Ashish Chowdhry speaks on life after Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa...
1. How was the Jhalak journey?
I was very nervous when Jhalak started. I did the show because Karan Johar asked me to do and I was comfortable with Colors channel. Eventually, I started enjoying it because when you are scared of something then lose its fear and do something which you never imagined doing before, it is a great feeling. The journey was highly self-elating. I am happy the kind of relations I have made in Jhalak because I never thought I will be doing something like this in my life.
2. What was the incident with harness?
In our show, they do not have mechanical harnesses, we were provided manual harness. four-five people were pulling the harness on which I was hanging. One or two guys slipped and fell as soon as I was up in the air. I came down abruptly but there was no injury. All my timings went wrong, they lifted me on the wrong time and at the end they had lost control completely. Half of my act was areal that was totally messed up. In fact, I looked like a monkey on the spinning rope which was out of my help because when you are on harness, it depends on the third person completely. There was nothing my choreographer or me could do except hoping that they get control, but they never got it till the end. By that time, I pretty much knew that I was going to get eliminated because in my second performance when my choreographer's knee had popped out and they did not allow me a second chance and marked it as an incomplete act. So I knew this time also there's no getting another chance. When I came down from the harness, I knew I will be eliminated and still I went ahead and completed the dance. That's what I am happy and proud about that my dancing has been right since beginning. I have never forgotten a single step or never missed anything on time. It was not the dancing but the harness that was messed up which got me eliminated. If I would have spoken up on the stage or complain about it to the judges or channel, I would have looked like a sour loser. I don't believe in complaining, I believe what is in your destiny, will happen for sure. Therefore, I didn't say anything. I was just standing and smiling as usual when I got eliminated. I didn't even complain about the harness people because they were doing their jobs and I don't want them get fired by their bosses. I gracefully walked out. The only reason I am talking about it right now is that my fans and those who have voted for me have right to know what exactly happened. They should know I tried my best and the harness part was not in my control.
3. Do you think the judgement was fair?
It's a game with rules which can't be broken. There's no reason why I should even think or worry about fairness. I have to live by rules in such a competition. I just wish the harness problem could not have happened so I could have opportunity to stay. Even the judges' hands were bound by the rules because it's an international format based show. According to the format, I could not even get a second chance when my choreographer got injured. So there's no way in the world I could get a chance for harness problem.
4. What has Jhalak taught you?
Fear factor teaches everyone to not to be scared and overcome fears. For me, if Khatron ke Khiladi taught me to overcome fear then Jhalak taught me to overcome my bigger fear that is dancing. It taught me to go on stage and dance with my heart without getting scared in my mind. It was all in my mind about me not being able to perform. Now I can confidently goon stage and dance without getting worried about getting judged.
5. Now do u think you are a better dancer now post Jhalak?
Anybody who does Jhalak for even a week becomes better dancer than they were in any point in their lives. It's a kind of platform that liberates you, your strength, fears. It is not an easy thing. It takes gut to go on stage for dancing when you don't know dancing at all and let so many people judge you. Jhalak definitely liberated me from all these fears, be it dancing on stage or performing stunts or something else. It has made me more comfortable...
6. What would you say about the judges?
A lot of people said that the judges have problem with me about giving the marks except Karan as they knew Karan encouraged me to do the show. I always thought that they wanted me to try harder, do better. I try to look positive in everybody. Ganesh is tough judge, not very liberal with good comments because he ants everyone to learn and because I was the worst dancer, he was more critical about me. Nevertheless, I always tried harder because I wanted to impress him, I would get scared about him telling me off. When I finished the show and was leaving, he came to me and said I was doing better. I appreciated that as I know he is a guy from his heart and does not lie. So, I am happy that at the end of the day he noticed my growth. Lauren probably was not very kind on me for marks but I know she also wanted me to try and do better. When the harness problem occurred, she angrily went to the harness guys along with a translator as she is not very good with Hindi and fired the hell out of them. She has called me twice to say that she was feeling bad about my elimination. when somebody expresses so much means that they are good people from heart. Lauren is a kind-hearted girl so I don't care about what score she gave me, I know she loves me. Shahid was also appreciative about me. He had reasons to give me his scores; he used to compliment me as much as Karan. I like the way he used to say the right thing. He is young but he has enough experience to comment. And Karan is the best judge the country can have in any show. I don't think there is any more kind-hearted better human being and judge than Karan. He knows how to encourage and make anybody happy. That's his charm.
7. What would you say about the contestants?
The contestants have become a family to me. That happened in Khatron ke Khiladi also. As soon as Jhalak got over, I met all of them. We still meet up. Same thing happened in Jhalak also. I like to make friends and my prime reason to do a project is to make friends, have fun and be happy with what I am doing, instead of making money. Jhalak contestants will also miss me because we have come closer. That's matter in life also! When you are not around and people miss you, that's the true earning not money or fame. That was my earning in Jhalak.
8. What will you miss most about Jhalak?
I'll miss my choreographer Falon. First Vrushali and the Falon worked really hard on me. I was rehearsing with Vrushali for only two weeks. It's natural to get attached to the choreographers as we shot for one day and remaining six days spent in practicing, dancing, laughing, crying, getting injured, and being okay again. I'll miss my rehearsal days. I have told Falon that even after the show I will go to her for dancing. I will miss going to rehearsal early in the morning wearing track pants and coming back home after tired long day. Normally, these things are not considered as work, it is like exercise. But when you learn something new for work, it is another excitement altogether.
9. What is your next move?
I tell this to everyone. I have done this just because I was excited to do something different. But truly fiction is what I know best and do best. I am done with reality for a while. I want to go back to fiction and acting which I know best.