Actor Rithvik Dhanjani will take on 10 dangerous jobs in a new show
IF ONE was to check out Rithvik Dhanjani’s current job experiences — they will be in for a shock. The TV actor of Pavitra Rishta fame will soon be seen doing 10 different jobs across the length and breadth of India in History TV18’s new show, Man vs Job. But none of these are easy or ordinary. In the last three weeks, he’s tried his hands at collecting honey, wrestling, performing stunts, and guiding trekkers (in Himachal Pradesh). In the coming days, he will be criss-crossing Chennai and Coimbatore, doing car racing and crocodile farming. Firefighting is also on the cards.
“I am so glad I was chosen for this show. I get to highlight lesser-known jobs, lead the lives of people involved in these jobs, and I am hoping I can change everybody’s perception about them. We often take these jobs and people for granted,” begins Dhanjani, who won the dare-based reality show, I Can Do That, last year, and is currently seen hosting the Indian version of So You Think You Can Dance.
He cites the example of his Sunderbans stint, “I ventured into a forest, lived with the family of a honey collector (he has a mentor for each job), learnt how to cut honeycombs, and sell honey. It’s a dangerous business because there are tigers in those jungles, but people still risk their lives for a few thousand rupees.” He adds, “My mentor has a family of six. He hosted me in his small hut, because I was his guest. It’s memorable.”
In the village of Khanna, near Ludhiana, he took on the national wrestling champion, Rubal Jeet. “Of course, I wasn’t expected to win the kushti,” laughs the 27-year-old Sindhi boy, recollecting, “I was also pitted against a 17-year-old. I asked myself initially, ‘What if I hurt him?’. Trust me, exactly the opposite happened. He lifted me and threw me onto the ground. That’s how strong these wrestlers are. Before working out, they make a milkshake of 23 herbs, flower petals, syrup, elaichi, cashew nuts, almonds, mishri, and what not. They grind all this into a paste, for 30-45 minutes. I had to do the same. It was such a task.”
While he got down to these jobs without any preparation, the workout freak did pump up for his assignment as a stuntman in Mumbai. “Sunil Rodrigues aka Rod (action director of films like Dilwale, and Rocky Handsome) introduced me to his stuntmen who’ve met with accidents in the past and come back to do stunts again. They are the people who make our heroes look like heroes,” he says.
Sky’s the limit
Meanwhile, Dhanjani tells us that as a kid, he wanted to be nothing but a doctor, like his heart surgeon uncle. That’s until he realised the amount of academics and studying that went into becoming one. The adventure freak has been lately fascinated with the sport of wingsuit flying. “I don’t think I want to try it. It’s dangerous (he has a fear of heights). These people basically wear wingsuits, jump off cliffs, help others to fly like them or just capture videos of others while in the air. They are human drones!”
The young man, who took almost two weeks to give us an interview, has obviously been busy travelling. But how does he like to unwind? “Luckily, my work gets me to travel a lot, and that’s fun (New York is his favourite getaway). I also watch a lot of TV. I just finished Luther. Other shows I like are Suits, The Big Bang Theory, How I Met Your Mother and Friends. And, yes, Game of Thrones. Don’t tell me anything about it! I am still on episode 8 (of season 6),” he signs off.
Premieres June 30. 10 pm on History TV18
— Barkha Kumari