She is disappointed and feels that she "deserved to go up the finals".

When asked whether she regrets being eased out of the contest, Puja said: "I won't pretend that I am not disappointed. I think I deserved to go up the finals. In my opinion, I stood a 50-50 chance of winning.  "

“However, having said that I must say I enjoyed every second of my participation on the show. It was a great learning experience. Dancing on 'Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa' liberated me. I cherish every moment on the show,” she added.

“What next? Bollywood?"I am still to get over the 'Jhalak...' experience. As soon as I do, I'll start thinking of my next level. It would have to be a Bollywood career," said Puja.

Puja, who has done two mythological serials - "Kahaani Hamaaray Mahaabhaarat Ki" and "Devon Ke Dev Mahadev", was apprehensive about doing a reality show.

"I had never agreed to do a reality show before. I only agreed to this show because it gave me a chance to be myself, as opposed to playing a character in my serials,” she said.

Puja claims she has come away with a lot from the "Jhalak..." experience.

"I discovered so much about myself. I developed my dancing skills. I always liked dancing. But the show gave me a chance to do some serious dancing," she said.

"It also gave me a life-long friend in my choreographer Rajit Dey. He was with me like a shadow all through, constantly prodding and encouraging me. We were so close together for so many weeks that he instinctively knew what I felt and how I wanted to express myself,” she added.

"When I hurt myself during the dancing, Rajit carried me to the hospital. We've formed a bonding that goes beyond the show. I've left the show with many invaluable gifts,” Puja said.

Puja has her favourite among the three judges - actress Madhuri Dixit, filmmaker Karan Johar and choreographer-filmmaker Remo D'Souza - on the show.

"It has to be KJo (Karan Johar). My bonding with him existed from before I did 'Jhalak...' through his cinema. I deeply empathise with his films,” Puja said.


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