Q. What brought you to "Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa"
and what would you look at while judging it?
A. I used to look at these reality shows that are about
judging and used to think how difficult it might really
be. "Jhalak..." is such a successful franchise,
so I thought if it would have to be in this zone, this would
be the perfect place. The icing on the cake is that my mother
watches it very diligently and more than any of my cinematic
achievements, I think she is most proud that I am judging
'Jhalak'', which is vastly amusing to me.
I can't be intricate about dance steps because that's not
my strength. I'm going to judge the general energy level,
look, costume and effort made in the package.
Q. How good a dancer are you?
A. I'm a Punjabi. Dance is in my DNA. We are born doing
'Balle balle'. Every Punjabi can dance. I am a good wedding
dancer. I've no idea about the difference between Kathak
Q. How would it be to judge popular stars like
Sanath Jayasuriya, Talat Aziz and Pratyusha Banerjee in
A. It's always very awkward to judge people who have already
achieved public focus, love and attention, and here we are
giving them points. I don't think I'd like to be judged
by my contemporaries about my film on a scale of 10. Imagine
if someone I know had to say: 'Your movie is three out of
10 or eight out of 10.' I would be like, 'Shut up, go to
hell'. So I guess, I will project my comments with honesty,
but coat it with some kind of restraint.
Then you've also got the responsibility of making it entertaining.
So if you don't say it as it is, the viewer at home is going
to feel you're too nice and all that. So one can't sugar
coat everything. It's important to show honesty.
Q. How aware are you of TV content?
A. I know it because when I have dinner with my mother,
I watch them all. I know exactly what's happening in "Pavitra
Rishta", I know that "Bade Achche Lagte Hain"
is going to take a leap, and I know the trauma going on
in "Balika Vadhu", the trauma that went through
"Uttaran", and I know all the problems that go
on in these shows because I spend the maximum time with
my mother between 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m., which is when she
watches all this.
Q. Would you ever get into TV production?
A. It's not a world I know. I would never get into it.
I don't understand how so many unhappy lives are projected
on prime time and everyone loves it. And my mother is an
exceptionally well-spoken, articulate, well-educated lady
and is completely mesmerised by them. I can't communicate
with her during 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Q. Does TV content confuse you about the Indian
A. It doesn't confuse me. It just gives me a window into
their heads. We are all voyeuristic by nature. We like trauma
in other people's lives. We like seeing people suffer, and
then think about how great our lives are! That's the emotion
that translates on to the television - because everyone
feels 'Oh my god, look at the trauma in that household.
My household is so much better. My daughter-in-law is so
much better or my mother-in-law is better than that witch!
So we are positive voyeurists where we feed on other people's
sad lives. So I think my mother is probably thinking that
she has a great life when she compares it to all the television
characters. That's why she enjoys it so much.