Think Tiger Shroff and you cannot but think of his fit body and magical dance moves that make fans go gaga over him! But not many know that the actor has been learning gymnastics since his school days and that his trainer is a young Odia boy who is slowly and steadily earning his name in Bollywood not just as a fitness trainer but also as a choreographer to watch out for!
From leading a monotonous life in a remote village in Ganjam district to being a fitness trainer and an assistant choreographer to Ahmed Khan in the city of dreams, Vikram Swain has indeed come a long way. Vikram, who has now worked with many leading actors in B-Town was in the city to receive an award when My City Links caught up with him. Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us a bit about your journey?
My journey actually started when I decided to go to Surat searching for work. Since I was not good at studies, I could not complete my elementary education and so at the age of 16, I decided to take such a drastic step for my family. I did odd jobs for about a year while I was at Surat. Then I went to Mumbai searching for better job opportunities and I accidentally came across Tiger Shroff, who eventually introduced me to Bollywood as well as the whole world.
Meeting him changed the path of my life and I got a chance to work in many films as well as with many famous celebrities. But my journey is still incomplete and I have to achieve many more things in life.
Where did you meet Tiger for the first time?
On Sundays, I used to go to the Juhu beach to practice gymnastics. During one of such Sunday, while I was practicing, I caught up with Tiger Shroff. After noticing my skills, he asked me to train him. It was 2008 then and Tiger was in school. Now, it is 2016 and I am still working with Tiger. He also introduced me to Ahmed Khan, one of the most famous choreographers in Bollywood. I am currently working as his assistant. My life has taken a sharp turn since I met Tiger and I am really loving whatever I am doing right now.
What is ‘struggle’ according to you?
For me, struggle is to face the challenges that life has to offer. Actually, struggle is something that I have always wanted to fight and overcome. When I was working in Mumbai initially, I had a meager salary of Rs. 2300. For extra income, I used to wash vehicles and earn Rs. 25 for each vehicle. Also I was unable to speak good Hindi and so that was a tough period for me. Although I am in a better condition now, I am still struggling to achieve my goal.
Tell us about some of the movies in which you have worked.
I have worked in each and every film of Tiger including ‘Heropanti’, ‘Baaghi’, ‘Flying Jat’ and the upcoming ‘Muna Michael’. Other films include ‘Kick’, ‘Bajrangi Bhaijaan’, ‘Prem Ratan Dhan Payo’, ‘Phantom’, ‘All the Best’, ‘Housefull 3’, ‘2 States’, ‘Hero’, ‘Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon’ and many more. I have assisted Ahmed Sir in all these films.
What is your daily routine like?
My entire day is packed with dance. My day starts with a two hour session of gymnastics, followed by a one hour session of dancing and martial arts each. Then there is a one hour session of camera rehearsals which is the concluding part of our day’s dance schedule. All of this is done by our team called ‘Team Tiger Shroff’ which comprises Tiger, Kuldeep, Nadeem and me. That apart, I also work for Ahmed Khan and assist him in various movies whenever possible.
Tell us about some of the stars you have worked with.
Apart from Tiger, I have worked with Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Salman Khan, Jaqueline Fernandez, Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Suraj Pancholi, Athiya Sethi, Kriti Sanon, Akshay Kumar and Kapil Sharma. I am expecting to work with more celebrities in the days to come.
How supportive your parents have been in this journey?
My mother has always been supportive towards me. But my father was a little doubtful about how I would make a career out of dancing in Mumbai. I had told them to wait for some time, because I knew in a span of one year, Heropanti was going to be released. I had trained Tiger for the song ‘Mere Naal Tu Whistle Baja’. Subsequently, I got more projects to work on and have been supporting my family with all their requirements. I am also bearing the cost of my brother’s studies. Everyone in our village and district knows my father by my name, for which he is very happy now.
You have made Odisha proud with your achievements. What message do you want to convey to today’s youth?
The only thing I want to tell them is to work extremely hard in the right way without thinking of the consequences and results. Leave the result to Lord Jagannath. Because if one has given efforts, it will never go in vain. I am a youth from a small village of Odisha and without much education. Still I have achieved many things in my life with my will power and determination. I believe that the youth of Odisha can do anything.
Who is your inspiration?
Chris Brown is my favourite dancer and I have always admired him. Besides, Tiger has always inspired and motivated me to pursue choreography as my career and go ahead in my path.
Where do you see yourself after a few years?
I see myself as a well-known choreographer in Bollywood in the future. Tiger Shroff is a godfather to me. He has given me the chance to live my dream thereby giving me my livelihood. In fact, dance is everything for me right now. I want to excel in the field of dance as well as gymnastics as both are important to me.