Dancing for Mohinder Amarnath was always just shaking a leg at a party, but the former cricketer-commentator says dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja has not only perfected his moves but also made him a fitter person, thanks to the rigorous rehearsals.
"Dancing has had a great impact on my health. I'm a fitter person now. I used to walk and jog before, but now I have rehearsals for three-four... sometimes six hours a day. This has made me lose weight. It is a complete exercise," Amarnath, who is the seniormost among the contestants, told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
Cricket has been his life, whether it was playing on field, being a commentator or an analyst. So what made him put on the dancing shoes at the age of 58?
"There was definitely some doubt in my mind when Jhalak... was offered to me, but then I thought this is something I have never done in my life; so why not give it a shot?" Amarnath said.
Cricket required continuous practice, but he admits that taking dance lessons was a bigger challenge.
"Cricket is something I have played all my life. I have experience in that field and I know everything about it. But I have no experience in dance and it is something completely new for me. Dancing is definitely a bigger challenge for me," said Amarnath, who danced to the peppy Jee Karda from Singh is Kinng in his first round.
"Dancing for me was only shaking one's hands and legs at a party. But Jhalak... has taught me that it is much more than that. It's not easy at all - a lot of hard work. But even though it's challenging, I have always believed that nothing is impossible in this world. That is why I plunged into doing something like this," he added.
The veteran cricketer says that age is the last thing on his mind when he goes to dance. He stressed that he just wants to give 100 percent on the show that brings together celebrities from different walks of life such as sports, films, fashion and music to perform with professional dance partners.
Amarnath is all praise for his choreographer and dance partner Lilian.
"Lilian is a sweetheart and great at her work. She is brilliant, graceful and extremely patient. I make so many mistakes and take time to pick up the steps but she never loses her cool."
So who is his favourite contestant and judge?
"All are good dancers especially the girls. But I am very fond of (singer) Hard Kaur. She is a wonderful person and a great dancer.
"As far as the judges are concerned, all the three ladies (choreographers Saroj Khan, Vaibhavi Merchant and actress Juhi Chawla) are extremely good and I respect them. However, it will be better for me if I don't pick one," he laughed.