The 13-year-old winner of Dance India Dance (DID) Li’l Masters (Zee) has a cold. Faizal Khan’s voice comes through shy. “I had a cold right through the finale and the rehearsals before it,” says the boy from Ghatkopar. As he performed the half-a-dozen routines in the finale, the large crowd gathered at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Pune cheered him on, even as votes for him flooded in from across India.
He says about rehearsing for the finale: “We took a day’s break after the second-last episode, and then started practice. We rehearsed all night, but I never get tired of dancing.”
Faizal’s is one of those underdog stories you can’t not love: the son of an auto rickshaw driver from Mumbai who always wanted to dance, and came into the contest with just two years of formal training. The show has now made him a primetime TV celebrity, and he’s been awarded a Rs.10 lakh prize. What will he do with the money?
“I want to buy dad his own rickshaw,” he says. About the future, he says with pragmatism beyond his years: “I don’t want him to drive a rickshaw all his life, but who can predict the future?” He himself hopes to become a choreographer someday.