'Be yourself' is Shilpa's 'Bigg Boss' advice to sister Shamita

By Radhika Bhirani

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Shilpa Shetty, who won international reality show "Celebrity Big Brother" in 2007, could have given various tips to younger sister Shamita for surviving the Indian version of the show titled "Bigg Boss", but all she told her was "Be yourself".

"Shilpa completely backed off when 'Bigg Boss' was offered to me. She was absolutely not instrumental in helping me decide whether or not to take up the show. And when I decided to go for it, she never even gave me any tips. She just said - 'Be yourself'," Shamita told IANS over phone from Amby Valley in Maharashtra, where the show is being shot.

Shamita, who made her Bollywood debut with "Mohabbatien" in 2000, is now in the "Bigg Boss" house, surviving without her family or any connection with the outside world. The show started Sunday.

"Bigg Boss", which airs on Colors, has other celebrities like Poonam Dhillon, Claudia Ciesla, Kamaal R. Khan, Sherlyn Chopra and Vindu Dara Singh competing with one another. The show being hosted by Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan has the celebrities staying inside a specially designed house under constant camera surveillance and no contact with the outside world.

The last season of the reality show had been hosted by Shilpa Shetty following her "Big Brother" win.

Before entering the house, Shamita was excited about stepping into the small screen as well as testing her strengths on the show, where she will be staying for three months with 12 other strangers.

"Television is something different for me, something I haven't ventured into before. But I was ready for it. When Shilpa did 'Big Brother', people asked me if I would want to do it. But my answer was 'no'.

"However, in the past one year, I have become a very different person and I did feel that I have become strong enough to get into something like 'Bigg Boss'," she added.

Asked about the changes she has observed in her personality over the past year, Shamita said: "Well, I have been attending a course at the Oneness University for a long time. And that has helped me understand myself and life in a very different perspective.

"I am more aware of my strengths and weaknesses as a person and I do believe my stint in 'Bigg Boss' will help me be an even stronger person," she said.

So how will she handle the difference of opinion and preferences between the occupants of the "Bigg Boss" house?

"My intention of going to this show is very positive. I am quite an adjusting person and I hope all goes well because I plan to keep a smile on my face always.

"I know there will be a blend of different people on the show, but I don't know what to expect. I am just going to have fun there," Shamita said.

Apart from her family and friends, the actress says she will miss watching television, music and her privacy.

"Music is my life. I don't know how I'll live without it...but I guess, that's the real challenge of being on 'Bigg Boss'," she added.

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