Dance with Shantanu

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By Shantanu Maheshwari is a city boy dancing his dream RATNALEKHA MAZUMDAR I LOVE SHANTANU MAHESHWARI BECAUSE.... TELL T2@ABP.IN
  • Published 22.08.14

This month, the t2 Feedback mailbox was flooded with fan mail for Shantanu Maheshwari. The Kumartuli boy — who plays the charming Swayam in Channel V’s Dil Dostii Dance (D3) — is a big hit on the small screen, especially with the girls. Reason enough for us to catch up with the TV heart-throb for a tete-a-tete...

How did dance happen to you?

I am dancing since I was seven. My mom is a very good dancer and singer. She used to teach dance to the kids in our building (in Kumartuli). I used to follow her and she thought I had potential, that’s why she put me in a dance school.

Where did you learn dance?

When I had started learning dance, we used to call it ‘western dance’, it was actually Bollywood dance! I started at Anurag’s Dance Centre in Burrabazar. That’s how it all started.

How often do you come down to Calcutta from Mumbai these days?

After D3 started (in April 2011), I have visited Calcutta for only 20 hours to attend a private event. From whatever I could understand, people in Calcutta appreciate what I do (smiles).

What do you miss most about Calcutta?

I miss the food. Sometimes I also miss the laidback attitude and the slow pace. No offence meant! (Laughs)

Which were your favourite hangout places in Calcutta?

I was an introvert when I was in Calcutta. I used to go home straight from school. Main seedha school aur tuitions se ghar jaane wala banda tha! (Laughs) I never use to hang out. Before I came to Mumbai, new malls were coming up so we sometimes used to explore the malls.

How do you keep in touch with friends in Calcutta?

WhatsApp is a big way... and phone calls. girls just come and say, ‘i love you’!

How did you get your big break?

I came to Mumbai to study. I wanted to get into St. Xavier’s College in Mumbai, but I couldn’t get through. I then thought no other college deserves me... that was silly! I joined a dance group and we started doing shows. Channel V organises India Fest every year. So we went there to participate and people spotted us. They were looking for new talents in dance. They had called us for an audition, but we were not really interested. We were like, ‘Acting nahin aati hai!’ But I guess naseeb mein tha so we went for the audition and got selected.

You are quite a craze among girls. How do you react to female fan frenzy?

I am overwhelmed! I feel this is one of the best phases of my life. I didn’t know this could ever happen. The way fans have appreciated and loved my work... I am very happy.

Any crazy fan incident?

It is always situational. Many people have come up and told me that they have started dancing because of me and I have inspired them. That’s touched me a lot. Besides, I do get prank calls, text messages and letters. I get calls from girls saying: ‘I am calling from Vodafone or Airtel...’ but I can hear girls giggling at the other end of the line. I also get mobbed sometimes.

That must make you really happy?

Yes, I do get happy. But I also get embarrassed a lot. Sometimes, girls just come and say: ‘I love you’. Then they get embarrassed of what they just said and I also get embarrassed. I am shy by nature.

What do you look for in a girl?

(Laughs) Compatibility. That’s enough!

Are you active on social networking sites?

I am only on Facebook. But I am not really active though.

How many Facebook friend requests do you get in a day?

I have crossed my limit. I don’t get any friend requests anymore.

What is a day in Shantanu’s life like?

It is very normal (laughs). I shoot for almost 12 hours a day. Then, if time permits, I play cricket and badminton, go for a movie or visit malls.

Who is your best friend in Mumbai?

The whole cast of Dil Dostii Dance. I hang out with them.

Why have you limited yourself to just doing Dil Dostii Dance?

Yes, I did get offers but it is due to a personal reason that I haven’t taken up any. I have started my career with D3 so I would like to continue doing it.

Are you interested in doing reality shows?

I will definitely say ‘yes’ to a show like Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. It would be a nice opportunity. But I don’t want to participate in a show like Bigg Boss.

What next?

Like every actor, I want to do films. I keep giving auditions. There is no end to it (laughs).... I am trying my best. Hopefully things will work out.

top faves

Style icon: David Beckham. I follow his sense of style. He can carry off different looks and hairstyles.

Sport: Cricket.

Phone: I am addicted to my Moto X.

Workout regimen: I don’t work out much. I just dance and play cricket and basketball.

Cuisine: Indian. Main ma ke haath ka banaa kuch bhi kha sakta hoon.

Calcutta street food: Phuchka and jhalmuri.

Dancer: Prabhudheva.

Actor: Kay Kay Menon, Naseeruddin Shah, Om Puri.

Song: Samjhawan (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania).

Hobby: Photography. I love clicking pictures on my phone. I just click for myself.

Holiday destination: Kerala and Kashmir.