Gaurav Gera aka Chutki, the first person to get eliminated from Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa, talks to Sangeeta Yadav about his experience on the show
- Did you think you would be the first person to get eliminated from Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa (JDJ)?
Yes, I knew I will be one of the early eliminations because there are far better contestants who dance like professionals. It was a fair judgement by Karan, Jacqueline and Ganesh Hegde. My short-lived experience with JDJ was nice and I had a lot of fun dancing as Chutki.
- Was it difficult to dance cross-dressed?
Kiku Sharda participated as Palak on JDJ last year and it was my challenge how good I could be. When I make videos, I shoot with close-ups. I knew I can manage with the expressions but to get the right body language with every move was a tough task. I had to unlearn dancing as a man and relearn it the feminine way.
- Was it difficult to dance per se?
Dancing is not easy because others put 10 hours a day rehearsing and I can’t do all that. I put in three to four hours and it is very tough. Everyday you have to be at the Jhalak House and give many more hours. I normally started in the afternoon and rehearsed till night. Other contestants would start from morning and practise till night which is a lot of work. If the show was about playing varied characters, I could have lasted longer.
- Could you have stayed a little longer given more time?
I was clear that I was doing JDJ just for fun and to enjoy the process. Through this big platform, I wanted to bring Chutki to the masses. I lacked the competitive instinct as a reality show contestant.
- Did you fear injury?
This show was not my priority and I told my choreographer that I will not do anything which out of my ability. Others were doing all the stunts and lifts but I was focusing on giving a presentable dance. That was more than enough for me. I didn’t want to jump around and break my bones.
- During one performance, your dress got tangled and spoilt the choreography…
We had done technical one day before but somehow during my performance, this goof-up happened and my foot got stuck in the long skirt and it tore. I thought of stopping and asking for a retake. But I am glad I didn’t do that. It is a reality show and must go on, no matter what happens.
- Who was your favourite judge?
They were all lovely nice to everyone. It was all happy and I feel judging JDJ is a tough job as the contestants are celebrities with their own fan following. Some people will disagree with their judgement. You still have to be fair and judge the performance and not on what he has come with. JDJ is all about where start and where you reach.
- Mona Singh has always been there to support you whether in JDJ or Chukti Shopkeeper series on YouTube…
Mona is a dear friend. We meet often as we are neighbours. We think alike; we come from middle class Punjabi families who made it big with no Godfather. We connect in a lot of ways. We made a pact that we will not gossip and talk about other people. We talk about aspirations instead. Sometimes, we do tend to gossip about a person or a situation.
(The article also got published in the Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/show-time/wanted-to-have-fun.html)