Thousands of talented people from across all corners of the nation reach Mumbai to make a career in Bollywood. But it takes exceptional efforts to battle this tough competition and make a career here. Life in Bollywood is glamorous, but the struggle to reach the level of exposure to glamour is strenuous. This is a story of an orphan who made a successful career in Bollywood fighting all the odds.
He belongs to a small village “Antarigam” in the state of Orissa. He used to stay with his younger brother who was just three years of age, he himself was aged nine then. Without any trace of his mother and a father who never cared for the children, he lived the life of an orphan along with his younger brother.
At Antarigam, he worked at a park where he would be paid rupees 400 a month, which calculates to approximately rupees 14 a day. With this money, he bought food and milk for his brother. His own needs very secondary for him. His journey continued this way for several years.
At a point in life, when his brother grew up bit. He traveled to Surat in Gujarat on recommendation. At Surat, he learned embroidery and earned Rs. 1300 a month. He would keep half of the money with himself and rest of the money he sent to his younger brother for his livelihood.
While working at Surat, someone told him that Mumbai is very near and he can earn more money in Mumbai. It was year 2009, he reached Mumbai in search of a job. When he did not get a good job, he started washing cars for money. Washing cars was a rewarding job in terms of money and he would get a lot of free time. He made friendship with a driver. The driver used to travel to Juhu area in North West Mumbai every Sunday. Juhu is a famous locality in Mumbai and known for accommodating many renowned film-stars. This boy started accompanying his new friend to Juhu Beach every Sunday. Sunday was a weekly off for both of them.
At Juhu beach, he saw children practicing gymnastics. He too started practicing with them and gymnastics became his new hobby in Mumbai. He traveled all the way to Juhu from South Mumbai which was his workplace. Gymnastics was such a craze for him that he started visiting Juhu beach even on festivals and holidays. He was a fast learner and quickly learned the basics of gymnastics. With every passing day, he became better with his skills.
One day, Tiger Shroff – son of renowned film actor Jackie Shroff spotted this boy. Tiger was then preparing for his debut film. Tiger was impressed by his skills and started practicing with him regularly. After few such session, Tiger offered him a job of his personal trainer. However, this boy was hesitant because he was not knowing the language properly and location was also a problem. But Tiger understood him in all these days and got him a place to stay at Andheri, a mobile phone and sim card. Tiger also gave him some money.
While training Tiger Shroff, this boy developed a flair for dance. His gymnastics flexibility and involvement in film industry made him learn dance. He met film-star Suraj Pancholi through Tiger and Suraj Pancholi suggested him to become his dance trainer.
This boy, Vikram Swain, is now training Tiger Shroff, Suraj Pancholi, Sayesha Sehgal (Dilip Kumar’s niece) and Athiya Shetty. He is part of Tiger Shroff’s team and travelling all over world with him. He sends money to his younger brother who is studying MBA now. In extra time, he is assisting renowned choreographer Ahmed Khan. With Ahmed Khan, he worked on movies like Kick, Phantom, Hero, All is Well and many others. He rebuilt his home at village. His father is back and he now has a step-mother. He is the first person from his Naxal affected village to have traveled abroad. His village has got electricity few years back and his younger brother is now working on developmental projects for their village. He is a role model for youngsters of his village. Choreographer Ganesh Acharya and actress Shraddha Kapoor have talked about him in interviews.
Though luck has been a factor in the life of Vikram Swain, but his hard-work can not be overlooked. Millions of people live in Mumbai for their livelihood, but most of them would not show the courage to do anything other than fulfilling their needs. Travelling from South Mumbai to Juhu in the crowded trains and buses of Mumbai is a tough task. Practicing a tiring sport like gymnastics while doing all other hard-work despite having very less resources is not something that anyone can easily do. Vikram Swain is a true example of the saying “Luck Favors The Brave”.
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