OTTplay caught up with the enigma called ‘The Khabri’ for an exclusive interview, in which he has not just revealed his real name, but also the details about his cent per cent ever-so-reliable sources
The very moment someone utters the term ‘Khabri’, many faces may get lit up…for this is the name and the term who has been responsible for providing the die-hard Bigg Boss lovers with some oven-fresh hot and exclusive news about the Bigg Boss house, its contestants, its eviction… the list is endless. Till now, no one knows his real name, his face and all the other details about the enigma called ‘The Khabri’.
OTTplay caught up with ‘The Khabri’ for an exclusive interview, in which he has not just revealed his real name, but also details about his cent per cent ever-so-reliable sources. Over to you… The Khabri!
Hi Khabri! What’s your real name and where do you stay?
My real name is Meer Malik. Even though I originally hail from Jammu, I stay in Delhi. I travel to Mumbai for work though. But, otherwise, I am totally based in Delhi.
OK Khabri… now for THE most important question: How do you get to know all the information?
I have some extremely reliable sources in Mumbai, through whom I get to know the information.
Since how many years you have been ‘working’ as The Khabri’?
Around 7- 8 years till now.
And, what has been your success ratio so far?
So far, it has been 100 percent, barring a few exceptions. Initially, there were a few hiccups. But, now, I am thousand times more careful to deliver. I do my research thoroughly before putting out any news. I just do not go with the news (khabar) of just one person. I get it verified and cross-verified with a few more people before putting it out.
How many people you have as source/s?
There are quite a few people who are my sources. But the fact also remains that, it becomes an uphill task when my sources leave their jobs and move onto new one. So, it becomes extremely tough and challenging to get a new source.
So, when your source/s leaves their job/s, do they get you another source as their replacement?
Arre no! I have had to create my own source right from scratch, all over again.
How long you take to make / create a new source?
Around one or two weeks.
Overall, is it an easy ‘job’ that you do?
Many feel that it a child’s play and an extremely easy job. But the fact remains that IT IS NOT! Unlike these days, in the past times, when my prediction did not turn out to be right, people used to troll me calling terms like ‘Khabri jhoota’ etc… There is a lot of backlash that I get in case of false alarm.
The fact also remains that the show ‘Bigg Boss' changed its channel for airing. Firstly, it was Sony TV and now it is Colors channel. Again, a tough job at hand for you... right?
Actually, when the show was being aired on Sony channel, I wasn’t that active as ‘Khabri’. It was only after the show started being aired on Colors channel, I became super active as ‘Khabri’.
Honestly, it’s a man-eat-man world that is full of competition and people with vested interests. In such a spineless world like that, don’t your sources feel that by helping ‘Khabri’ with vital and inside information, only ‘Khabri’ will stand to gain- be it money or name and nothing for them, except for the risk. Do they expect you to monetarily compensate them? In simple words, how do you take care of your sources? Do you pay them money to give you information?
No. I don’t pay them any money. But I do take care of them in many other ways, which I don’t want to reveal. There was just one source to whom I had to pay money. But, the rest of my sources, there has never been exchange of money at all for any sort of information/s.
Till date, ‘Khabri’ existed only in the virtual world without a face. But recently, we saw a girl hosting the YouTube channel of The Khabri. Who is she?
Oh! She is just a friend.
The reason why I brought up this question is that, since nobody has seen you so far and you have been instrumental in giving many scoops/ andar ki khabar. Don’t you feel that by ‘revealing’ her face, you have put her at a risk?
Not really. She is just a friend. And, definitely not the face of Khabri. And also, to tell you, she is totally safe as she has got NOTHING to do with my work of giving scoops or breaking news. She is just hosting the news segment of the Khabri’s YouTube channel.
You also had got involved in lot of online 'pangas' with the celebrities. Right?
Yes. There were pangas which had happened with Karan Kundrra and Dolly Bindra. Besides that, there was also a big panga which took place with Umar Riaz.
Is this the only social media account that you use?
No. prior to this, I had one more account on Twitter that had around one lakh and fifty thousand plus followers. But sadly, that had got suspended. that's why I made this new account, which is growing slowly and gradually.
Is this (being 'Khabri') your full-time job?
No. I actually work as a civil engineer by profession. When I am busy at work, there are other close-knit people who help me with uploading the news and updates.
Since you are in the circle of ‘Bigg Boss’, who better than you can tell the actual parameter/s to be a Bigg Boss contestant?
The makers of Bigg Boss are always on a lookout for controversial people and names who can give them the required mileage. The more controversial you are, more are the chances of you being selected for Bigg Boss as a contestant. Mostly, the TV industry’s actors say no because they have to allot their bulk dates to the show. BUT, if at all they are paid an amount in crores, they say yes to the show. In addition to this, the ones who say yes to the show also happen to be those actors who are kind of out of work and are looking for a revival of their careers.
What about common man then?
They did have a season where the common people were also called as a contestant. But that season and concept did not meet up with the required amount of success. The makers also got to know that they will not get new audience because of the commoners, which is unlike the known actors or faces from either TV or even social media. If you see this season, there were many who were tuned in mainly and purely for Puneet Superstar. The show got new audiences because of him, Fukraa Insaan and others.
Can we touch upon the commercials that the participants are offered on the show?
There was just one time when I had seen an actor leaving the show (serial) in between to join Bigg Boss as a contestant. When this particular actor had left the serial to join Bigg Boss as a contestant, he was paid in crores as a one-time payment. Getting paid in crores was any day better for this particular actor who was getting paid per episode otherwise.
Who has been the highest paid contestant so far in the history of Bigg Boss and if possible, how much?
(Thinking deeply for a long time) If I am not wrong, Karan Mehra was paid around Rs. 2 crores I think, which was one time. Then, there was Rimi Sen, who was also paid one-time around Rs. 2 crores!
How much is Bigg Boss scripted?
I can’t say that the show is scripted. But, every season, there has to be that one contestant, who the makers support. This year, its Pooja Bhatt. Last year, it was Sajid Khan. Last season, whenever Sajid Khan was about to be voted out, Bigg Boss declared that week as no elimination. No one was eliminated. And those contestants who are the channel’s favourite, the channel will surely take them ahead, no matter what. In that way, one can call the show as scripted. But one thing is for sure that, they (the show’s makers) don’t fudge the data / votes during the finale’s voting. And in case they feel that their favourite contestant is on the way out, then, it becomes a no-elimination week that time.
Does the voting get audited?
Yes. That’s what the show’s makers fear about and that’s why they keep it as transparent without fudging the data.
Can you touch upon the language on the OTT 2 this season? The ‘F’ word is being dropped like there is no tomorrow.
Actually, Salman Khan had very sternly warned the contestants from using any abusive language or cuss words. He had also said told them that, under the pretext of the show being on OTT, they cannot get away with abusive language or cuss words.
Do your parents know that it’s their son who is ‘The Khabri’?
Initially, they did not know it. Now, they are a bit aware. All that they know is that, I keep on doing something on social media. But, what exactly I am doing is something that my parents are not aware. (smiles)
Can we touch upon last season’s final verdict of MC Stan becoming the ultimate winner, beating the ‘channel’s favourite’ Priyanka Chahar Choudhary and the most expected Shiv Thakare. Did MC Stan actually get that much votes to be the ultimate winner?
Yes. As I told you earlier, the channel does not fudge or manipulate the voting data. MC Stan’s victory was possible because of the huge votes that he had got from the rappers’ community and Youtuber community, most of them do not even watch Bigg Boss. Since MC Stan represented the communities of rappers and YouTubers, his fans voted for him and made him win the show.
Who do you think, will be the winner this time (Bigg Boss OTT 2)?
In my opinion, there is no competition to Abhishek Malhan, who has got a huge fandom of Youtubers. Abhishek is giving his best on the show and that has enabled him to make lots of friends in the show as well as fans outside the show. He is extremely good at performing tasks. He is totally involved in the show. All of these seem to make him the front runner for being the ultimate winner. The first runner up could be Manisha Rani who has won lots of hearts during her stint in the show, while the second runner up can be Jiya Shankar, who also has a huge fanbase of her own.
And what about Pooja Bhatt and Bebika?
Pooja Bhatt will be after these three. Also, the makers will surely carry forward Bebika, even though many do not like her ‘villainous ways’.
Were you ever been offered to participate in Bigg Boss?
Yes. I was offered to be a part of season 14 of Bigg Boss. But the money they were offering was not that great. Additionally, I was also having some personal issues. Hence, I declined the offer. They had offered me a per-week payment. But I was earning five times more than what they had offered in my full-time job. And in case, I went inside the Bigg Boss show and got evicted in the first week itself, then, I would have been neither here nor there! I, then, reached out to them to increase the commercials. Post which, they never got back to me.
Do the PRs approach you to promote their artists/ clients?
I do get a lot of messages from the PRs. But nobody dares to speak to me regarding money (to promote their artists). They have not spoken money directly.
Do you earn from your tweets?
Not from tweets. But the news that we put out, reaches a few people. Through them, we get paid. Even our Facebook is monetised. We get money from there also.
Do your bosses know that you are ‘THE Khabri’?
A few of my friends know about me being The Khabri. But, none of my bosses know that. (laughs)
The reason why I asked you that, was because, imagine a situation where you have an important presentation in the office and your mobile rings with a message that some XYZ contestant is eliminated, from your reliable sources.
There were many times such situation has happened. But, since the eliminations happen only in the night time, I can devote my time to me being The Khabri. Only few times, I had to put the news of eliminations late.
Does being The Khabri affect your personal life?
Of course yes. There do arise communication gaps with friends because of my lack of time. The friends I have are extremely limited and few. They do understand my position. They are not at all concerned or bothered about me being The Khabri or no.
Since social media is an open space, do you have any impersonators with the same name of ‘The Khabri’?
Yes, initially, there were many who were trying to piggyback on my success. But, now with the blue tick verification, it has become easier to identify that I am the real Khabri.
Before we sign off, can you give some clarity about how much truth prevails in ‘Salman Khan being paid staggering amounts (to the tune of crores) per episode?
Most of it is exaggerated to create hype about the show.
Any idea then, what should be the payment bracket of Salman Khan charging per episode of Bigg Boss?
Salman Khan must be getting paid around Rs. 5 -10 crores per episode, if I am not wrong.