Geri & long­ing in Chandigarh

India Today - - MY CITY - Shibani Anand

Let me start by say­ing that I am a Pun­jabi at heart. Large hearted and care free, I'm your ef­fer­ves­cent Pun­jabi. I be­long to Ja­land­har, did my school­ing from the Lawrence School Sanawar and went to col­lege in Chandigarh ( ITFT). The act­ing bug bit me at a very young age. My mom al­ways tells me that I would stand in front of the mir­ror for hours, ad­mir­ing my­self and danc­ing to Shahrukh's songs play­ing in the back­ground. But it was ITFT that groomed and pre­pared me. The ac­tor in me wanted a break­through and ex­plore. My pro­fes­sors saw the po­ten­tial and trusted me enough to give me my first break in a play. One play fol­lowed another, and from there on, I started par­tic­i­pat­ing in street plays and per­form­ing at the na­tional level. That time Bol­ly­wood was still a far- fetched dream. But as they say, be­hind ev­ery man's suc­cess there is a woman. This holds true in my case as well, just that in­stead of one, there are two of them— my mom and sis­ter. It was they who gave their un­flinch­ing sup­port and con­stant en­cour­age­ment. Soon, Mum­bai beck­oned. I love the fact that Mum­bai is so wel­com­ing. The adage that this city never sleeps was rea­son enough for it to grow on me. I have re­ceived a lot of love here, but I still get home sick at times. Like I said, I'm still the same af­fa­ble Pun­jabi boy who likes his geris at Chandigarh’s Sec­tor 10- 11 mar­ket. When­ever I go back to the city, my friends and I sneak out at night. Chandigarh has this cul­ture of ac­cept­ing peo­ple with open arms. If you're a Pun­jabi, then you're sadda put­tar. And if you're not, then you're al­ways sadda ji­gri yaar! What­ever name the peo­ple give to the re­la­tion­ship, you are al­ways ac­cepted with com­plete hon­esty. The city feels like one big happy fam­ily. Ev­ery­one's as much a part of your low mo­ments as they are of the high ones. Chandigarh may have changed a lot to­day in terms of new malls and restau­rants, but it will al­ways re­main this warm, com­fort zone for me. And let’s not for­get, I am a ‘ Pun­jabi Go Get­ter’! Varun Sharma is an ac­tor

As told to

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