Rubina Dilaik: The Bigg Boss of winning hearts

GRACEFUL: Rubina Dilaik
GRACEFUL: Rubina Dilaik



ACCLAIMED actress Rubina Dilaik has won praise for powerful performances, including her path-breaking role in hit drama serial Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki, but nothing could have prepared her for the recently concluded reality show Bigg Boss 14.

The small-screen star survived being locked up for 143 days on the Indian answer to Celebrity Big Brother, overcame incredible challenges and eventually had a history-making win. That victory over other celebrities was a great reward for the dignified way she carried herself throughout the globally watched show and a triumph for the record-breaking number of people who supported her. The loveable star has seen her popularity soar even further since emerging with the Bigg Boss 14 trophy and instead of basking in the glory has spent weeks thanking all those who got behind her, from fans to global media.

She is now looking forward to reconnecting with acting and was happy to sit down with Eastern Eye to discuss her journey on Bigg Boss 14. Rubina also spoke about the future, inspirations and advice she would give other reality TV show participants.

Rubina, I have known you for a long time and was surprised you agreed to do Bigg Boss 14.

What made you want to participate and that too with your husband Abhinav Shukla?
Asjad, I expressed an interest of going into the Bigg Boss house with Abhinav because we were both parting ways. We had given ourselves six months. By November 2020, we would have completed those six months. We were really working together, mentally and emotionally, to truly rebuild our relationship and ourselves through testing times and trials. We were working hard on our marriage and thus consciously giving time to it. Those efforts included going back to our village, so we could be closer to our family and have their guidance on how to make our relationship work.

What happened next?
Well, it was during that time when Bigg Boss was offered to us, and we saw it as an opportunity. You know people might call us insane, but we thought let’s do it together and see if we can handle ourselves, and our relationship, in a house where situations and problems will be thrown at us. So, this was the desire and intention of going into Bigg Boss season 14 together.

So, Abhinav was a big deciding factor on you doing the series and what was it like being in there with him?
Honestly, yes, that was the main reason to do Bigg Boss season 14 together. It was because he agreed on doing the show with me, which made the decision for me. I was influenced by the fact that Abhinav would also be there. Being with him in the house and at that point in time when our relationship was in a very fragile state, you know, was really like walking on eggshells.

How do you look back on your Bigg Boss 14 journey?
When I look back now, I find this journey to be incredible. There were so many ups and downs, but each one of them made a long-lasting impression on me, which will remain with me always.

Would you have done anything differently?
No, I wouldn’t have done anything differently. I would have been what I was because that’s who I am, true and honest to my own self.

Did you learn anything new about yourself?
It was a big learning curve for me. The one new thing I learned about myself is that I have this potential to turn my failures into my success story.

How did you stay mentally strong?
You know, over a period of time, since a couple of years now, I have learned to build my inner peace, which has helped me to remain strong. So strong that no matter what anybody does, they can’t disturb that inner peace or reach it. That silence I have remains unperturbed by any kind of chaos, and I do not allow people to reach till there. So, that gives me the strength to remain mentally and emotionally strong.

Did you have any idea about the incredible support you had?
I really had no idea what was happening outside the house and all the incredible support that was there. I didn’t know about that support outside the Bigg Boss house. I had no clue about it.

What was the feeling like of being announced the Big Boss winner?
I was honestly numb when I was announced the winner of Bigg Boss 14 because consciously, I was making an effort that I want to live in the moment. So, in that respect, I silenced all the thoughts, all the chatter, any outside information and input. I was focused on remaining consciously mindful of that present moment. So, I was numb, and it took a while for the feeling to sink in when it was announced.

What advice would you give future participants of Bigg Boss?
My only advice to the future participants of Bigg Boss is to be yourself. I mean, all of us, we are unique in our own way and so living authentically is the key to winning any reality show, I feel.

So, what is your career plan going forward?
I have not had the chance to plan forward since Bigg Boss 14 ended. I have not been able to look into the kitty of my work projects that are happening because I have been really pouring my heart and time into personally thanking those who supported me. That has included interacting with media, giving out interviews and expressing my gratitude. So, maybe I will be able to answer this question about projects in a few weeks once I am done with expressing my gratitude to each one of you. There will be more clarity on that future work front soon.

What kind of characters do you want to play in future?
I want to play characters who have been real-life heroes. So, I have this desire to play a real-life hero in a biopic. You know an actor has this very powerful medium of expressing someone’s life through emotion and talent with their acting skills. So, I would want an opportunity to narrate the story of a inspiring character, including their struggles, success and victory. That’s my desire! I really want to have a chance to play a real-life hero in films or on television, and it would be my two cents of saluting their lives.

Is acting in movies on your mind?
I’ve always been an artist who has not distinguished or maybe labelled the mode of exhibiting my art. In that respect, I do not see television as a lesser medium than films or vice versa. So, for me the medium does not matter. All that matters is a good project and breathing life into a character that I play.

You just survived and won the most challenging celebrity reality TV show in the world. What advice would you give those going through challenging times?
My advice to people going through challenging times is do not give up on yourself. I say it again, absolutely do not give up on yourself because the best is yet to come for you.

What inspires you today?
I am inspired by how people can connect to each other on a basic emotion – love. I mean love can just break boundaries and connect people worldwide. Ever since I have come out of the Bigg Boss house I’ve seen so much love and how it has connected millions of hearts around the world. They have all come together to support me and been united by love, which is so inspiring. That just gives me even more motivation to keep on doing my best; to keep on giving my best and working harder as an artist to, you know, reciprocate that love, through my service of art. So, yes, love just inspires me.

Finally, would you like to give a message to your fans? 
More than a message it is a heartfelt gratitude to my fans, who are like family and have been there for me. They say, you know, it was a historical win for Rubina, I say it was their historic love that created this history, which resulted in Rubina being announced the winner. So, I would like to say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you!’

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