Shantanu Maheshwari on Calcutta memories, life after d3, and a haircut!

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 3.01.15

Shantanu Maheshwari defies gravity for the t2 camera at Pride Hotel in Rajarhat

Calcutta boy and TV heart-throb Shantanu Maheshwari was in town to perform at Lok Sanskriti partnered by t2 at Nicco Park. t2 caught up with the 23-year-old Kumartuli boy.

What was it like performing at Lok Sanskriti at Nicco Park?
I danced and interacted with my fans. It was sort of an impromptu performance. I like it that way, as I love to see how people react. It was a great night! 

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you land in Calcutta? 
To be very honest, I miss Calcutta a lot. A lot means... a lot! I have spent my life in the city till Class XII (The Park English School). After that, people actually start exploring (the city), but I went off to Mumbai. Well, I did a bit in Class XI and XII, but couldn’t really see the whole of Calcutta. 
I miss everything about Calcutta! I love the fact that it is called City of Joy because it does bring joy in my life whenever I come here. I want to try the street food as I have a bad craving for it, but unfortunately, can’t do it always. I also want to visit my school and meet my teachers, but time doesn’t permit. I want to go back to my school life where I used to play a lot of cricket with all my brothers in the building compound. Now most of the relatives have gone here and there. 

What are your memories of enjoying the winter in Calcutta?
When we were in school, we used to hang around Park Street, Rabindra Sadan, Maidan and Victoria Memorial. We used to walk a lot. People should try to explore a city by walking. Only then can you have a lot of fun by observing people and visiting different localities.

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What have you done on this Calcutta visit?
I tried mishti doi and some street food. I couldn’t go home (to Kumartuli). My parents live with me in Mumbai, but I have my uncle and aunt in our Kumartuli home. I met Aditya Dhavle, one of my friends, after six years. My schedule was so tight that I couldn’t do much. 

The bad news for your fans is that Dil Dostii Dance is going off air…
Yes, the show is going off air. The last telecast will be on January 9. After that, I haven’t decided what to do. I don’t have any projects in hand. It is a very sad thing that the show is ending... I am not happy. 

What’s your message for your fans? 
I thank them for all the support that they have shown in the past three-and-a-half years. Without the support of my fans, I wouldn’t have been where I am now. Kehte hain ki jo cheezein shuru hoti hain woh khatam bhi hoti hain. The channel is planning to come up with a sequel, but I am not aware of anything ahead. 

While studying in Mumbai, I didn’t have money to cut my hair. So whenever I would come to Calcutta, I would cut my hair for Rs 10! I would cut it really short so that it could sustain for a long time. When I got D3, I was really very excited. I thought free mein milega haircut! But when the show’s stylists saw my hair, they said that they would keep it like that. It was really very disappointing.... really! 

Have you already shot the last episode of Dil Dostii Dance? 
Not yet... that will be an emotional experience. It became a huge show over the years. The show started because of the passion of the people involved in it... the passion for dance. We had an emotional attachment with the show. We were always together. In the last couple of years, we have spent more time on the sets than at home! Dil Dostii Dance brought youth shows back and dance shows became big.

Now that Dil Dostii Dance is ending, will you cut your hair?!
(Laughs out loud) Let’s see... it depends on what work I get. I don’t mind changing my look. I couldn’t change my hair because of the show’s continuity. To be honest, while studying in Mumbai, I didn’t have money to cut my hair. So whenever I would come to Calcutta, I would cut my hair for Rs 10! I would cut it really short so that it could sustain for a long time.
When I got D3, I was really very excited. I had heard that whenever somebody lands a TV show, they groom you. I thought free mein milega haircut! When the show’s stylists saw my hair, they said that they would keep it like that. It was really very disappointing.... really! I told them that I have long hair... so they can try different styles. But they wanted my look to be just like that. 

Where does Shantanu Maheshwari go from here ?
I have always wanted to do something like Gumrah, Yeh Hai Aashiqui and MTV Webbed. I want to try different things. I like Yeh Hai Aashiqui (on Bindass) and its stories. Episodics are doing well... not only do they give us scope to act, people watch them online too. I really want to try a reality show. If it is dance-based, then that would be the icing on the cake. I can’t do Bigg Boss as I am not cut out for the show. My funda is to do good work and improve myself. I am trying for films, but in films, luck matters. I will keep trying. I believe that fortune favours the prepared mind. I also want to try anchoring. It boosts confidence and public-speaking skills are important in the job I am in. 

What do you watch on TV? 
I don’t get much time to watch TV. I record and watch my own show so that I can improve. I watch English television channels. I catch up on The Big Bang Theory and Friends. I also love to watch Arnab Goswami’s debates (on Times Now). I follow the news on my phone. 

This is on behalf of all the female fans who ‘crash’ the t2 inbox with messages for you — what are you looking for in a partner?
She should be understanding and well-spoken, compatible, knowledgeable and street-smart. 

You have been linked with both your D3 co-stars, Sneha Kapoor and Vrushika Mehta...
Yeh rumours kab nahin hote hai? I am single!


A dance form I want to learn 
Tap dance.
My favourite dancers
I love Prabhu Deva for his moves, Govinda for his expressions and I also like Javed Jaaferi. 
My New Year resolution
To control my temper. Also, I am a little too sensitive. I need to work on that. I also want to improve on my dancing skills. 


Girl gangs at Nicco Park went berserk every time their “Swayam” waved at them

SWAYAM HAS THE MOVES! It was a cold Sunday evening at Nicco Park, but temperatures soared as soon as Shantanu Maheshwari got on stage at Lok Sanskriti. At 9.30pm, the man best known to his fans as Swayam of Dil Dostii Dance  greeted the crowd and showed off some cool moves to AJ, the title track of Action Jackson. As cries of “We want Swayam, we want Swayam,” rent the air, Shantanu gave away chocolates to his fans, even inviting a few lucky ones on stage to dance with him to Indiawaale and Gandi baat. “Everyone wanted Shantanu Maheshwari to be here... the younger lot, especially girls, love him,” said Kamlesh Kejriwal, organising secretary, Lok Sanksriti.

Ratnalekha Mazumdar
Pictures: Chanchal Ghosh

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