How was your time at the National School of Drama
When I joined NSD, it was going through a rough phase – E Alkazi had left due to the problems the union had created. For the first six months, NSD had no director. Things began to look positive when Karan took over. My term was not as happy and happening as I had expected it to be. Nonetheless, NSD deserves huge respect for what it taught me. Be it acting, dance, theory of drama – I got the opportunity to learn everything despite the difficulties we faced. I joined NSD because my friend Satish
Kaushik was a part of it. When I saw Mr Alkazi mentor Satish, I knew only he could help me learn the nuances of acting.
Has Delhi influenced you?
I was an innocent Delhi girl, which is good for an actress, but worked against me when I shifted to Mumbai
. Doing theatre in Delhi didn't guarantee success in Mumbai. My dreams were shattered when I found out that the industry worked in a different way and I didn't know the rules. I was great in Delhi, but was a nobody in Mumbai.
Would you want your daughter to settle in Delhi?
I tell her jokingly that she should get married to a Delhiite who owns a farmhouse as it is difficult to find sprawling houses in Mumbai. Everything is destined, I believe... People you meet and end up marrying. If she has to shift to Delhi I'm sure she will fall in love with it.
Your hubby's from Delhi...
Yes, I have found a loving husband and family in Delhi. I may not be visiting Delhi regularly, but it feels great to come back to my city and family. It is the sense of belonging that everyone has towards their janambhoomi. Just a few days ago I met Yash Chopraji who has built a house in Jalandhar. He would obviously not shift there, but that love for his birthplace can't fade.
What about Delhi addas?
Nathu's in Bengali Market used to be the only adda as I was always on a shoestring budget. Five years ago I went there and ordered everything – chaat, tikki, golgappa – more out of excitement. When we asked for the bill the owner refused to take money. I told him then 'Jab mere paas paise nahin the tab aap hume pay karne ko kehte the. Lekin aaj jab main pay kar sakti hoon toh aap accept nahin kar rahe.' Issi ko apnapan kehte hain.
You also staged performances with Satish Kaushik in DU?
We staged a play "Aadhe Adhure" in Kirori Mal College and received great applause from the students. Unfortunately, after the play got over, a fight broke and the girls were immediately shifted to the green room. We were shut there for almost half an hour. I still don't know what made the students fight, but thankfully we girls didn't get hurt. I also had rakhi brothers in Kirori Mal.