If not an actress and dancer, you would have been...
A writer, a journalist or I would have continued studying to earn a PhD.
A funny thing most Indian parents do abroad.
They send their children on a school excursion with a bottle of Hajmola for the bus ride.
Growing up in Australia, what were your vacations like?
Holidays meant trips to Delhi with my family. I grew to love India when I was very young.
What is the most besharam thing you have done?
Leaving my job at a law firm and coming to Mumbai. I half-lied and told my parents that I was planning to do my Masters at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. I applied for admission, paid my fees, collected my student card and immediately walked out to catch a flight to Mumbai.
Your one stereotypical Australian trait or habit.
Using lots of Aussie slang whenever I get excited or angry.
One thing Australians do differently.
Australians are very open to learning about various cultures, which is why cultural communities there blossom together. And let's not leave out MasterChef. The Aussies get that very right.
You have IITians as parents. Were you a nerd in school?
I was not a stereotypical nerd; I was known to bunk classes. I failed in Maths and Physics on purpose in the 11th grade so I would not be pressured to take them in the 12th. I was one of the few Indian-Australian kids who graduated school doing subjects like Philosophy and Literature instead of Physics and Chemistry.
The best way to shut up the rumour mill is...
To laugh it off, and then spread an even bigger rumour.
The first time you felt like an outsider in India.
When I was 10 and living in Chennai, the school principal asked me to sing 'Waltzing Matilda' [Australian ballad] on stage. I also decided to blast Christmas carols on the sets of Hawaaizaada on Christmas day. It was definitely an 'outsider' move.
The quirkiest thing you've done.
Once, in Melbourne, a belly dancer was busking for money without much luck. I joined in and we created a dance party in the middle of the city. This was way before flash mobs were in vogue.
The most romantic thing you have ever done for someone.
Letting them have the last scoop of ice-cream.
It would be pretty hard. I don't know what an electrical appliance would say to me!
From HT Brunch, July 13
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