There is no time like that spent with friends in childhood. That’s what Shreyas Talpade or Bollywood’s own, Iqbal, believes in. In between bouts of laughter, the actor shares some of his most treasured memories with HT Next.
“I was a little naughty as a kid but I also was kind of good at studies,” he says. “I tried to bunk school on several occasions to do nothing in particular. I generally spent that time playing cricket with friends in the school compound or just loitering about in the corridors, you know, just chilling out.”
While most of us would think he spent some of that time hunting for his lady love, here’s a relevation. “I was really short and skinny at school so most of the girls saw me as a younger brother,” he laughs. “Not that I regretted it, I was too busy paying attention to far better things.” Like cricket? “Every rakshabandhan, I had rakhis tied up to my elbows,” he adds with another laugh. Talpade was also quite a prankster at school.
“We had once gone for a three-day camp and had a camp party every night. One night we planned to put up a short skit, Modern Mahabharata. Since none of the girls wanted to participate, I was roped in to play Draupadi,” he says laughing out loud. “An hour before the performance, my friend and I stood in a corner rehearsing our lines,” he continues. “I was wearing a mini-skirt and a tank top. One of our teachers spotted us but couldn’t see who I was because of the dark.
So she grew suspicious and started to approach us, but we kept hiding from her till the time of the performance and then burst out laughing while revealing our identities.” Yet another time, Talpade and his friends fooled their teacher by excusing 20 students from her class, saying that the Physical Training teacher was looking for them.
“We were just walking around in the corridors when we saw our Principal coming. Having no other option, we hid in the boy’s toilet. Unfortunately, a male teacher came in and caught all of us.” As the boys prepared for a round of reprimand, they got a shock. “Instead of scolding us, our Principal just said, ‘This is not expected of you. You should have been at the cricket grounds. What were you doing in the toilet?’,” he recalls. “She was so cool.” With that, Talpade returns to his hectic schedule of promoting his upcoming film, Dor, across the country. And with two more films with Nagesh Kukunoor, with whom he made Iqbal, and one with MF Hussain, we can really say that his days of playing Draupadi are definitely over.