Lock Upp winner Munawar Faruqui on working with Kangana Ranaut: ‘Many had raised questions…’

On Saturday, Munawar Faruqui was announced as the winner of Kangana Ranaut-hosted Lock Upp. In a chat with indianexpress.com, the stand-up comedian talks about his big win, defeating Payal Rohatgi and his bond with Anjali Arora, among other things.

Minutes after he was announced as the winner of Lock Upp, Munawar Faruqui was pushed to do a job that most celebs detest — media interviews. And as he stepped inside the room, a commotion struck the set as people fought to get hold of him. “Main yehi hu. Aap sab line bana lo, sabko interview dunga (I am here, please line up, I will speak to all of you),” the winner of the first season of Kangana Ranaut-hosted show said. He kept his words as he spoke close to 50 journalists, even if it was a short conversation.

As indianexpress.com greeted him, Munawar Faruqui said that he was feeling overwhelmed with many emotions. “However, the biggest emotion right now is that of joy. Every one of us worked hard on the show but to get the fruits of your labour is very special. And the most important thing is that this is not just my trophy, there have been millions of people who voted for me. I am just speechless right now,” he said with a broad smile.

While the standup comedian was a favourite to take home the trophy, minutes before the announcement, Kangana Ranaut played her ace card. She informed that while he has received the highest votes (18 lakh), the final decision will be hers to make. On asked if he was nervous then, Munawar said, “I think ever since I became a finalist, I have been nervous. I think anyone sitting for their exam also feels it. However when she said that, I was worried. I thought mamla gambhir hone wala hai (things are turning solemn). Then I realised I have worked hard earnestly with pure intention, and I should win it.”

Before he entered the show, there was quite a debate about him working with Kangana Ranaut, given the two come from varied ideologies. Speaking to us, the comedian had said ‘mazaa aayega’ about working with the Queen actor. When asked if he indeed had fun, the Lock Upp champion said, “I think that’s the beauty of living in a democratic country. You may come from different beliefs but you can always work together. Yes, many had raised questions about me doing this show. But I knew it was a means to connect with fans, and I was successful in doing that.”

Given that Munawar Faruqui was pitted against Payal Rohatgi throughout the journey, we quizzed him on what gave him more happiness — winning the trophy or defeating Payal. With a laugh, he said, “Of course the trophy. I don’t think one can be too happy about defeating someone. Also, the trophy will stay with me forever, not Payal’s defeat.”

His journey would be incomplete without the mention of Anjali Arora. Their closeness had led fans to nickname them “Munjali’. While many raised fingers at them for plotting a bond for the game, the two assured it’s just friendship between them. However, recently, Anjali too was heard saying how she feels that Munawar may have befriended her for the game. Discussing the same, the comedian said, “Every bond I made on the show was for real. I tried protecting the one close to me so that we could evict our competition. I never tried to use anyone. If she felt that, I think there must be some reason. But she was a good friend and will always be one.”

Apart from the trophy, Munawar Faruqui also took home Rs 20 lakh cash prize and a brand new car. Payal Rohatgi and Anjali Arora were announced as the first and second runner-up, respectively.

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