Three months ago, Manveer Gurjar was just another name in the Gurjar dominated village of Aghapur, but today, his name has become synonymous with the village after he was declared the winner of the televised reality show Bigg Boss.
Manveer was born in a close-knit joint family of 49 members. Though they stay in separate buildings, the bond they share with each other is unimpeachable, his friends said.
Before joining the reality show, Manveer used to look after the family’s dairy farm and collect rent from those who had leased flats in the buildings. He even mentioned his ‘rent-collection’ profession in his entry dialogue in Bigg Boss, perhaps in an attempt to send a message to other participants. However, over the last 100 days, the country saw a humble, down to earth and blunt Manveer, who won their hearts.
When asked about his life in the village, his friends say that he had always been a wanderer. They said that Manveer was closer to them than his family.
His friend Amit Sharma recalls the days when he and Manveer used to while their time away in shenanigans.
“We were regular young people whiling away our time, partying and wandering around the villages.We used to set out in the morning on our bikes and return at night. Manveer never really liked staying home for long. He used to be repeatedly scolded by his parents for this,” Sharma said.
“Today, he has become a national celebrity. I am not really sure whether he will have the time for his old friends,” he said.
However, his cousin Neeraj Gurjar disagrees with Sharma. He believes that Manveer’s strength lies in his humble origin and his simplicity. “The only reason why people across India loved and adored him was because of his simplicity and down-to-earth attitude. He is the kind of person who will never change despite the circumstances. He has been straight forward and blunt all his life and he will continue to be that way,” Neeraj said.
His family members claim that it was this straightforward and blunt attitude of Manveer that often got him into trouble. “When you are honest and blunt with words, it is obvious that people will start disliking you. Manveer had picked so many fights with neighbours and family members because of his attitude,” Neeraj said.
However, it was this blunt attitude that made people vote for him, according to Manveer’s younger brother, Sachin Gurjar. “We used to get calls and messages from people saying how much they can relate to Manveer. They were stunned by his human nature and honesty,” Sachin said.
Manveer had left school after 8th standard. His childhood friend Ravindra Bhardwaj, a techie, remembers him as a sharp kid. “He was never interested in formal education but Manveer was a sharp kid. We both studied till class 8 in SD Public School in our village. Today, even that school has closed down,” Bhardwaj said.
His friends believe that the first thing their Manveer will do, on his return to the village, is to kick-start his bike and go on a long ride, just like old times.