Twin Whips

Brothers Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman on why they lose their cool, and not just on MTV Roadies
The question that plays on one's mind, when seated across television's famous angry twins, Raghu Ram and Rajiv Laxman, is what's hassling them? Raghu aur Rajiv ko gussa kyon aata hai? In Chandigarh for an MTV Roadies event at Kava restaurant in Sector 26, the two agree they lose their cool, and it's not just on MTV Roadies. "We have a problem with closed minds and those spouting it like gospel truth, and this makes us extremely angry," confesses Laxman. As a result of this conditioned response they scream and shout. But mind it, "not for the contestants, but to get our point across to the viewer," says Ram.

Now that the conversation has got started on anger, the brothers can't stop — "Corruption, honour killings, rape, politicians, the politics, bride burning, Indian wishing things away..." the reasons flow like an angry flood. "Don't get me wrong. I love my country, but I hate my countrymen," he says. Is that why they act like a "moral police" on MTV Roadies and reprimand those who audition, about their views? "No, please! I hate the word 'moral policing'. Yes, we do stir controversial topics. We are intolerant towards intolerance," says Ram.

This time, on Roadies 8, the brothers have set two simple ground rules — no bad language and no violence. But, ironically, both still occur don't they? "To understand that, one has to understand that MTV Roadies is really the story of the crew that makes it happen. It's eight years of their hard work. Folks who feature on it get famous by just appearing on the show, and that's why it's a hit with the youngsters, who want to take the shortcut to success. I hate that, for they haven't earned the fame. The crew has. I hate the freeloaders who want to feature on the show," says Ram.

They have made this season so tough that it might just be a shortcut to hell. They don't want to be called the "whipping crew", but the brothers don't want to encourage the unnecessary stunts that contestants pull during auditions and harass the crew.

MTV Roadies has been a part of their lives for 10 years. "A decade of non-stop work, of meeting youth and getting disappointed, sometimes getting cynical. Ten years of living on 30-40 cups of tea and coffee every day and endless travelling. Now, I suffer from bronchitis and acute acidity," says Ram.

Apart from television, the brothers are interested in films. Laxman, especially, is looking forward to filmmaking as the next step. "I am a control freak and would not like to be subservient to a director's whims and fancies," he says with a wink as Ram adds, "He is more evolved between us, he manages to keep his cool and rise above the situation with a smile."

What influences their attitudes the most? "One always get one's value system from parents, school, society. Although we come from a conservative Brahmin family, it was lots of reading and studying in a hardcore Delhi government school that toughened us and prepared us to stand up to bullies," shares Laxman.

To add to this, there are the role models — Bruce Lee, Mohammad Ali and Mahatma Gandhi. "Gandhi had a passion to live a life he preached, while Bruce Lee is a curious combination of a monk and a warrior. As for Ali, he thrived on hate and hostility, and channeled it to overcome and win," says Ram philosophically.

And then adds softly, "I will try therapy, and enroll into an anger management class."

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