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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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My Fundays

I was born in Rohtak in Haryana. My parents’ jobs took us all over the world. Travel played a key role in shaping my life it made me aware of the diverse ethnicities existing in the world. You could say that I grew up between Rohtak and London.

I was an extremely quiet child. I remember an incident from the time when I was eight. My parents and I were walking down a street on a busy Diwali night. We were doing some last-minute shopping and my father had released my hand without realising it. I didn’t even shout ‘‘papa’’ to tell him that I had been left behind. I simply stood there like a pillar with people pushing, nudging and walking by me. I didn’t leave the spot until they found me again.

In school, however, I was more active and the credit for that goes entirely to my mother. She encouraged me to be part of everything from sports to dance, dramatics to cooking classes and everything else. At the age of 12, I bagged my first national award in folk dance.

With all the moving around, things were a bit mixed up for me right from Haryanvi to my British accent. Around that time I was confused about whether I had an accent or if it was the right way to speak English.

Despite everything, I remained an introvert all through my schooldays and after. I wanted to have many friends around me, but it took me a long time to make friends. As a child, I was never fond of reading but I loved it if somebody else narrated short, happy stories to me. Music and movies, however, ran in my blood right from my childhood. The choreography, costumes and dialogues of the Eighties are imprinted in my brain. But between dance and fashion, I chose the latter as a career.

I also remember that everybody, except my mom, called me Ballerina. I used to crave to hear it from her but I don’t think she believed in giving compliments to her own children. Once in a while when she said it, it meant the world to me.

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