The One Who Lost But Still Won

With the 18th episode of Himalaya Roadies – that aired on Himalaya TV this Monday – the first season of the adventure reality TV show came to an end. In the finale episode, Saman Shrestha beat Animesh Shahi to be called the first ever Himalaya Roadie.

Animesh Shahi lost, but did he?

Shahi, who hails from Pokhara, was one of the favorite contestants this season. While introducing himself to the judges during his audition, he had said, “Ma chahi Animesh Shahi. Ma chahi aile chahi yaha Roadies jitna ko lagi aako”. [I am Animesh Shahi. I have come here to win Roadies.] Laure had then tried to correct and remind him that he was there just for the audition, as he said, “Jitna ko lagi hoina, audition dina ko lagi.” [Not to win, to audition]. To which he had replied, “Jitna ta jitna kai lagi aako ho”. [I am actually here to win.]

But as we all know, he DID NOT win. And no, it was not his ‘over-confidence’ that came in between him and the title; it was his heart.

Animesh was arguably the most quiet person on the show. Other contestants would talk more in one single episode than he did during the entire season. He also was one of the toughest contenders who performed pretty well in almost all the tasks. Before we try and figure out why he didn’t win the title even when he was so close to it, let’s take a look back at some moments.

Episode 15th; the top 5 contestants – Animesh, Saman, Sudit, Ranjana and Suzana – are performing the last money task of the season. Two duos of Sudit-Suzana and Saman-Ranjana have performed the quiz-based task. It’s Animesh’ turn to choose a partner among Suzana and Ranjana and we might think he will choose the latter as she had performed better; he does the opposite. Reason, he wants to give Suzana another chance as she might be feeling bad. Eventually Ranjana is partnered with him as Suzana recommends otherwise.

Semi-final episode; Animesh is already announced a finalist. Sudit, Saman and Ranjana are competing for the last spot. Animesh roots for Saman who he knows is comparatively stronger contender because he wants the final to be a tough one.

Finale episode, the two finalists – Animesh and Saman – are to choose their team members from the ex Roadies. They should choose the team members they think will be valuable in performing the task; instead Animesh chooses the contestants he voted out because he still feels bad for them.

Finale episode, Animesh along his team members have won the first task and have an advantage of choosing who performs the final task that will decide the winner. Quite obviously, it’s better if he sends his contender first as he will then get an idea on how or how not to perform the task. His fellow team members advise the same, but again, he does the exact opposite. He goes first.

Throughout the season, Animesh listened to his heart instead of his brain or instead of what others would do or advice him. That was not smart and even might be the reason he did not win the title. What if he asked Saman to do the final task first and took the idea and calculated well before he performed it himself. Would there be a different result? We don’t know. But still, that would have been a smart decision.

While Saman was a perfect Roadie material — physically strong, well trained, professional climber who could perform tasks well, and took smart decisions; may be Animesh was not so perfect after all. He did perform well but forgot to leave his heart at home before taking on the Roadies journey. “You’re not a Roadie anymore”, Raymon told him after he lost to Saman. Roadie or not, but he will always be remembered as the most genuine human being on the show. In fact, years from now, this season will be remembered as “Animesh wala season“.

Rannvijay, who was extremely impressed, did return Animesh his Roadie helmet and called him a Roadie. “Animesh what you did today by going first, by completing the task, proves you are a Roadie”, said the first ever winner of MTV Roadies who was present there as the special guest. And it actually was well deserved.


Never change, Animesh. Never change.

Photos: Himalaya Roadies/Himalaya TV/YouTube

Also Read: Saman Shrestha Wins Himalaya Roadies


Neeraj Pun (NEO)

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