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'I told Shilpa to be a winner'
Syed Firdaus Ashraf | January 29, 2007 16:59 IST
After a long tiring wait in front of the television on early Monday morning, Surendra Shetty finally heard the magic word: Shilpa.
"It was a very proud moment for me," says Surendra, Shilpa's father.
Britain's reality TV show Celebrity Big Brother finally came to an end after 26 days, when presenter Davina McCall announced Shilpa as the winner.
"I was glued to the TV all night," Surendra added
He was the only member of the Shetty family to be watching the TV show last night. Wife Sunanda is in London with her daughter while his younger daughter Shamita was shooting through the night.
Asked whether he called to congratulate Shilpa on this joyous moment, and he replied, "No. But she called me to say, 'I love you, dad.' We spoke for only two minutes."
Meanwhile, Shilpa's neighbours seemed surprised to see mediapersons gathering outside Shilpa's apartment in Versova, in suburban Mumbai. It was only later when the news of her win broke that they were ecstatic.
Shilpa's voters in Britain were not the only ones hoping to see her win the show. Her bodyguard Sanjay Singh was also praying for her all night. "I am very happy now, and cannot express my emotions in words," he says.
Shilpa's driver Sunil Gupta adds, "I feel like she has won the Cricket World Cup. I am throwing a party to my friends because my memsaab has won Big Brother."
Shilpa's father also plans on throwing a party at home, when Shilpa returns.
But he refused to comment on Jade Goody's visit to India. Goody was a fellow participant of the reality show, who had poked fun at her accents and roots.
The proud father was obviously in praise for his daughter. "She is caring and very strong. She is a woman of substance. When she left for England, I told her to be a winner and come back," he says.
So would Shilpa make Britain her new home after her increasing popularity? "Your guess is as good as mine," he says. "At present, I am overwhelmed with pride and joy."