The reality show 'Bigg Boss' has been around for several years now, and along with the lavish house, contestants and controversies, the one thing that has come up to be the show's identity is the anonymous voice of the narrator.
However, the voice seems to be not so anonymous anymore, as The Free Press Journal got in touch with the man behind the baritone, Vijay Vikram Singh. While carrying an identity synonymous with one of the most popular shows of the country might sound enticing, Vijay's life has not been a cakewalk. It has rather been a rough rollercoaster ride.
In an exclusive tête-à-tête, Vijay opened up about the time when he was met with failures and struggled with alcoholism and depression to the point that it had almost cost him his life.
"Being a voice artist or an actor was not something that I thought of even in my wildest dreams. I was born in a humble family in Kanpur and like every middle-class person, my aspirations too were limited to securing a 9 to 5 job," he says.
He reveals that his true dream was to join the Army, and failing to do so led to his downfall. "I failed to get into the armed forces eight times when I was around 22 years old. And I had never seen myself doing anything else in life. So instead of facing my failure, I resorted to drinking and ended up suffering from depression," he shares.
The 44-year-old continues, "I eventually did my MBA and secured a corporate job, but my condition only kept worsening. Getting treated for your mental health was considered a taboo back then, so I kept bottling it all up.”
But Vijay got his reality check in a rather cruel way when his pancreas was damaged due to the alcohol and he ended up on his deathbed at the age of 26. "I was in the ICU for over a month and the doctor said that my chances of survival were only 15 per cent. My family was miserable. And that is when realisation hit me and I decided to change my life for good," he says.
Post getting discharged from the hospital, Vijay quit alcohol completely and began working hard to earn a living. But fate had another shocker — rather a sweet surprise — for him in store. It was a fellow worker at Vijay's office who complimented his voice and suggested that he tried voice acting.
Vijay had been a narrator for several advertisements and the reality show 'Dance India Dance' before he landed the role of being the narrator of 'Bigg Boss' in 2010. He has been associated with the show for 12 successful seasons now.
In 2019, he also marked his acting debut with Manoj Bajpayee's 'The Family Man'. He has starred in 'Mirzapur 2', 'Breathe 2' and 'Special Ops' too. He has two more web series in his kitty and a film as well.
A still from 'Special Ops 1.5' | Photo: Instagram/@vijayvikram77
When asked if he still rues not joining the armed forces, Vijay recites, "Kuch rishton ka namak hi doori hai, vo na milna bhi zaruri hai. Sometimes you face minor inconveniences, but only for the greater good. I have accepted this truth now, and nothing makes me happier than where I am today in life."
He cheekily adds, "I still get to wear a uniform though! I played a naval officer in a show and an army officer in another one. So yes, I am not complaining at all. I actually got what I wanted, just in a different package!"