Where were you career-wise at 22?
I was an engineer and working as a trainee at a petrochemical plant design company.
And what was your bank balance?
Your focus in life?
To get into a good MBA school. I just wanted to make decent money.
What was your family life like?
I had started growing closer to my father, but he was wary of my life choices. My mother just wanted to ensure I was always well-fed. My brother Praveen and I went from being arch-enemies to great friends after living in engineering college hostels. He was, and is, my biggest pillar of support.
If someone had told you then that you would become a stand-up comedian, you would…?
I would have laughed it off.
Any romance in your life back then?
I was absolutely single.
What was your fashion sense like?
Mostly affordable T-shirts and loose denims.
Your fitness quotient?
None. I was driving 70 kms on a scooter every day in Delhi.
Your most prized possession back then?
The black LML Vespa scooter that my brother offered to buy for me.
And your biggest dream then?
To buy a Maruti 800 one day.
A good comedy from back then?
Andaz Apna Apna.
Who were your comedy idols?
I loved Johny Lever sir. He is still the best.
What was a pivotal moment for you?
I wanted to take leave from my cushy office job, at the risk of being fired, to prepare for my MBA. My father was against it but my uncle said, “If you don’t take a chance, you will regret that you didn’t try hard enough, though you had potential.” I took leave the next day and cracked three of the top 10 MBA colleges.
From HT Brunch, April 23, 2022
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