I am the eldest among three siblings and thanks to the age difference with them, I always kept to myself. Born in a village called Siwani in Haryana, I travelled all over the country because my father kept changing jobs. He was an electrical engineer and so we never stayed in one place for long. Iíve lived in Panipat, Ghaziabad, Hissar and many other places. Iíve spent the most time at Hissar where we stayed from the time I was in Class IX till the time I set off for IIT-Kharagpur.
Looking back, in spite of the many places we travelled to and stayed in, Iíve had a rather boring childhood. I was always studying. I did not have too many hobbies. I took part in a bit of debate and dramatics, but that was when I was in Plus Two.
I was quite an introvert and had three friends throughout school. One of them is no more and I havenít been able to keep in touch with the other two.
Compared to children today, Iíve had a rather simple and naïve childhood, surrounded by books, books and more books. Maybe it was because there was no diversion in the form of television. When we grew up only two houses, including ours, had television, and the only programmes on air were those like Krishi Darshan. Movies were aired on Sundays when the whole colony would get together at our house to watch the film.
Itís funny how one changes as one grows up. I used to be very religious as a child, but not anymore. Maybe it was because of the influence of my family. There are several things I picked up simply because everybody else in the family was doing it. Religion was one of them.
My reading habits helped me in many ways. Since we never stayed at any one place for long, I always found it easy to settle in because my books were my best friends and they never changed, no matter where I went. In fact, I quite liked changing places and schools because it meant more challenges and studying harder. I was in a different school every year. When I was in Class VIII, my father lost his job and we went back to the village. So for a year I studied at the village school. But the next year I was admitted in a Hindi medium school at Hissar and the year after, in an English medium school! It was challenging but then, like I said, I loved studying.