3 months after 'Bigg Boss' win, Gauahar still loves Kushal
The reality TV star talks love, fame and new grounding in Bollywood
Published Monday, April 07, 2014 [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Reality show 'Bigg Boss 7' winner Gauahar Khan with co-contestant Kushal Tandon. (Twitter: @GAUAHAR_KHAN)
Dressed in an elegant black jumpsuit, designed by Dubai-based Meher and Riddhima, Indian TV’s reality star Gauahar Khan looks visibly fatigued at the long media line-up, ahead of the official launch of her sister Zakia Jeelani’s new Italian restaurant in Jumeriah.
It might not be the ideal way of spending her first holiday away from home and beau (and fellow ‘Bigg Boss’ contestant) Kushal Tandon, but she’s willing to make the sacrifice for her sister.
“I’m just happy that I can be here and support her in some way or the other. And, that’s what family does,” she explains.[You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
Gauahar, who won Indian telly’s controversial reality show ‘Bigg Boss’ last December, after being locked away in a madhouse filled with quirky TV celebs, has seen her life take a 360-degree turn ever since.
Today, she finds it tough to step out without being mobbed, or being incessantly photographed. “It’s tough at times,” she confesses, but gratifying nevertheless.
Although she has clocked quite a number of years in the glamour industry, featured in an earlier reality show (‘The Khan Sisters’) and even appeared in two Bollywood movies (‘Rocket Singh – Salesman of the year’ and ‘Ishaqzaade’), Gauahar hit the top of the fame chart only after ‘Bigg Boss’.
The adulation, she admits, has been overwhelming and completely unexpected.
“I knew that the viewership is high, but I never imagined that they (the audience) would love me so much,” she confesses, while relaxing in her sister’s plush villa in Meadows 9.
“That there would be a wave of support for me,” she adds, hinting at how the audience was back her during her on-screen tussle with Bollywood star sibling Tanishaa Mukherjee.
Their disagreements eventually played out to be Indian’s telly’s most ugly cat-fights ever.
Even the fact that they were pitted against each other during the grand finale hints at how the show producers could've milked the madness.
Recalling those final moments before ‘Bigg Boss’ host Salman Khan announced her the winner, Gauahar talks about how the appearance of yesteryear actress and Tanisha’s mum Tanuja had ruffled her confidence.
“Up until then I didn’t want to give up. I had a prayer in my hand, which I didn’t let go. But when I saw ma’am (Tanuja) I was shocked. She hadn’t come the whole season and now she was at the finale, so I thought it was done. But, I kept telling myself to believe.”
In fact, she confesses to having visions of winning, with images of her “right hand going up”.
Strangely, during those final moments, Salman was actually holding her right hand. “Call it luck or whatever, it was my right hand that eventually went up”.
It’s not just the title she took home but also the love of her life – Kushal.
With celebs often complaining of their private lives getting undue attention in the media, Gauahar let the world witness how her love story unfolded.
“In the house (‘Bigg Boss’) I thought it was important to say what we felt because otherwise we would be lying. We would be doing exactly what everybody does.
“I didn’t want to be in that cult category where you share the chemistry but you hide under the tag ‘we are friends’.”
Her rival Tanishaa, on the other hand, down played her bonding with supposed “good friend” Armaan Kohli.
However, now that the show is over, Gauahar believes that “a line should be drawn”.
Although she’s still open to posting a few cozy pictures of the couple that she believes will make her “fans happy”, she doesn’t want to talk about where her relationship is headed.
“That’s (the future) become private now.”
The attention off the ‘Bigg Boss’ camera has impacted the couple, with the star claiming it's tough to go out on dates without being interrupted by eager fans.
Even their respective work has slowed down the romance, with Gauahar revealing how she hasn't had a chance to cook for Kushal after stepping out of the 'Bigg Boss' house. “He has asked me to cook samosas, but I've been so busy that I've had a chance to do it.”
Gauahar claims her decision step into another telly reality show – ‘Katron Ke Khiladi’ (based on the much famed ‘Fear Factor’) had little to do with Kushal.
“This show I did for my personal journey to face my fears. I’m scared of heights. I nearly drowned as a kid, so I fear water. So, I went in to emerge a stronger person, and overcome my fears.
“Of course, the money and fame would be great, but this was more about fighting my own fears.”
The ‘Bigg Boss’ couple were also blamed for rubbing show host Salman Khan the wrong way, much of which was well documented on the show itself. And, post-Bigg-Boss, Gauahar claims there’s no unpleasantness.
“The (Bigg Boss) finale party was held at his (Salman’s) farm house, and he was very kind enough to invite me and Kushal. We went, stayed for a bit and we left. I haven’t met him after that.”
Apart from the TV offers and instant popularity, ‘Bigg Boss’ also accelerated her Bollywood career, with the lady bagging her first lead act after making her debut, albeit in a dance track, in 2004. Talking about ‘Fever’ where she will be paired with Rajeev Khandelwal, she says, “I’m not just a prop in the film. It’s very important for me to perform.”
Hopefully her hardwork won’t go unnoticed. “It’s shot entirely in Switzerland and is a beautiful movie. I just hope it gets a good release so that people can see it.”
Much of her success she attributes to not following any norms. “People told me not to do ‘Rocket Singh’ because I wasn’t paired with Ranbir, but for me, it was a beautifully etched character.
“Then, people told me not to do ‘Khan Sisters’ because it was too intrusive, but I wanted my fans to get to see me, my family and my work. And, that’s a great connect.
“Above everything else, people said don’t do ‘Bigg Boss’. They told me it was for losers, and now they tell me I brought dignity to the show.
“So, I’ve decided to chart my own path and make the journey my own.”[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]