Karan Wahi talks about hosting Dance India Dance and being a cricket buff
'In our country, a kid wants to be either a cricketer or an actor'
- Published 11.09.19, 1:51 AM
- Updated 11.09.19, 1:51 AM
- 3 mins read
Dance India Dance (airs Saturday and Sunday at 8pm on Zee TV) had a change of anchor after two episodes. With the replacement being the dishy and eloquent Karan Wahi, no one is complaining. Certainly not t2, especially after the one-on-one chat at Hotel Orchid in Vile Parle just ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi in Mumbai.
DID had launched with a different anchor. How did the job come to you?
I was vacationing in London, watching the World Cup. I had caught three India matches, against New Zealand (which got washed out), against Pakistan and against Australia. Thanks to friends in Star Sports, I had tickets till the final. Then a call came asking if I wanted to anchor DID. It was a familiar property for me as I had anchored DID Super Moms before. I have known Raftaar paaji and Bosco (who are judges on the show) for ages. I knew most of the coaches. Also I got to know Kareena (Kapoor Khan) was on the panel. It was a dream come true to work with her. So I came back.
Was it a problem joining the show after the launch?
I have worked as a replacement before —for Rithvik Dhanjani in one episode in Super Dancer and once for Divyanka Tripathi in The Voice. Work is work. I have no ego hassles that I was not the original choice. Dheeraj (Dhoopar, the show’s original anchor) is my neighbour. We live in the same building. Whatever happened was between him and the channel. And he is still working on the channel’s top-rated show (Kundali Bhagya). So I had no need to get into that.
How was the change announced?
Dheeraj had done only the first two episodes. In the third, the judges started saying that some exciting change was on the anvil and then my entry happened. Viewers need to be informed whether I was there for just one episode or the rest of the show.
Karisma Kapoor has filled in for her sister Kareena in a couple of episodes. How different are the Kapoor sisters?
Karisma has done TV before, while this is Kareena’s debut. What I love about Karisma is the kind of energy she brings when someone wants a dance with her. The childish zeal to do it as well as she did it back then is still there. Kareena is so classy in her own way. Hum bolte hai na less is more. An example of that is Kareena simply looking at the camera. You will get what you want. That’s the basic difference. Otherwise both are equally fun behind the camera. Kareena has returned from her shoot in London, so she is back on the show.
Does seeing the participants achieve such standards make you want to hone your own dancing skills?
I don’t need to match up to anybody. But it’s always good to learn something new. If I am free for a month I can always join a dance class as all the choreographers are friends. Fortunately or unfortunately, looks matter in our field. Yes, dancing is also is a skill that you need to have as an actor in today’s time. But there is no harm in not being a dancer of oh-my-god level. As an actor, your first priority is acting.
One hears you make your own Ganesh. Why is that?
It is my appeal to everyone to worship eco-friendly Ganesh. Even when I used to buy plaster of Paris idols, I never immersed it in the sea. There are a lot of ponds in Bombay in which, during Ganesh Chaturthi, nets are fitted at the bottom. After two or three days, when the pond fills up, they drag the net out. Of course, many of the idols do not dissolve. So they crumble them. But that would still need to be disposed of in some way or the other. Ganesh Puja is increasing in number, so is Durga Puja in Bombay. And people have it in their heads that the size must be bigger the next year. That’s why I am so serious about eco-friendly idol.
How did you start?
Rithvik (Dhanjani) told me some years back: ‘You believe in green Ganesh? Why don’t you make one?’
I was worried that I was not a great sculptor. But eventually, I realised it’s not necessary to have a perfect idol. I make it out of mud. Visarjan bhi ghar pe hota hai. We get a big tub and all of us friends do it together.
Coming back to your World Cup trip, it seems you have not forgotten your cricketing past.
Yes, I used to play for Delhi. In our country, a kid wants to be either a cricketer or an actor. I did not reach Ranji level but I played under-17 and under-19. I used to play in the Delhi 17 league from which the selections are made. Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan are my bachpan ke dost. Shikhar and I have played together since the first standard. We stay in the same neighbourhood. Our parents are friends as well. Virat never played in the same team as me but you get to know if someone is playing well. We became better friends after I became an actor. I’d meet him when I’d visit Delhi. The reason why I went for the World Cup was to celebrate my birthday. Shikhar scored a century on the day. It was the best birthday gift. We somehow met despite his security. (Turning to the Zee channel representatives) Next year, if there is no DID to anchor I am going for the T20 World Cup to Australia.