Bigg Boss 10 winner Manveer Gurjar: 'Salman is a desi banda who'll give the right advice'
After his Bigg Boss season 10 in, Noida boy Manveer Gurjar sat down with Firstpost for a chat about his journey on the controversial Colors TV reality show
When ‘notorious’ Noida boy Manveer Gurjar entered the Bigg Boss 10 house, his boorish demeanour and violent streak raised doubts about his ability to be a sensible and prudent player. But as the days passed, one saw a complete makeover in his behaviour, and it was his tenacity, simplicity, attitude, loyalty and hunger to win every task that made him the most admired contestant of the season — so much so that the 29-year-old ‘Indiawala’ walked away with the trophy after giving tough competition to VJ Bani.
“Honestly, I hadn't thought about it at all. I had never imagined this, it has happened without any sort of expectations. If I have won then perhaps I have done something good. But jis raaste se mein ja raha tha, the support and the votes I was getting, I realised that I was doing something right. It was only half-way through that I started thinking about winning the show,” said Manveer, holding his heavy trophy and mischievous glint in his eyes, meeting with Firstpost immediately after his win was announced in the two-hour plus grand finale aired on Colors TV on Sunday night (29 January).
“I entered and contributed to the show as a commoner and I don’t have any feeling of a celebrity. Maybe that feeling will sink in when I go back to my hometown,” Manveer added.
Time and again he lifted the trophy for pictures and despite the pain in his right shoulder, never once did he stop smiling. Recollecting his winning moment, Manveer said, “On one side was Bani and on the other side was me, with Salman standing between us. That feeling was simply great. Even if I had lost to Bani, I would have felt that I got lesser votes because Bani has a bigger fan following. But now that I have won, I feel my supporters overpowered her fan following and I thank all those supporters.”
“When I went inside the house I was a different person," Manveer admitted, looking back over his journey. "I was short tempered and people were really scared of me — which was quite apparent in the first week. Salman Khan also pointed out that to me. I thought if I am going to stay in the house with the same attitude as I was outside the house, then I won’t be able to survive and I decided to go on the backfoot. I played more with my heart than my mind. I feel as if an entire makeover of my personality has happened after coming out of the Bigg Boss house.”
He further said, “When I walked inside the Bigg Boss house, my only aim was to mend my broken relationships and show the world who the real Manveer is. Each day in Bigg Boss, I strove to achieve this goal. Today, as I hold the Bigg Boss trophy, I cannot help but recollect every single day that I have spent inside the house — every task, every circumstance.”
Manveer valued everything that Bigg Boss offered him. His chemistry with Manu and Mona Lisa set new benchmarks of friendship, and proved that relationships fostered on a reality show can last a lifetime. Not only did Manveer live through the challenges but he also managed to repair his relationship with his father.
Initially, for first few weeks, Manveer was not seen as confident and depended heavily upon his buddy Manu Punjabi. So what changed? What was the turning point for him?
“Going inside the house and isolating oneself is very very easy, but for me to live life, I think it has to be shared with somebody. There was that bonding between Manu and me and I didn’t have any problem taking suggestions or advice from Manu. Walking in Manu’s shadow didn’t make any difference to me. But the day I saved Manu from nominations by shaving off my beard, the same day I landed in trouble because the other person didn’t save me. I finally realised that if this game will continue like this, then I will have to play smart. For the first couple of weeks, my co-contestants felt I was a strange personality, and at that time I needed somebody’s support. Manu had some experience as he had already done a show, he knew how to play in front of the camera. But though I listen to others, I eventually listen to my heart. Then I decided to play the way I wanted to, and I came to know that I was being appreciated outside. So if people liked me the way I was, then why should I hold somebody’s hand? Further, my father wanted me to pull together my act.”
While Manveer takes back many good memories from his stay in the Bigg Boss house, he would like to go back and change one thing in the house — the food scene. “I was quite rattled by the food rationing. I got to know about it only once I was inside the house. People were hiding eggs, rice and other food items! I wish they sent food from outside so that this doesn't happen.”
Among his memorable moments, he counted: "I will certainly miss the voice of Bigg Boss, the way he would call us in his booming tone... I will remember our interactions in the bedroom, time spent in the living room, activity room and then all those tiring tasks. Then, when I was fighting for captaincy with Gaurav, I slipped and fell with my head hitting the floor. I got five stitches for the same but I continued. And I will never forget the task towards the end — the 'Bungee Cord' — that brought me to the finale when we were tied to the harness. I held myself in place for over four hours while facing many rough and tough situations but eventually I got good results."
Of course there were certain unfortunate events too that Manveer would like to permanently erase from his memory — especially the presence of Swami Om and Priyanka Jagga, who were shown the exit door of the Bigg Boss house for their obnoxious behaviour. “In the beginning, we couldn’t gauge what kind of people Swami Om and Priyanka Jagga were, until we started interacting with them. And when we saw the real side of these two, things had gone out of our hands. Both left the house on a very bad note and I feel bad because like us, they were categorised as commoners. Here I have won the show but they disrespected and were made to leave the show,” said Manveer.
And if there is one more person who the winner feels didn’t deserve to be in the house, that is the television actor Gaurav Chopra. “That's because there were a lot of expectations from him. Even in the show, both of us had problems with each other and they never got cleared. I think he was conscious about his image and did not give much to the show — he remained an actor," said Manveer, adding that he would want to stay in touch with Manu, Mona, Nitibha and Lokesh. Also on the anvil — growing back his beard!
Manveer is now chalking out his future plans, and he is very clear that he wants to continue entertaining people. “That can happen only if I enter the profession of acting. I would like to take up anything that would suit me and my personality. I would like to get into movies or television, but never politics. When I asked Salmanji, what I should do, he said, 'Do whatever you do want to do man!' So I would like to shift to either Delhi or Mumbai and I will also bring my father along,” said Manveer.
And what has Manveer decided to do with his prize money of Rs 40 lakh? “I have already handed over the money to my father, my family, and we have decided to donate 50 per cent of the amount to Salman’s charity. Let my family decide what they want to do with it, now it is all their money,” said Manveer, who was feeling extremely anxious and curious about attending Salman’s after party for the present and past contestants. And about his bonding with the show host, he said, “Salman’s large-heartedness is something I could relate to and hence I kept addressing him as ‘Ji Bhai’. I felt he was a desi banda who wouldn’t cheat but always give me the right advice.”