The young man from Sikkim, India's most successful football captain Baichung Bhutia
created history by winning Sony
's dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa
. Pitted against one of the toughest dancers Hard Kaur
and Gauhar Khan, Baichung managed to out beat them with his sheer determination to excel.Here is an exclusive chit-chat with the winner, Baichung Bhutia…
From a footballer to a dancer, how was your journey thro' Jhalak?
The journey was great. I am very happy that Jhalak gave me all the recognition as a dancer. I have always given my best shot, but at the same time I would also say that I did not show a great improvement as a dancer as the show moved on. But having said this, we are the only couple who got a perfect score from judges four times, and this shows that we have been consistent enough. Did you ever feel that you had an outside chance of winning Jhalak?
Not at all!! When I signed up for Jhalak, I saw this as a new experience and nothing beyond that. I felt that I would be out in the first few rounds, but never had an inclination that I would go on to win it. It was only after I topped in the Semi Final round did I get a feeling that I can win, if I deliver one more good performance. Which according to you has been your best performance till date?
My tapori act in the semifinal round. That really gave me all the confidence to do well in the Finals. Were you comfortable with the judges? How did you take their comments?
They were really good. I always took their comments in a positive way, whether it be a criticism or a praise. In fact, Saroj ji was the one who instilled confidence in me to move on; soon after my first performance in Jhalak, she commented that I have all the potential in me to improve and do better. She saw the dancer in me, and I am grateful to her. So who is your favorite judge among the three?
Of course, Saroj ji after I got the above said comment from her. Did you enjoy your performances in Jhalak?
I never enjoyed any of my performance. I used to get nervous every time I stepped on stage for my dance.
Who amongst the contestants did you share a good rapport with?
Well, I never spent much of my time in the Jhalak House. I used to rehearse in Kolkata, and fly down only for the shoots. That way, I never got the time to mingle with the contestants. But I used to have a good time with Mohinder ji, probably because he comes from a sporting background.
What do you have to say about your choreographer Sonia Jaffer who has brought you all the success?
If I have won the contest today, it is all because of Sonia. In other words, my only secret in winning the competition is Sonia. It was Sonia's show throughout, and I am very happy for her. Will we see you dancing more?
Not at all. I entered Jhalak just for experience sake. You will never see me dancing in weddings, and any other corporate event. I will not dance anymore.
Are you fine with dancing on television?
Certainly not. But if Jhalak calls me next year just because I was this year's winner, I might probably shake a leg. Nothing more than that!!
Any Bollywood aspirations for you?
(smiles) If a mad director or producer offers to pay me 50 million for the film, then I will sign it.
So don't you think you will be wasting the dancing skills that you have learned?
Well, I never had any skill when it came to dancing. So I don't mind if I lose some. What do you have to say to your critics who feel you won because you were the judges' favorite?
I can only say that I gave 100% whenever I got to the dance stage. All have different opinions, and I don't mind that. I have also been criticized by judges and have got my share of low marks too. But the fact remains that 50% of the votes have to come from the audience, and I won because I managed to get a good one there too.. Your message to your fans who have been voting for you from day one?
I thank each and everyone who have been wishing me luck. They have been supportive in my journey, and I am glad to have got them. Reporter and Author: Srividya Rajesh