When he got a call for the audition for the quiz show Kaun Banega Crorepati, the first thing that occurred to Sushil Kumar was, “What will I wear for the show? I don’t even have a good shirt.” He didn’t realise then that destiny was poised to shower unimaginable wealth upon him. Born to a poor family in Motihari, Bihar, 27-year-old Sushil Kumar believes destiny favours the brave. His father was a labourer who found it almost impossible to raise his five children. Here Kumar talks about how he clubbed preparations for the civil services with some extra studies for the contest.
How has KBC changed your life?
KBC hasn’t changed me. I am what I was earlier. But it has changed the world around me. My friends who wouldn’t give me a loan of Rs 200 are offering me thousands. I get a warm welcome from everyone. It’s a dream come true.
How do people respond to you when they meet you?
Everyone who meets me, comes thinking I know everything and quizzes me on general awareness. I tell them I have won a quiz show but that doesn’t mean that I am an encyclopedia.
How did you prepare for the quiz show?
I am preparing for the civil services and that helped me a lot. Besides that, I used to read a lot of news magazines to stay updated on current affairs. I am very fond of newspaper editorials. I keep clippings of editorials from various newspapers and carry them along with me. I read them whenever I get time.
How much time do you devote to studying for the civil services examination?
In the morning, before leaving for work, I study for three to four hours. Then, in the evenings, I follow the same schedule. But after I won the KBC, I haven’t been able to follow that.
What’s your educational background?
We were so poor that my father barely managed to send me to government school. After doing my MA, I was preparing for civil cervices and at the same time working as a computer operator for the government’s Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
What are you planning to do with the Rs 5 crore you won?
I haven’t got the money yet. It will take another one-and-a-half months to get it. So, at the moment I am taking loan from people to fulfill my various social commitments. But I have decided to do a prayer ceremony with the first amount I will withdraw.
What are these commitments?
When I cleared the audition and went to Mumbai for the show, my relatives and family members at various places in Bihar prayed to God that I would visit the temples in their cities and towns once I win the show. So I am on a religious journey at the moment.
Everyone who meets me comes thinking I know everything and quizzes me. I tell them I have won a quiz show but that doesn’t mean that I am an encyclopedia
- Sushil Kumar, winner of KBC’s grand prize