'I had always told my children that if I got through the fastest finger round, the hot seat was not going to be tough for me.'
Earlier this week, the popular Amitabh Bachchan hosted show, Kaun Banega Crorepati 13, found its third crorepati.
Geeta Singh Gour, 53, is a homemaker from Gwalior.
Married early into a conservative family, she found herself homebound and unable to complete her studies.
Her husband supported her dreams and she got an LLB degree at 35. Gour has crossed a number of barriers in life to fulfil her dreams.
She tells Rediff.com Senior Contributor Rajul Hegde, "This is the first time I have earned money in my entire life. Our entire family sits together to take even the smallest decisions; the decision about what to do with this money is not going to be different."
How does it feel to win Rs 1 crore?
The feeling is yet to completely sink in.
Of course, I am on cloud nine. I am smiling from ear to ear.
I went with confidence.
When you sit on the hot seat, the only thing on your mind is to go with the flow.
I am so happy that I could attempt the Rs 1 crore question and get it right. Thank God, my years of hard work have finally paid off (laughs).
Is it your first attempt to come on KBC?
I have been trying to come on this show for about 16-17 years. I have given a few auditions before, but never went further.
This season, I got lucky. It has been a good year for me. My entire family, including my mother-in-law, are happy for me.
How did you prepare for the show?
I have been preparing for this show for many years. I read everything that I felt was important, followed the news and kept myself updated with the current affairs.
There is no book for a game show like this.
When I got shortlisted, I increased my preparation. I made sure that I was gathering information and gaining knowledge.
Since I am a homemaker, I got time only at night so I would study till 3 am. At times, I would read books while cooking.
Have you been to any TV show before KBC?
No, this is the first time ever I have come on any set.
KBC was a dream come true. The set looks so different from what we see on TV.
It's a lifetime experience to be on the set of KBC. They have a wonderful team who really took good care of us.
You feel lucky to be sitting on the hot seat, especially when there are millions of people who are trying to come on this show.
What was it like? Sitting on the hot seat and meeting Mr Amitabh Bachchan?
Mr Bachchan and Madhuri Dixit are my favourite Bollywood actors.
Meeting him was one of the best experiences of my life. I have never met a person like him.
I never felt I was sitting in front of such a big celebrity.
The way he said 'Aap kya khel rahi hai!' will always remain my favourite and most memorable moment from the show (smiles).
What was the toughest part of KBC?
I was nervous about the fastest finger first triple round. I had to focus on the timing; I needed to clear the round.
I was worried because I am not tech-savvy like the younger generation, who are used to using laptops, phones and computers.
But my daughter taught me to use them. She also taught me where to click during this round if I knew the right answer. I practised a lot.
I knew I would play well if I was on the hot seat because I have been preparing for this show for many years; it was the fastest finger round that was challenging.
I had always told my children that if I got through the fastest finger round, the hot seat was not going to be tough for me.
How are people reacting to your win in your hometown?
I had lost touch with one of my cousins and my friends who live abroad. After looking at the promos, they contacted me.
People have already started calling to felicitate me; sometimes there are two to three such events in a day and I have to tell them to postpone.
People are starting to know me now and it feels so different and good. They have put up my hoardings all over the place. I feel like a minister (laughs).
What will you do with your prize money?
This is the first time I have earned money in my entire life.
Our entire family sits together to take even the smallest decisions; the decision about what to do with this money is not going to be different.
I want to invest in a business from which I can get income. I want to invest in farming. I love animals and want to do something for them.
Tell us about your family and your education.
My husband is in the transport business. I have two daughters who are married and a son who is getting married in December.
My daughter-in-law loved the way I played the game.
Everybody knew I had gone on KBC but nobody knew how much I had won till the promos came out.
Still, I got a grand reception when I came back from the show.
I always wanted to study something that would help me in the future. However, things changed when I got married into a conservative family.
But I never let my wish die and things turned better for me after a while.
With my husband's support, I did my LLB 13 years after I was married.
I didn't want to be like a lot of women who stay at home and let go of their aspirations.
You have to trust yourself. Of course, you need your family to support you like mine did.