School, if I was to sum it up in blurbs, was - disciplined; lot of extra curricular activities, besides the formal educational schedule.… Stress on values, ethical codes (something I see as having got eroded over the years)... school was games, break time chats with best friends, enthusiasm to do well, have lots of friends, do debates, elocution... and of course, lots of theatre!!
College was exciting. You felt like a wise adult. Again for me, it was always a balance in doing well in my studies and exposure to extra- curricular activities. Dancing, debates, voice-overs, radio shows... theatre, oh so much theatre!
Creativity in me started when I was very young... Throughout school I sketched, painted. This passion continued into my college years, until now... My family feels it is my missed vocation in life. I have done it all, oils, water, pastels, and currently, on and off, use charcoal. I am also reasonable at clay sculpting. I loved needle work, embroidery, knitting, using the sewing machine...and I could open locks, car doors... Till today my husband tells me that I must have been an engineer in my past life...Needless to say that I am an engineer's daughter! And of course theatre has allowed me expression in many areas! I love doing it all... creating the script, designing the sets, costumes... The works, besides direction.
I have had a fairly chequered profession.... I did my M.A. in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi..worked in a Dutch buying house and was planning to do a M PHil but then got married, and did my M.Sc in Education, from the U.S., and then taught special needs children in the U.S. and then in the American Embassy School, Delhi. Alongside I started Kidsworld, and then Theatre World. I am a great believer in doing as much as you can in life... To soak in as much as you can. Professional highs
When I am on stage and have delivered an honest performance, with conviction and meaning... and I have made my audiences journey with me. When I have given a truly memorable shot in front of the camera, once again with honesty. ‘Acting’, as they call it, is such a misnomer... It is actually, for me, all about honesty of feeling at that point of time, on stage or in front of the camera!
Highs as a human being:
When I am in touch with aspects of my ‘higher self’... When I can see through the tinted, dusty, illusory glasses of life, even if very briefly... When I can experience, even if very fleetingly, the essence of this higher state of life, and experience a blissful smile. It makes me feel at peace.
Would like to be remembered as:
Hopefully, ‘I have miles to go before I sleep’.... There are many kinds of plays I still wish to stage... I want to paint.... I want to learn bridge...I want to make films for kids... there is still so much... I wish to do. It is too early for me to answer this question, but I guess, summing up, I could say, I wish to have made a difference, contributed something in life, and not feel my life went by in vain.
The big secret
The secret of success, I guess, is to not think about that success. To discover your true passion, and just ‘do it’! Once you find it, to give it your best, with honesty... And all the while, to enjoy it... Success follows you automatically. It becomes an unassuming shadow.
As told to Pranab Ghosh