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I lost my dad in it and my mother was seriously ill with 22 broken bones.
She was in and out of coma and was in a vegetative state for three to four years. Thank God we were financially secure, otherwise things would have been worse.
Though I belong to a conservative Rajput family, my parents were very forward-thinking. My personality is like him - he was garrulous and fun. That’s why I can never be a wallflower - I can mix and get along with most people.
They never discriminated against me because I was a girl. But my strength of mind comes from my mother, and I take after her in a lot of ways. I still remember one important rule at home was that we could do anything under the sun, barring murder or robbing people, if we told the truth. Back to my childhood, since dad had a transferable job, I was put in a boarding school – Convent of Jesus and Mary in Shimla. But as I was very naughty, I would invariably be in trouble.
And my parents would say, ‘Did they tie your hands and feet and force you to do that?
You are an individual and you have the power of choice.
I was always given equal opportunities and today when I hear of so many horrific incidents against women, I am thankful to God for giving me such intelligent parents. As a child, forget being an actress, I actually wanted to be a truck driver.
My dad, the late Lieutenant Colonel Durganand Zinta, was in the Indian Army and had a transferable job, so we were constantly shuttling throughout the length and breadth of India - from Bodh Gaya to Ambala to Jabalpur to practically everywhere else. I never had any problems making friends – in fact, my mum Nilprabha would always find me playing in somebody else’s house.We had to painstakingly go through reams of research. I am a BIG foodie and stuffed myself to the gills with vada pao and misal pao and whatnot, until I couldn’t eat any more. I had just returned from the Fort library after doing extensive research and was armed with a multitude of books including one titled ‘Male Sexuality’. And since I finished my research early, greedy me decided that I’d pick the guy from the audition and since it was the Taj, there’d be lots of food for me to eat. There were lots of people who had come for it and they were patiently standing around.Since I had not come for the audition, I caught hold of my friend and was making my way out of the place.I even learnt snake handling at the army cantontment. We travel all across the country and see so many colours and flavours.And for days on end I’d strut around thinking I was the cat’s whiskers, until somebody actually spilt the beans that the fangs of the snakes had been taken out so it wasn’t really dangerous. In fact, I hate that in my friends – even a small lie can make me get into a tizzy. We learn to make friends, to blend in and to be a people’s person.