Roadies X1 winner Nikhil Sachdeva talks about how important it is to chase one’s dreams if one is to succeed in life’s race

“Help me help you” were the words that changed his life. From a flabby contestant who was bullied at the Roadies X Auditions to the star performer who took home the Roadies X1: Ride for Respect title, Nikhil Sachdeva showed us how dreams are chased. “Last year, I saw myself on TV and thought ‘dude, do I look like that’? I am a guy who loves pampering himself. I could not see myself getting insulted on TV. I took it to heart and decided to come back,” he says in his usual “bring-it-on voice”.

The reality show which stepped into its eleventh edition is a craze among youngsters. The journey this year was a bike ride from Mehsana to the Rann of Kutch and started with 15 contestants. Nikhil or Nick, as he was called on the show, aced Utkarsh Khanna from Chandigarh in the final round to win the title.

The format of Roadies came as a surprise this year, with lesser space for internal politics and vote-outs. And did it help the performers? “Yes, indeed it was the best part of this season,” says Nick, adding excitedly, “It clearly meant that you cannot chuck out a guy who is a tough competitor. In the past, Mohit and Suchit, in spite of their good performances, got eliminated due to politics. If this rule didn’t exist, I would have been eliminated in the second episode as well.”

“When I came back from my first ‘Walk the Talk’, I realised nobody can touch me if I perform. By the second time, I knew I was destined for the title,” says the enthusiastic Nick, who was in the maximum number of elimination rounds in the season, in all of which he stunned the judges and the audience with his stupendous performances. “During the show, it was important for me not to trust anybody but I met some really great people, some of whom have become friends for life,” he says, remembering the journey that changed his life.

For aspiring Roadies, Nick is full of wisdom, “Do not goof up your forms or the judges will take your happiness away,” he says. “The auditions that you see on the TV are aired just for 10-15 minutes, but they go on for hours in real life. My first interview, where the judges criticised me, went on for an hour and 27 minutes.” While viewers have time and again found the judges a bit too harsh, Nikhil believes that for him it was a jolt he needed. “I got to learn about myself. Roadies showed me my limit, the point where I’d give up.”

A professional tattoo artist, Nick was applauded by the judges for his honesty, when he confessed at the audition that he wanted to be part of the show only to popularise his tattoo art. Now that he has won, the plan seems to be working out really well for him, “Life has completely changed. I have moved from Delhi to Mumbai — and am living a dream life. There is a new tattoo parlour coming up in Lokhandwala very soon,” Nick tells us. The 29- year-old from Delhi, with his charming looks and rising fame, has a number of TV serials lined up as well, “If you have seen me on Roadies, you’ll know that I am not the kind of guy who would do the clichéd saas-bahu soaps,” and what about reality TV, “Inshallah,” he says with a sparkle in his voice, adding, “I am just waiting for an opportunity to come through. If something like Roadies comes up, I’d surely like to take it up”.