TV actor Puja Banerjee, best known for playing Parvati in Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, has been eliminated from Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 7. She is disappointed and feels that she "deserved to go up the finals".
When asked whether she regrets being eased out of the contest, Puja said: "I won't pretend that I am not disappointed. I think I deserved to go up the finals. In my opinion, I stood a 50-50 chance of winning. However, having said that I must say I enjoyed every second of my participation on the show. It was a great learning experience. Dancing on Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa liberated me. I cherish every moment on the show."
What next? Bollywood?
"I am still to get over the Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa experience. As soon as I do, I'll start thinking of my next level. It would have to be a Bollywood career," said Puja
Puja, who has done two mythological serials - Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki and Devon Ke Dev Mahadev, was apprehensive about doing a reality show. "I had never agreed to do a reality show before. I only agreed to this show because it gave me a chance to be myself, as opposed to playing a character in my serials."
Puja says she has come away with a lot from the Jhalak experience. "I discovered so much about myself. I developed my dancing skills. I always liked dancing. But the show gave me a chance to do some serious dancing," she said.
"It also gave me a life-long friend in my choreographer Rajit Dey. He was with me like a shadow all through, constantly prodding and encouraging me. We were so close together for so many weeks that he instinctively knew what I felt and how I wanted to express myself. When I hurt myself during the dancing, Rajit carried me to the hospital. We've formed a bonding that goes beyond the show. I've left the show with many invaluable gifts," she added.
Puja has her favourite among the three judges - actress Madhuri Dixit, filmmaker Karan Johar and choreographer-filmmaker Remo D'Souza - on the show. "It has to be KJo (Karan Johar). My bonding with him existed from before I did Jhalak through his cinema. I deeply empathise with his films."