are all stepping up to the “test,” the show preserves gender binaries just like any other.

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  4. @PL

    I am no expert in judging how much of gender de construction is happening here. All I am saying is that for very average audience, one who has been watching these reality shows like KBC and Paachvi Paas or the Saas Bahu serials, for them seeing a very feminine beauty taking up a challenge which needs physical strength is something new.

    Of course they look feminine, are you saying a woman can take up a non-gendered role only by losing her femininity? Gender stereotypes are in our minds not in the physical appearance. Should all empowered woman look ugly un-attractive and un-sexy?

    On the very contrary I think this notion that beautiful woman can’t be strong, can’t take up tasks traditionally meant for men is nothing but a Gender sterotype.

    I am absolutely unable to understand how is Akshay Kumar’s masculinity preserving the gender binary. Like I said its not the body that is the deciding factor here, its what are they doing in the show. What is noteworthy is the way his masculinity is being associated with the femininity. He aint romancing with them, aint singing or dancing he is facilitating them to achieve acts of bravery.

    @snigdha,

    Why would anybody do anything for free. Of course Akki is doing it for money. However it is not unknown that in bollywood if there is a fear of their image being affected adversely they won’t get into it. People in bollywood are weak at their spines so I still appreciate Salman and Akshay to take up the shows.

    I wasn’t aware of the other version of fear factors on TV, so I guess even those deserved appreciation. The documentary you are talking about is so great. We must have many such shows on TV.

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  5. Just to get the words right sex is a biological construct and gender is social. So commonly attributed traits like femininity has nothing to do with female per-se.

    Gender de-construction would start at these definitions

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  6. its alll crap…gender is nothing…they r using gals brcause den it will be popular sooon…lol….

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  7. Here u go.. another obsession with another AK!

    It is the producers of Dus ka Dum who have to be given accolades for their bold decision. Even Salman Khan is just doing his job.. and so is Akki.

    I feel the glam quotient is a publicity stunt for both the channel and the show. As Snigdha says, In earlier episodes of Fear Factor, many women have taken part including Mandira Bedi, Shweta Salve etc. That time it used to be hosted by Mukul Dev. That show did not do well coz Mukul Dev was not as reknowned as Akki.

    BTW, I have not seen any other ads of “Colors” channel except this one.. have u?

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  8. A,

    Usually I don’t allow anonymous comments…but made an exception in your case because I realize you are right when you say I tend to exaggerate everything, you also didn’t call me names while pointing it… so

    I am not sure though why I do it….

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  9. I had viewed Dus Ka Dum- particularly that episode, I recall. Only viewing your Blog after a long and forgotten time. I wish a little more of these initiatives be taken so all of us realize they are human too.
    About the KKK, I may not have agreed with you, but after the Level- II, I am with you completely. we may not necessarily point out on same instances to prove our point across, but the point remains the same.
    The Level- II, with those creepy crawlies and rotten dead meat drums, it was a complete urggghhhh..

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