He lost his father in a terrorist attack and was brought up by his mother through earnings from a tea stall. Manik Paul, winner of the sixth season of reality TV show 'India's Got Talent', says his victory will act as a bridge to the world of Bollywood for him.
Malaika Arora Khan, Karan Johar, Kirron Kher posing with 'India's Got Talent' winner Manik Paul and his mother. Pic/PTI
His journey from his modest background to being the winner of reality TV show was not easy -- but was exceptional.
With no interest in doing more reality shows, the gymnast also hopes to work with his idol and choreographer Remo D'Souza.
"I can't believe that I have won the show. I always wanted to work in the film industry and now I think that I can attain that dream easily with this win. I don't plan to do any more reality shows. I want to work and train to get better in my art form," Manik, known for his stunning aerial acts, told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
Manik was declared winner of the Colors show on Saturday night. Along with the trophy, he took home Rs.50 lakh and a Maruti Suzuki Celerio hatchback car.
The winner says his mother has always inspired him to fight against all odds and come out as the winner.
"I lost my father in a terrorist attack in Assam's Barpeta Road in 1999. Since then, my mother brought me up with her earning from a tea stall she ran. I always thought that I want to become something and make a mark," he said adding that his interest swayed towards the army -- but fate planned otherwise.
"I wanted to join the army and that is why I started running and training in martial arts and also got enrolled in other sports. But slowly, I entered the world of dance. I joined a dance group and then headed to Mumbai for more training," he said.
Manik's journey in the show was successful as he carved his way to the top spot with accolades after each of his performances.
Hailing from Assam's Barpeta Road, Manik went to West Bengal for studies and then his aspirations brought him to Mumbai -- the city of dreams.
He says his "India's Got Talent" journey has been full of new learnings, and he hopes to use them in future to improve his act.
It was appreciation by actor Varun Dhawan and his idol Remo in one episode of the show that has carved a special place in his heart.
With the prize money, the 22-year-old plans to buy a flat in Mumbai for himself and his mother.
For now, Manik wants to get better and learn more things.
"I'm dong a Terence Lewis's diploma of dance. It will complete in next four-to-five months. I'm learning malkhamb and contemporary dance," he said.