'Manu had some experience, as he had played a reality show before. He knew how to play in front of the camera. I saved Manu from nominations by shaving of my beard during a task. But the same day, I got into trouble because the other person (Rohan Mehra) did not save me. I realised that if the game will continue like this, I will have to play smart.'
Manveer Gurjar then played so smart, he won Bigg Boss 10!
Manveer Gurjar has created history by becoming the first non-celebrity to win Bigg Boss, in its tenth season.
He beat celeb contestants Bani Judge and Lopamudra Raut to bag the coveted trophy, and got awarded a prize money of Rs 40 lakh.
When the Noida boy entered the Bigg Boss house, his boorish demeanor had raised doubts about his ability to be a sensible player. But it played it well and how!
He tells Rediff.com contributor Rajul Hegde about his winning stint in the house.
You joined the show as a commoner. Do you feel like a celebrity now?
People have been praising me from the time I held the trophy. They are shouting my name, queuing up for pictures.
People are making me feel like a star but I am still the same desi banda that I always was.
Did you expect to win?
People are telling me that I didn't quite open up in the first week. I was short-tempered and people were scared of me. It could be because I had a tough look and a gaonwala attitude.
Salman Khan also pointed that out to me. So I changed my attitude. I decided to play with my heart, rather than my mind. As time passed, things got smoother.
It was only half-way through the show that I started thinking about winning it. When guest celebrities like Shraddha Kapoor and Sonakshi Sinha said that I was their favourite, it made a huge difference. I gained confidence. I felt that I have made an impact.
Did you somewhere feel that Bani had an edge over you, thanks to her fan following?
Yes, I knew Bani had a big fan following. Initially, that scared me. But then as people started coming inside the house, they appreciated me. I gained confidence. I was also moved by the love people gave me, when we were taken to a mall after winning a task. That made me realise that the audience loves me.
Initially, we saw you playing under Manu's shadow. But gradually, you came out it.
Playing under Manu’s shadow did not make any difference to me.
Manu had some experience, as he had played a reality show before. He knew how to play in front of the camera. I saved Manu from nominations by shaving of my beard during a task. But the same day, I got into trouble because the other person (Rohan Mehra) did not save me. I realised that if the game will continue like this, I will have to play smart.
I decided to play the way I wanted to.
Also, my father, who had come on the show, had alerted me about Manu, about something he had heard outside. He wanted me to pull up my socks.
You have had a complete makeover in Bigg Boss. Do you like your new look?
I am going to grow my beard again and groom it my way after I go home.
A couple of days before the finale, during a grooming session, stylists cut my hair and beard. I was so angry even though I knew it was the maker’s decision. So I did not react.
Not just my look but I feel as if my entire makeover has happened on Bigg Boss. I have done many experiments on my personality like how to control myself from unnecessary fights and arguments.
You bonded with Manu well.
Yes, we connected from Day One. We made the atmosphere in the house homely. We did everything the way we would do at home, like laughing, crying, washing clothes and utensils; of course, doing the tasks.
We did not think about our image. A lot of people are saying that Manu has taken credit for my success. I choose to let go of these things.
What did you think of Bani?
During the first week, I was nominated because of Bani. I felt bad then. Later, when she became the captain, she punished me and made me wash dishes. That’s when I had thought that I will become the captain one day and make her do something like this.
Bani is a girl with tattoos and muscles, which is rare. I feel she is an inspiration for many girls, as she sends out a message that ladkiyan aisi bhi hoti hai.
Who didn't deserve to be in the house?
Swami Om and Priyanka Jagga, because of their antics. They had to leave the house on a bad note. I feel bad because they represented us (commoners).
Also, celebrity contestant Gaurav Chopra, because we expected a lot from him. Both of us had problems with each other and they never got cleared. I think he was conscious about his image.
What did you think of Lopa?
She is a beauty pageant winner and opinionated. She deserved to be among the top three. But she came across as immature when it came to doing tasks or taking decisions.
You have lost a lot of weight. Did you like the food in the house?
I was quite upset by the food scene. I got to know about rationing food only after I went inside. People were hiding food items. I wish they (makers) send more food so that this doesn't happen again.
What are you going to miss most from Bigg Boss?
I will miss Bigg Boss's baritone.
Also, the time spent in the living and activity rooms. Even the tiring tasks.
I will never forget the Bungee Cord task, which brought me to the finale. We were tied to the harness and I held myself in place for over four hours while facing many difficult situations. Eventually, I got a positive result.
Salman Khan, as a host, could connect with the commoners. Did that make you feels more comfortable?
Yes, his large-heartedness is something I could relate to. I felt he was desi at heart, who wouldn’t cheat but always give me the right advice.
So what's next for you?
I would like to take up anything that will suit me and my personality. I would like to get into movies or television, but not politics. When I asked Salmanji, what I should do, he told me to do whatever I want to. I will shift to either Delhi or Mumbai and bring my father along.
Will you stay in touch with the housemates?
Yes, with Manu, Mona, Lopa, Bani and Nithibha.
What will you do with the prize money?
We will donate 50 per cent of the amount to Salman’s charity.
I have handed over the rest to my father. My family will decide what they want to do with it.