He may not have won the coveted amount of R5 crore, but Amritsari lad Kanwar Surteg Singh, 21, is a winner nonetheless. The first contestant to occupy the hot seat on the sixth season of the famed game show — Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) — Kanwar won R6.40 lakh, but feels that his biggest achievement was being able to fulfill his desire of performing bhangra with the host, Amitabh Bachchan.
In a tete-a-tete with HT City, this B Tech final-year student shares his experience of being in the presence of the legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan, and life post KBC.
How was the experience of being on the show?
It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me, and I did not want it to end. I had sent just one SMS for registration, so it was done in the first attempt. I feel lucky that I got the chance to reach ‘fastest finger first’ level in the first episode of the new season, and was the youngest contestant on the show that day.
What was going on in your mind while you were waiting for the ‘fastest finger first’ to start?
At that time, the only thing that was going on in my mind was to be the first contestant to reach the hot seat. I had not thought about money at all. After the round, when I was selected to be on the hot seat, I felt like I had already become a crorepati. And then I thought that if I reach the hot seat, I would perform bhangra with Mr Bachchan, which ultimately came true.
How is Amitabh Bachchan as a host?
The moment he came on the set, the energy completely changed. He came and met all of us; I even hugged him. I was quite anxious to meet him, and was very impressed since he is humble and down to earth. During the show, he went out of his way to guide me and make me feel comfortable. Thanks to him, the show was not just about questions and answers, but turned into a very healthy conversation.
Did you do any special preparation for the show?
None at all. There were people on the show who had been trying to get through since season one, whereas I had just sent one SMS and was selected. I did not do any special preparation, apart from reading newspapers and magazines and watching television, all of which I normally do.
Tell us about the selection process for the show?
After I had sent the SMS, I got a call informing me that my number had been selected and then I was asked three questions. After this, I was called for the auditions that took place in Amritsar and comprised of two rounds. First, I was asked 10 general knowledge questions, followed by a written personality test in which questions related to my life were asked, which I was to answer on camera. Once we were through, our tapes were taken to Mumbai where different panels of judges approved them. In the end, 580 contestants were selected. Finally, 10 contestants out of these were selected for every episode in such a way that a balance of age, gender, occupation, etc is achieved.
How has life changed after the show?
The show has been a beautiful turning point in my life. Before the show, I was just a normal, random person who was known only by his friends. Now, when I move out people recognise me, which feels so special.
How do you plan to spend the amount you have won?
I said on the show that I wanted to buy a Bullet (Royal Enfield bike) and a jeep, which I still want to. But my first priority is my education. I want to prepare for the civil services and want to fund my entire education. After that, if some amount is left, I will definitely buy a Bullet.