Going back to the blackboard

Feb 03, 2012, 08:44 IST | Urmimala Banerjee

"I would love to sit down with my kids and help them with their homework," says actor Soha Ali Khan at a recent educational campaign organised by an FMCG brand. Reliving her school days, the petite lady tells us that she was a very studious child and loved to top her class. "I am very competitive. I hate losing even in a game of Scrabble," says Soha as she talks to CS about the Rushdie controversy and student life. 

Who: Soha Ali Khan
What: Talking about her school life
Where: At a school in Grant Road

Rushdie hard fan
I am sad, angry and frustrated about the entire Salman Rushdie issue. He is one of my favourite authors. Though I couldn't make it for the Jaipur Literary Fest, I would have loved to hear Rushdie at the event. As an artist, I feel sad when I hear about restrictions on creative people. We don't hear about such issues in the US or the UK. It could be due to the fact that they got freedom much before us. India is still a young country, and out maturity level is somewhat low. Of course, we have a huge intellectual population as well. But the greater part of India lives in repression, be it sexually or emotionally. At the same time, I can understand that it's a little tricky for the government or organisers to take some risks. 

Back to school
I studied at the British School in New Delhi. I loved going to school and was an extremely bright student. In fact, once my school was shut down for a couple of months because of a strike and I wrote a number of letters to mom, who was away shooting in the US for Mississippi Masala, complaining about the fact that I couldn't go to school. Sometime back, mom showed me all those letters, which had that 'one' complaint only. I couldn't believe that I was so nerdy! (laughs) I recollect staying back after school hours reading in the library or rehearsing for plays.

Shining bright
My parents never put any pressure on me. In fact, they always felt that I was too much of a bookworm. They both were young achievers, dad became the captain of the Indian cricket team at 21, and mom had done her first film at 14. But my father was keen that I study at Oxford, so I really worked hard in my 12th to get a seat at that university. Needless to say, he was very proud. My bro, Saif wasn't at all studious. He is a very intelligent person, but he was too easily distracted as kid. His report cards always had funny lines like, "He has great potential and so on..." At Oxford, I had a crush on my History professor. I am saying this openly knowing that he will never read this interview. I think college life is incomplete without crushes.

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