Sushil Kumar, the winner of Rs.5 crore on Kaun Banega Crorepati 5, is taking instant fame and overnight celebrity status with a pinch of salt and says it is short lived. He also rubbishes reports of getting endorsement offers and also clarifies that there is no threat to him or his family from anyone.
The winner of the popular game show has returned his home in Motihari, Bihar. Sushil's near impoverished family members, according to some reports, are getting extortion and kidnapping threats.
Says the humble 'crorepati', "I feel such talk about kidnapping threats and extortion brings a bad name to our state of Bihar and to my home town.
"Whatever the risks and dangers, let me first state I don't have the prize money with me. It will take a couple of months to be cleared and deposited in my account. Secondly, the people of Motihari have formed a protective cordon around me. They are so proud of what I've achieved. If any harm was to come to me or to my family members I don't know what the people here will do."
Sushil keeps getting calls from politicians and top officials of the police department offering security and protection.
"I don't think I am in any real danger. The love that I'm getting from all around me is a much bigger prize than the money. When I arrived in my city Motihari, almost the entire city had come to fetch me," says the 27-year-old.
"It's like I'm living in a dream. Only, far more unreal than any dream that I could imagine. But I know all this fame is 'chaar din ki chandni'. Main 'chaar din ka' Shah Rukh Khan hoon. It would all be over in four days. Then I'll go back to my normal life," he adds.
Columnist Shobha De wrote a glowing column on Sushil Kumar. But he won't be able to read it.
"I can't speak English and I can barely read the language. I had only heard of Shobha De, never read or seen her. I was on a flight from Mumbai to Delhi when I was told she was also on the flight. I introduced myself and told her what an honour it was to come face-to-face with her. When we got down from the flight I stood at the door of the bus that was to take us to the terminal blocking other passengers until she emerged and boarded the bus.
"I don't know what she wrote about me. But I am not trying to create an impression. I am what I am," he says.
It has been reported that endorsements are coming Sushil's way by the dozens and that he as been approached to be the brand ambassador for the central government's National Rural Job Guarantee Scheme.
Sushil, who now wants to sit for civil services examination, says with disarming honesty: "I keep hearing of and reading about all these offers. But no one has approached me directly."