Marzi Pestonji recalls his days as background dancer in SRK’s ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’


August 9, 2023

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Renowned choreographer Marzi Pestonji went down the memory lane and recalled his journey on how he bagged the opportunity to be a background dancer in ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’.


Master Marzi, who is also fondly known as ‘Udi Baba’ will grace the stage of dance reality show ‘India’s Best Dancer 3’, for their upcoming romance special episode.

Reflecting on his own journey, Marzi fondly recalled the days when he came to Mumbai in 1993.

“My journey started in 1993 when I came to Mumbai with my parents. They took me to a show on Parsi New Year, where Shiamak Davar was dancing with his academy. The girls dancing behind him became my sole inspiration to start dancing. I remember telling my dad that I want to take classes; it felt like my calling,” he said.

He further shared: “Initially, my dad didn’t give me the money, so I took it from my grandfather. From that moment on, I have never looked back.”

Marzi said he became the teacher in 1996, and in 1997 he got the opportunity to be a background dancer in the movie ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’.

‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ is a musical romance film directed by Yash Chopra. The film follows the love lives of the members of a musical troupe, in which two dancers played by Madhuri Dixit and Karisma Kapoor get entangled in a love triangle with their choreographer played by Shah Rukh Khan, with Akshay Kumar as the childhood friend of Dixit’s character.

Marzi said, “I firmly believe that we all should experience dancing in the background; it’s a unique and fulfilling feeling. Being a teacher is incredible, but when you see someone shine because of your guidance, it truly leaves you with a sense of accomplishment in life.”

This weekend, the contestants along with their choreographers will showcase an array of emotions through their mesmerising performances, leaving everybody spellbound.

One of the highlights of the episode will be contestant Akshay Pal’s awe-inspiring performance to the song ‘Premika Ne Pyar Se’ from the movie ‘Hum Se Hai Muqabala’.

Marzi will laud Akshay’s journey, saying, “Akshay, you did a fantastic job. Your isolations were so clean; every single movement in the body was visible. Sky is the limit. You impressed all the judges. Bad times do come in life, but the one who rises from the lows is the winner.”

“Akshay, I have heard about your journey; you started teaching dance at the age of 13 and faced a setback in your career, especially when your institute shut during covid, and students left you. But you didn’t lose hope and kept going. I want you to promise me that you will dance like this for them and yourself. When you go back to your hometown, you will start your dance institute once again and on the very first day, I’ll come to meet you,” he added.

Judge Geeta Kapur praised Akshay’s resilience, saying, “In today’s performance, there are no flaws; you are the Akshay who danced with joy. The song selection was good. You enjoy dancing, and because of that passion, I want you to go into the top 10 and beyond, because you deserve it. It was a near-flawless performance. Akshay, you came, you owned the stage, you owned the dance, and you owned us. Proud of you.”

Vivacious singer Shilpa Rao will also be seen promoting her latest song ‘Kaavaalaa’ in the episode.

‘India’s Best Dancer 3’ airs on Sony.