“My dad’s on Bigg Boss”, comedian Aadar Malik announced on Instagram the night before the reality show’s premiere. His dad is music composer Abu Malik, brother of Anu Malik, and a current contestant on one of India’s biggest reality shows, Bigg Boss, now in its 13th season.
What’s it like for one of India’s leading comedians to know that the entire country is watching his father on a reality show famous for its shock and awe tactics, every night, for 15 weeks straight? Is it awkward AF? Is it a comedy goldmine? How’s he really feeling? We sat him down to find out.
When Salman Khan said that there was a disadvantage for Abu Malik right in the beginning—that [Malik] would have to leave the show without even entering the house—were you secretly hoping he was serious?
Honestly, no! I would like him to stay there as long as possible. Because it will be hilarious. It’s more material [for me].
Though I saw the last episode and… they were throwing gobar on each other, which was very new. From whatever I had read about Bigg Boss, there was no Splitsvilla and Roadies level stupidity [before this]. So now I am questioning myself, but I can’t tell him anything. Now it’s like if he has to go through this, he might as well make it to the end.
How many caps does Abu Malik own?
Like 50-60! I am not even kidding. He loves them, he goes insane for them. He keeps asking his friends to get him [new ones]. Like how you tell people, “Arre yaar! Apple ka mere liye ye laa dena, wahan thoda sasta hota hai… America mein, China mein…“
We all have our own little fetishes. At least his is caps and not alcohol, so I’m happy.
He seems like a sweetie. What do you think his downfall will be in the Bigg Boss house?
Ya, being sweet, I guess. It’s just like… Oh god! <sighs> they want to showcase the worst of humanity in that house. He’s a very entertaining human being, but compared to just the insanity [inside the house], he’s just like… “WOW!” I can see it on his face sometimes, him thinking, “What the f*ck is going on?”
I see him wandering around in the background, just aimlessly… which is so unlike him.
What are you most nervous about?
Oh! Not nervous about anything. Our lives… I don’t think it’s going to change any more, or less than what it was before. It was just like this fun thing where he [Abu Malik] was like, “Should I do it?” and I was like, “Sure, do it!”
Have you seriously never watched Bigg Boss before?
NO! I have never seen it. I have never found it interesting enough to sit down and watch it. Now I am like, “Okay, aaj kya hua…?” And it’s still difficult for me, so I am just following them on Instagram. Because honestly, it’s like 26 minutes of nothing and then three minutes of activity. And those three minutes they put up on Instastories or IGTV anyway. So I know exactly what happened.
Could you imagine yourself in the Bigg Boss house? Maybe one day…?
No! Hell, no! I will go crazy. I don’t know how my dad’s doing it. Because it’s mental gymnastics that you need to do there.
What’s the most awkward thing so far that someone has said about your dad being on Bigg Boss?
I haven’t been looking at anything. I’ve just been hanging around with Varun [Thakur] and Kautuk [Srivastava] and that’s all.
We have addressed some of it [comments and reactions on social media] on the podcast (watch out for the next episode of #TheInternetSaidSo) because we had a huge laugh about it. People have been commenting on Varun’s [Thakur] profile also. So we had to stop the edit of all other episodes and do this one, just for the sheer amount of people asking for it.
Bigg Boss is a tricky (read dirty) format. What is that one thing you’re fearing for your dad?
No. There’s no harm. It doesn’t really matter because it’s just words. And I’ve always been like, “bol hi raha hai na, bolne se kya hai?” One comment, or one thing is not going to do anything.
It’s just that gobar stuff is now getting a little weird… Weird stuff they’re doing this time. And everybody is like, “Oh! It’s become so weird and bad…” and I’m like no, it’s literally reflecting what people are watching right now. It’s a reflection of your country. This is what people love to watch. I don’t think Bigg Boss is to blame. To a certain extent, we are equally responsible.
On a scale of 1-10, what’s the probability of your dad winning this season in your head?
Oh! I hope he figures out the tricks. He’s a smart man. When you’re in that situation, I’m not sure what happens to your decision-making process. Because I know not having the food that he likes, and other things he’s particular about… these are things that irritate you. And these guys know your tics starting the first week. They know your routine, there are cameras everywhere. And then they’re like, “Let’s put a stop to this, let’s see how he reacts…” Of course the person is going to explode.
And then there’s is zero contact. It’s a very clear social experiment that messes with people’s heads.
Describe watching Bigg Boss with your father in it in one sentence.
Aaahhh… god! It’s very odd. I just felt like he should’ve always like… I don’t know… there’s no one sentence… Actually, I’m just trying to process this. That’s why the standup is also not coming out. I have not processed this yet. It’s just a weird black hole in my head, and am just absorbing everything. But it’s very weird sitting with my mom and sister watching it.
Some fellow comedians are all, “Oh god! We are jealous” and I’m like, “don’t be jealous, dude” <laughs out loud>. Now the pressure is that if I release any standup, it had better be very funny!