Baichung Bhutia: Footloose


Baichung Bhutia: Footloose

How do you feel?

Simply great. (Laughs) For a person who has always been known for his football it’s a new identity and a new recognition.

You sound really thrilled.

Of course I am thrilled. I am rather excited that I have won it. It’s a different kind of recognition altogether. I have always enjoyed doing something new. I was never a great dancer. In fact I didn’t know much beyond football, forget dancing. But I have always believed in one thing, that whatever you do, it should be done seriously. I learnt the art and now feel happy to have won it.

So, tell us about the experience of the past months at the show?

As I say, it was a new experience for me. I wanted to do something different, just to get an experience. The channel offered me Jhalak Dikhla JaaI and I thought it wasn’t a bad idea. Initially I thought it was going to be a real tough job. But it will remain a memorable experience for me.

Did you for once feel that you would finally win the show?

I won’t lie. I never thought that I could even reach the finals. It was like a miracle. My choreographer Sonia needs to be given the credit. She was excellent. She taught me all the steps and at one point of time, even the most difficult steps seemed to be a cakewalk for me. But truly speaking, even after that I never thought of winning it. There were so many contestants, Gauhar (Khan) and Hard Kaur who are great dancers and even they got eliminated. But it’s good that I won. I have always loved winning.

How were the final few moments?

Somehow, I felt I could do it and it all seemed like the finishing moments of another football match. I was excited but at the same time I was nervous.

So now the football star is a dancing star.

No, never. Please don’t ever be mistaken by that. I will always remain a footballer because that is what I think I know best. I live for football and I will die for the game. Jhalak was just was a one-off experience. It was the first and last time I was in any reality show. I went there for just the experience.

Now that you are back, what has your wife Madhuri to say?

She is the one who is more thrilled than I am. Just like me, she also couldn’t believe that I have won. But she is the one who always gave me the confidence. She was by my side and always there to cheer me up. At least I can now try a step or two with her (smiles).
That’s interesting. You seem to have fallen in love with dancing.

I don’t think I can fall in love with anything more than football. It has given me everything that I have today. But one thing is for sure, that I won’t try and change my focus.

Did you miss football all this long?

Of course I missed being on the field. I can’t wait any longer and now that the show is over I will soon be back on the field playing for my country playing for my club.

So which club will you be signing into this season, East Bengal or do you stay with Mohun Bagan?

I haven’t decided yet. There are quite a few things I am sorting out and will need a few days before I announce my decision. But certainly, I am looking forward to a great football season ahead.


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