'Someone slashed my palm with a blade': When first Kaun Banega Crorepati winner Harshvardhan Nawathe was mobbed by fans
- Harshvardhan Nawathe, the first person to win ₹1 crore on Kaun Banega Crorepati, became an overnight sensation, but not all aspects of his newfound fame were pleasant.
Harshvardhan Nawathe became an overnight sensation when he won ₹1 crore on the game show Kaun Banega Crorepati in the year 2000. The popular show, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan, is gearing up for its 13th season.
Harshvardhan Nawathe recalled, in an interview, that in the immediate aftermath of his victory, he became a permanent fixture on page three of tabloids, and that he probably signed 'millions of autographs'.
But not all fan encounters were pleasant. He told a leading daily in 2020, "I was attending an event where there was a huge crowd and my friends (who were also my bodyguards on days) were stuck somewhere and I was somewhere else, so when I was getting down from the stage I couldn't find my friends and got mobbed. Everyone was trying to touch me and shake hands with me and later I found my hand sticky. I pulled my hand and found it bleeding. So, someone had slashed my palm with a blade. You know that thin cut that you don't realise but it bleeds. So, these kinds of incidents have also happened to me. But mostly things have been positive with me and people have been kind."
But, he said, something positive came about from the negative experience when the next day, he met the late Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, who noticed the gash on his hand and asked him about it. Harshvardhan said, "He in his own humorous style which he is known for, folded his hands and said 'Harshvardhan this has to be your greeting from now on'. This is something that I will always remember that out of that negative incident also came out a very positive thing. He told me you should always do a namaste and stop shaking hands and I followed it to the extent I could."
Harshvardhan also tried his best to keep Amitabh Bachchan's advice in mind, and not let the fame and attention get to his head. Until last year, he was working with the Mahindra Group.