I grew up in north Calcutta. I lived on Amherst Street and went to Bramho Balika Sikshalaya, popularly known as Brahmo Girls. I was naughty, but was generally obedient. I grew up in a large joint family, and we had loads of fun growing up together.
I was an average student in school. I had a fear of maths, and it showed in my results. But I was into all sorts of co-curricular activities. I was a good kho-kho player and represented my school in inter-school competitions. I was also involved in cultural activities since my childhood — be it singing, dancing, acting or recitation. I always wanted to be a teacher. It was much later — after my marriage, in fact — that I realised I could reach out to millions by becoming an actor. I had lots of fun in school. Whenever we had a period off, we would sit on the window sills in our classroom and sing the popular romantic songs of the day. At times, we would even mimic our teachers.
I was always a voracious reader. I read whatever I could get my hands on — newspapers, magazines and books. My father was initially very particular about what books were suitable for children and the books we could read after we reached a certain age. But when I was in Class VIII, I managed to read one such forbidden book in a dark corner of our house with mosquitoes for company. When my father realised the lengths to which I would go to read books, he understood my love for them and did away with all restrictions.
I would not have made it this far had it not been for the support of my family, especially that of my mother, who was by my side through thick and thin. My husband Jagannath Bose and my in-laws also encouraged me a lot. I believe that in-depth study is essential for achieving greatness in any field. I advise all of you to read as much as you can, as there is no substitute for it, and to be dedicated in whatever you do.