In a candid chat with Tellybuzz, let's see what does Punit shares about his life and pssion for dance..
Tell us something about yourself.
Basically, I'm born and brought up in Mumbai. My mother is a North-Indian from Kadwal, while my dad is from Gujarat. But I've never been to any of my native places. In true sense, I'm purely a Mumbaikar.
How did you get into the dance profession?
To be frank, I had never in my life thought of being a dancer. Dancing happened to me out of good fortune. It so happened that while I was studying in Xavier's college, I decided to give a shot to one of the inter-collegiate dance audition. The audition comprised a total of 80 girls and just one boy that is me. I gave my best while dancing to the song 'Nikamma Kiya Is Dil Ne' and eventually I got selected. Following the same fortune, I got a scholarship in the Terence Lewis Academy. This scholarship gave me a chance to learn and brush up various forms of dance.
Somehow, I paved my way to earn at a very young age when all my friends were engrossed having their share of fun. After spending four years and getting trained in the academy, one fine day I decided to quit dancing and try something else that would help me to do something big. Terence sir being my guardian and very close to me, supported my decision and hence I began with my new 9 am - 5 pm clerical job at Aanand Mahendroo's show Dekh Bhai Dekh. On realizing the fact that I am deficient without my dose of dance, I took a U-turn with Dance India Dance Season 2. And that is how my journey began…
Is anyone from your family into this profession?
No. As of now, it's just me who has stepped into the dance world. Actually my Dad was never supportive of me adopting dance as a profession, whereas my Mom supported me from the very beginning. Being an elder son, my Dad wanted me to support and carry ahead his business. He used to feel embarrassed to speak openly about the career choices I made. However, things changed after my stint in Dance India Dance Season 2, when people started recognizing me and praising my work,. My Dad finally felt proud of me.
Which dance forms are you trained at?
Well, throughout my scholarship at Terence Lewis Academy, I got an opportunity to get professionally skilled at different style of dancing. But personally, I enjoy dancing on contemporary dance forms.
Lauren is one of the astounding sought-after dancers in the world today. In the fourth season, it was Sushant Singh Rajput who was the best dancer. In the later season, it was Isha Sharwani and in this season its Lauren, who is phenomenal when it comes to dance. Knowing the fact that she is a winner of an international dance reality show, it becomes more challenging for me as a choreographer to bring out the best out of her and live up to everybody's expectations. After achieving a peak score, there is fear of downfall. So every week I have to think creatively and make my partner perform flawlessly.
At Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, who is your toughest competitor?
If you talk about competition, both the kids Sumanth and Maraju are doing amazingly well. At a very young age, they have accomplished so much. Their lifts and tricks create a magic on the stage. So the little kids are undoubtedly a tough competition.
How is it working with Salman Yusuf Khan, who was also your co-star in ABCD? What equation do you share off screen?
I know Salman from quite sometime now as we have worked together in the past. Personally, I like to be friendly with everyone. Even during our rehearsals in the Jhalak house, I walk into anybody's space, help them and it's a vice-versa relation. Off-screen too, I've a great bond with Marischa, Tushar Kalia and Cornel Octavia.
You share a good bond with Remo Sir. Does he give you tips on how to go about in the competition?
After DID season 2, Remo Sir gave me a chance to assist him and therefore my skills were highlighted. Assisting Remo sir has been my best experience. He gave me plenty of opportunities to work and gain some good experience. But since the day Jhalak has started we did not meet up to talk personal or speak something exclusively. In fact because Remo Sir knows me so well, it becomes very easy for him to catch hold of my mistakes. Thus, I have to put in more efforts accordingly so that I don't disappoint him and perform flawlessly.
Who do you admire as a dancer in Bollywood and Hollywood?
In Bollywood, I would say I just love the way Ranbir Kapoor dances. It's not only about his style of dancing but he is a very professional actor with amazing work ethics. I admire and respect him a lot. From Hollywood, it cannot be anyone other than Michael Jackson.
What are your interests other than dance and acting?
Other than what I am best at, I love to watch movies, of all genres. Someday down line I also wish to direct a movie, which will begin with 'A film by Punit J. Pathak'.
If not a choreographer, what would you be?
If not a choreographer, I would have been a cricketer. In fact I was very passionate about cricket. Moreover, I used to play for Mumbai during my school days.
After Jhalak gets over, Remo sir has one more project to complete in his list. So probably, he'll start working on ABCD's sequel by this year's end. I don't even know whether or not I'll be a part of it. (Laughs)
Other than dance based movie, which other roles do you desire to play?
I wish I could have played Ranbir Kapoor's role in the movie Rockstar. Actually, I like dark roles in which the hero's acting speaks out volume of emotions. So in the long run as well, I would like to take up some serious and dark roles in particular.
A dream you wish to full fill?
I wish my every dream gets fulfilled. (Laughs) I just always want to be happy in my life.
A message to your fans and the young talents?
I would like to thank everyone who has loved and appreciated my work. I will keep doing my part and you guys keep appreciating and loving me. To all the young and blooming talents, never get disheartened if you face a failure in life. It's not the talent or luck that takes you to great heights; it is the hard work and patience that brings you sweet fruits.