Life, as Abhijeet Sawant knew it, changed drastically on March 5.
That was the day he was crowned Indian Idol, one of India's most watched television shows.
Since then, he has often been mobbed in public and has had to travel with bodyguards.
"Life is no longer the same," admits Abhijeet. "I can't stand at ease for even two minutes in a public place. I cannot even stay in my house as thousands of people come home to see me!"
The Indian Idol spoke to News Editor (Entertainment) Syed Firdaus Ashraf about his future.
What have you been doing since you became the Indian Idol on March 5?
I am still feeling high!
I have been recording for the last five days.
I am working on my first album with Sony and trying to finish the work as soon as possible.
How did you feel when you went home after so many months?
I met a lot of people. I feel very happy but I don't want to be bowled over by this hype.
I want to concentrate on my work. I am recording four songs with Bidduji and three with Hardeep (both composers) who live in London.
I stayed at home for a day, and it felt nice.
The problem is that a lot of visitors come to meet me.
I am trying to cope with my new identity now.
Have you interacted with common folk so far?
As far as possible, I am trying to hide from people.
If I stand for two minutes in a public place, I am mobbed!
When I went to a shopping centre, a lot of people came to see me.
I am unable to lead a normal life.
What are the songs in your album like?
There will be romantic songs, and some emotional ones. There is not too much sadness in the album.
It is on the lines of Mohabbatein lootaunga, which I sang on the final day of the contest.
Have you signed up with Saraswat Bank to become its brand ambassador?
I have not been approached to become a brand ambassador. I don't have anything concrete from their side. I only came to know about this through the newspapers!
Do you think you have achieved a lot in life too soon?
I had never seen a contract in my life. Now I have to become responsible.
I am trying to learn all kind of ropes now (laughs).
How many autographs have you signed?
I have lost count!
A lot of people gave me notebooks at home and told me to complete it for them! (Abhijeet with his parents)
What about your studies?
I have completed my graduation. I will concentrate now only on singing. I was never studious.
If you were not a singer, what you would have done?
I would have probably tried for a job in a bank, maybe worked as a sound recordist.
I believe you are interested in cricket.
Yes, but I never felt like becoming a cricketer.
There are many people in our country who are playing cricket, and therefore I wanted to become a singer.
When are you going to Switzerland with your family?
I will go after I finish this album.
Will you feature in your album's music videos?
Will you act in films?
If I am comfortable I will act. I am also open to Marathi films.
I plan to release a Marathi album (Abhijeet with his grandmother).
How much will you earn by winning Indian Idol?
Rs 1 crore (Rs 10 million). But I don't how much of that will go to the government as tax.
What will you do with the money?
I won't get the money all in one go.
I will first get a cheque for Rs 10 lakhs (Rs 1 million). The other amounts will be given to me in installments.
I am from a middle class family and have a habit of saving. I want to save as much as I can. I don't spend money.
I am planning to invest the money wisely so that I get good returns in future.Do you travel with security these days?
Nowadays, I always travel with two bodyguards.
If I feel the need for security, I will keep them in the future too.
Why didn't you inform your family about participating in Indian Idol?
My family never supported me wholeheartedly as a singer before the show.
The only person who was confident about me was my uncle Sanjay Sawant.
Also, I have a habit of not telling (people) what I am doing when I start something. I only tell people about things after they are over.
I also thought my family would feel offended, and I will get discouraged.
When did your family start getting tense about the show?
When the gala round started. Everybody was tense after that.
You are a shy person. How did you overcome your shyness on the show?
It was the Indian Idol stage that gave me exposure.
I can talk now because of the confidence I got during the show.
When did you realise that your smile made you a ladykiller?
Shilpa Shetty pointed this out this to me.
I always felt my smile was okay, but now it has become my identity.
What is the best compliment you have got so far?
When I sung the patriotic song, Kar chale hum fida, and Farahji (Khan, director and Idol judge) told me she felt like crying. It was the best compliment I have got so far.
Any endorsement offers yet?
But I hope they come!
What was going on in your mind when they were about to announce the winner?
There was too much tension and they (hosts Aman Varma and Mini Mathur) were doing time pass and not telling us.
Amit (Sana) and I were getting so impatient!
Who was your favourite in the show's last 11?
I think all of us in the last 11 were good.
Anyone of us could have come into the final round.
Aditi Paul and Rahul Saxena were my favourites.
Is it true you didn't get time to interact with your friends after you went home?
Yes, but they are very understanding.
They know I am there and will be there for them always.
Are you interested in politics?
The Shiv Sena, we hear, is highlighting you as 'their boy' since you are a Maharashtrian. Is it true?
No. If Amit had won, local politicians (in Chhattisgarh, where Amit Sana lives) would have backed him.
If a Kolkata girl (Aditi Paul) had won, the local people there would have supported her.
So, I don't see this this way.
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