Restaurateur and Master Chef Season 5 Judge Zorawar Kalra is set to add another feather to his cap as he is participating in the popular dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Season 10. Kalra believes just like food, dance is another form of art and he would love to try his hands on the same. In an exclusive interview with News18 Showsha, the Pa Pa Ya owner talked about his family’s reaction to him joining the show. He also shared that his son didn’t want him to take up the show as the little one thought his father will embarrass him on TV.
Tell us about your love for dance and how did Jhalak happen.
To be very honest, I’ve not really been a dancer my whole life. I’ve only danced twice in my life – at my friend’s sangeet ceremony when you have to put up a dance act. But when I did that, people used to tell me that I can do this, and I’m not that bad. When Jhalak happened first, I obviously ran to my family and asked my son if I should do the show. He said, ‘Papa please don’t do it. You don’t know how to dance.’ I thought why is he saying so, and the real reason behind it was that I’ll embarrass him on TV. When I asked my daughter, she didn’t care, and said, ‘Jo bhi karna hai karo, (Do whatever you want to do).’ But my wife was the one who supported me and pushed me to it. She said, “It’s a new challenge.” And I personally also believe that life is all about learning new things and accepting new challenges. I’m happily running my business, and I’m happy doing what I do, but doing the dance show, which will bring me out of my comfort zone – in my opinion, is a matter of great courage. I’m taking it all as a challenge. I want to learn, and want to get out of the show, whenever I’ll get out – I would have learnt the art of dancing – that’s what I’ve now begun accepting, considering art as. Dance is one of the oldest art forms, and is a great way to express yourself. One of the advantages is that you will get fit.
Would you like to join the entertainment industry full-fledged?
No chance (laughs). I’ve got a big business to run in 10 countries now. I have a lot of work, and my work schedule is very tight. But, why can’t there be a blurred line between being in the food business, and being in the same business, entertaining people through food? I’m talking about the Master Chef show that I hosted, it was a great experience, but that is slightly more time-consuming. I think it’s good to have a blurred line, there’s no intention of getting into the entertainment business, but whenever I can contribute, whenever I can do things which mean personal satisfaction, and when I feel I can contribute in general to my audience.
After Jhalak Dikhla Jaa, you will carry the tag of a reality star. Are you planning to take it forward?
I don’t know! Let’s see how things happen. It depends on the time and my schedule. I have a lot of work to do. I have the responsibility to do many things including running my company. My responsibility leads me to the business of food, and how my Farzi café has been spread now in 10 countries. My father gave me this responsibility and I intend to take it very seriously. It’s my full-time job. So, whenever there are things that would be able to help me balance my work and this, then I would do it. If it would be something that consumes me fully, I will not be able to do it. I have to focus on my expansion of Indian food and Indian culture.
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Experience of being associated with your first TV show Master Chef Season 5?
Outstanding. It is one of the best experiences of my life. When I came up first time on TV, it was an incredible learning experience. It made me stronger. I was always a good speaker, but speaking on national TV- was something else – nerve-racking but luckily I learned. For me it was about just being effective, being able to communicate properly, able to give time to my work – (Master Chef) was obviously my work. And if it happens again, I’ll be happy to do it again.
Jhalak Dikhla Jaa is an adaptation of the American Show Dancing With The Stars, what are your thoughts on the adaptation of western concepts into Indian shows?
I don’t think there is anything wrong with the adaption of things, entertainment is universal. If I have a great idea, and it is suited to any case in India, in terms of ideation, when it comes to new concepts so why not? Dancing with the stars is an interesting concept, people living in the world – from Asia to Australia to Europe to South America and even in Africa – everybody would love to see celebrities dancing and being judged. So, I think there’s nothing wrong at with getting ideas for entertainment.
Your father Jiggs Kalra is known as the ‘Czar of Indian food’. Tell us about the bond between both of you.
My bond with him was the best bond a father and son could ever have. I was blessed to have a father like him. And I’ll grieve him for the whole life after him. I will work forever to make sure that his legacy is taken forward. He was a man that basically taught me everything, and he elevated my life. He was the best mentor and the best guide that anybody can have. We had a very strong bond, he was a very strong man. He continued to do great work after he got sick. He survived in a wheelchair for 19 years, and it’s not a joke. Our bond was stronger than it can ever be. And I hope me and my son share the same bond.
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