I remember being an extra-playful child. While all the other girls stopped playing outdoor sports afterthe 5th grade, I actively played sports all throughout my schooling days at the Mata Jai Kaur PublicSchool in Delhi. To put it in raw, crude, words, I was kind of a careless brat. Short-tempered that I was,I even got into fights with boys during my early years. Though I always fared well at academics, I spentmore time at extra-curricular events. I loved going to school. I had perfect attendance for three yearsstraight! I actually even wanted to attend school when I was down with chicken pox, but wasn’t allowedto.
I have always been more of an outdoorsy person, though I hate the gloom winter brings. I played allday, coming back home only to eat and sleep. I was fond of cycling, fondness which, as years went on,graduated to motor cycles (always borrowed as I wasn’t allowed one) as well. For some reason, I wasreally a hungry kid. I took a lunch-box (sometimes two!) from home but gobbled everything up withinthe first three classes of the day; I ate at canteen during the actual lunch break. I made my classmates“share” their lunches with me as well.
These extra-curriculars took their toll around the eleventh grade, where I scored only 46% in my finals.I really enjoyed Math, but apparently, the fondness was not mutual. I consistently scored a 2/25 inthree exams in a row. I was made head-girl of my school in the 12th grade. This calling came with a lot ofresponsibility as well. I refused to let it affect my grades anymore, with me scoring a magnificent 90.2%at my boards.
I took up dancing around the fourth grade, learning Kathak and Bharatanatyam. My passion for danceprospered throughout my school-life and later, at GTBIT College, where I did my engineering degree,I started The Western Dance Group with some of my classmates. I lead the crew into winning lotsof prizes at the inter-collegiate competitions that we participated in. Living in the metropolitan cityof Delhi, my parents always set a curfew time at home, which I always stuck to. I was never thatenthusiastic about night-life anyway.
Another thing about Delhi that I loved was the street-shopping culture. I am not a very brand-consciousperson and I always prefer the street culture to the mall culture. Same goes with food as well. I believethat the most delectable delicacies come from small eateries and not fancy restaurants.
Actually, I had plans of doing an MBA. I cleared the MBA entrance exam with a CAT score of 88; a 90would have landed me in a B-school! If that had come to be, life would have definitely panned out a lotdifferent than it is now. Phew!
While surfing the net one day, I stumbled upon the Channel V Get Gorgeous pageant. I casuallyfilled out the forms and attached a few of my candid pictures of myself. I wasn’t into modeling at thetime whereas most of the other contestants were. I got selected over numerous other contestants andalmost instantly, I had become a recognizable face. Offers came flooding in from around the country.Walking he ramp hardly took my fancy. I wanted my name associated with the face.
I had my inhibitions about coming down south for acting as I did not speak the language. I evenrefused a few offers at the time. Someone then told me that there are a few other acting professionalsthat did not speak the same tongue, but managed to fare well in their fields regardless. I made up mymind and took up the challenge. I was fortunate enough to have such amazing debut films in bothTelugu and Tamil and I have never looked backed since!
As ironic as it may sound, most of the members of my family are miles away from the world ofCinema, except perhaps my mom. She is an avid lover of Indian Cinema and had similar dreams for meas well. My father, on the other hand, wanted a “solid” education background for me. But when he sawhow well the world responded to me as an actor, he lent his full support.
As I have described myself as a brat, my sister is best described as “the responsible one”. She isfour years younger than I, but people often confuse her to be the older one because of the maturity thatis shown on her.