I was born and brought up in Mumbai and I was pretty naughty in school. One thing I remember clearly is that I used to find Marathi poetry very difficult to learn, so I used to sing and memorise it. I used to compose my own tunes. In fact, my father had maintained right from the beginning that I would be a music composer. I also loved to sing.
I must share with you a funny incident. When I was in the sixth standard, there was a girl in my class whom we called ‘Chiclets’ and we used to tease her by rattling boxes of Chiclets when she was around. She had lovely long hair. She never used to react when we teased her. I used to sit on the last bench in class and when I used to get bored I would play tabla on the desk.. One day when the teacher was explaining something, I kept on playing tak dhina dhin on the desk.
Chiclets promptly stood up and complained to the teacher, who punished me by making me stand on the bench for three periods. I was furious. So I chewed some gum, took it out of my mouth, and gingerly picked up her long plaits from behind and stuck the gum on to her hair with great pains. But then having done the deed, I almost died of fear. So, I threw the packet of chewing gum on another boy. But when he was caught with the packet, he had to be excused as he could not have played the mischief from so far. Anyway, the whole thing passed off and we had to cut off the girl’s hair to rid her of the chewing gum. Then she came to me and said, “I’m sorry, I’ll never complain about you again. But please don’t do this or I’ll have to cut my hair again and I have such lovely hair!” After that we became friends.
When we were eleven years old, I went to see a movie with a friend. I remember feeling terrible because my friend insisted on wearing her school dress. I told her to wear something else but she just wouldn’t listen! Sadly, my plans of posing as an adult failed.